OBITUARY FOR LOUIS F. VILLANUEVA
On March 9th, 2015, Louis F. Villanueva passed away peacefully at the Hospice of North Idaho in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.
He loved spending time with his family, golfing, dancing, and traveling, when time permitted. He and his wife Shelley won various dancing contests. People would sometimes clear the dance floor when they strutted their stuff. Shelley was the love of his life, as was evident by his devotion to her. Early in his adulthood, he’d dreamed of being able to retire by the ocean in the beautiful climate of Santa Barbara, California. This dream became a reality and lived there for several years, even returning after retiring for a second time. (He was recruited to come out of retirement by the City of Long Beach). Louis had strong opinions about government and politics, demonstrated by his letters to the editor at various newspapers. He believed in small government, self-reliance, education, and hard-work.
Louis served with pride in the US Navy for 3 years at the end of World War II. He then accepted a scholarship to attend Stanford University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1955. He majored in geology and minored in petroleum engineering. After graduation, he worked for the United States Geological Survey at Menlo Park, and in 1956 joined Tidewater Associated Oil Company.
Louis worked in domestic and international oil and gas exploration and production for 36 years, with the last 12 years in management. During these years, he spent time internationally in Northwest Africa, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia. Within the US, his employment had him relocate to Ventura, Bakersfield, Houston, and Huntington Beach.
He moved to Santa Barbara, after retiring from Texaco in 1985, but was recruited and hired by the City of Long Beach in 1986 to work in management for 6 years as a Division Engineer. After his second retirement, he lived in Santa Barbara, Roseville, and Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.
During the years that he was actively working in his profession, Louis was a licensed and registered geologist in California and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Stanford Geological Society, the Los Angeles Geological Society, and the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists. He was President of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, California Section, during 1970-71, and served as President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Pacific Section, during 1978-79.
Coming from humble origins, Louis was proud of the hard work that led to his many accomplishments. His father was a migrant farm worker in the 1920’s, and both parents, born in Mexico, became naturalized United States citizens. His parents, especially his mother, taught their children the importance of education and assimilation into the North American culture in order to obtain the American dream — a prize he earned.
Louis is preceded in death by his son Erik Villanueva, who passed away in 1997. He is survived by his wife Shelley Villanueva; his children Alia (Linda) Villanueva, Joanie Villanueva, David Villanueva, Dianne Olswang-Peck, Jeff Tyler, Jerry Tyler, and Joel Tyler, and 15 grandchildren.
Louis will be remembered in a private gathering of family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please consider making tax deductible gifts to the American Heart Association, http:// www.donate.heart.org/ or Hospice of North Idaho, http://www.hospiceofnorthidaho.org/giving/.