In the end, for our last visit, we had the most wonderful talk EVER. I was blessed with the opportunity to tell him that I loved him with all my heart, I thanked him for teaching me to golf, to organize my workbench, and for staying on me to complete my homework and clean my room, but mostly I thanked him for taking such great care of my mom. He was overjoyed to have the conversation and we both cried. It was AWESOME! When it was time to leave, he pulled me toward him, and thanked me for having such a great talk. He was so sincere and appreciative. I loved him and will always remember the things he did for me and taught me. I was blessed to have had his influence in my life.
Louis, my father, was a strong positive role model for his children. He was a dedicated family man and he did so much for his family. It was so important to him that we all understand the value of hard work and commitment to accomplish what you set out to do. He was very patriotic and loved his country, the country that allowed him to achieve his goals coming from an impoverished background.
When I first met Louis at 10 years old, the thing that stood out was the love my mother Shelley had for him. She was thrilled that he was dependable, a good provider and showed her that she was the greatest thing that happened to him. For that he earned my respect. At a young age he seemed a little stern, but as I grew older and learned more about life and it’s ups and downs I grew to love him and understand him. It was a great accomplishment for him to be raised in a large family with little means to go into the service and then get a scholarship to Stanford. His life was shaped much differently than that of my family of which makes all of us different. His style of raising children and family relations was very traditional and about teaching that all you had to do was roll up your sleeves, work hard and anyone could achieve the American Dream. He gained respect for me when he saw my work ethic and perseverance when starting a business and family in my early 20s.
Mom still loved him more than ever and for that I was thankful. We would visit them regularly while they lived in Bakersfield, Huntington Beach and Santa Barbara. Mostly though the kind of family relationship you have with a 3 day visit. These last 10 years have been nice since they moved near us in Coeur d Alene Idaho. My wife Pam and I made a regular evening out to dinner every Tuesday night with them. We also got together on boating trips and special occasions where we would hear the stories of his life, what a life he had! Along with my mother they traveled the world together and built lasting memories. These last few years Louis would take those pictures nearly every day and visit my Mom in assisted living where she still suffers with Alzheimer’s Disease. He only lived for her and studied all the possible ways to make her better. I spent many hours with him in these last years helping him as he helped Mom and we grew very close. In life only God knows his plan for you and I and we should be joyous and forgiving and humble in accepting that plan. Louis constantly reflected on what a great life he had with my mom and he couldn’t believe he was 87 years old. We had no idea his heart condition was getting so bad when he succumbed to heart disease. In his case, seeing my mom forget their life with him broke his heart. I will forever love and respect Louis for the unique man he was. You really learn a lot about someone in their last days and I was blessed to be there with him to see unending love for his family and his determination to see that things were right with this world.
My father, Louis Villanueva, was an exceptional person who persevered against the odds to accomplish his goals. His dedication to his profession and family, especially to his wife Shelley, serves as a hallmark of his legacy. Louis’ intense focus, organization, and plans of action led him to success in many areas. His work ethic and strong sense of morals serves as a lasting positive memory for many who knew him. The older he and I became, the more I loved him. He is forever missed. This website is dedicated to your memory Dad.