July 16, 1949 ~ August 9, 2021

Born in: Rocky Ford, Colorado
Resided in: Pueblo, Colorado

Service for Ralph “Rafa” John Valdez:

Ralph “Rafa” John Valdez, 72, passed away August 9, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Julie Roten-Valdez; mother, Elaiza Valdez; children, Olivia (Sam) Spinuzzi and Ralph (Laura) Valdez; stepdaughter, Jessica Roten; brother, Albert Valdez; three grandchildren, Bailey Spinuzzi, Kyli and Lennon Valdez; and many relatives in a broad, loving extended family. Ralph was preceded in death by his father, Arturo Valdez; three sisters, Clara Aguilar, Delores and Diana Valdez; and one brother, Robert Valdez. Ralph was born in Rocky Ford, Colo. July 16, 1949, and upon moving to Pueblo he worked at CF&I Steel as a steel worker. Ralph loved embracing his Native American heritage by attending Inipi (sweat lodge), vision quests, Sundance Ceremonies and spiritual retreats. He also attended 12-step meetings and sobriety and recovery meetings. Rafa loved all sports including playing legendary basketball in high school, college and on Pueblo’s slabs; coaching younger athletes and watching live or televised games. He loved family, traveling, speaking Spanish, food and reaching out to make friends with strangers. His BIG HEARTEDNESS helped a lot of people. A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Friday, September 24, 2021, in the Montgomery & Steward Chapel and burial 11:30 a.m. Monday, September 27, 2021, at Fort Lyon National Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Atzlan Sundance Community through SouthwestDancers.com, P O Box 304, Gardner, CO 81040 or 3 Point Alano Club, 2506 Lake Ave., Pueblo, CO 81004


Memorial Service: September 24, 2021 10:00 am

Montgomery & Steward Funeral Chapel
1317 N. Main Street
Pueblo, CO 81003


Graveside Service: September 27, 2021 11:30 am

Ft. Lyon National Cemetery
15700 County Road HH
Las Animas, CO 81038


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  1. CandleImageDear Julie,
    Apologies, I only just saw this today. I discovered that my gmail account has been sorting pieces of new email into various other In-Boxes, such that I’ve missed a LOT of COS Friends emails.

    I am sorry for your and your family’s loss.

    With sympathy and deepest condolences
    Holding you & yours in the Light.

  2. Rafa was a good and kindhearted individual and was my sponsor for sometime. I only just learned of his passing last night. He helped me in many ways. I will be gone out of town when his memorial service takes place but I wanted to express my condolences to Julia and his entire family. His spirit will live on.

  3. CandleImageDear Julie, Your love and care and committment through the years have been a beacon for Rafa – and for all of us. May you be surrounded by Light and Comfort.

  4. CandleImageRafa your smile, twinkle in your eyes, kindness and welcoming way will never be forgotten. I always felt special and heard. When I would call and your Julia wasn’t available you talked to me and shared wisdom. Thank you for seeing me. Love and light on you journey, your N.Y. Judy

  5. Julie – my thoughts and prayers are with you. I never had the chance to meet Rafa but loved all of the stories and hearing what a wonderful man he was. Sending you a big hug. Take care.

  6. Rafa thank you for being the love of my sister’s life and a blessing to so many you met on life’s journey. You will be missed. Rest in peace.

  7. Rafa took me to my first inipi ceremony and introduced me to the native ways. I’ll always be grateful for that.
    My prayers for Julie and all the family.

    Chuck Jahn

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