Raymond "Mony" Alvarado, 65, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on January 26, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer. Mony was born in Lamar, Colorado to Rufus and Angie Alvarado, on June 11, 1947. He was raised and educated in Wapato, Washington.
In his earlier childhood the Alvarado families would travel to Mt. Vernon to pick strawberries and he continued to work in the fields every summer. He joined the local boxing team and traveled around Washington state to compete and he was good at it. In junior high and high school he was very active in sports and participated in basketball and track and would always tell us stories about his "pole vaulting" ability and how he set up a pole vaulting structure behind his house to practice.
After high school he moved to Los Angeles, California to live with his brother until April 21, 1966 when he received his draft notice. Mony received his military training at Fort Lewis, WA and Fort Lee, VA before being deployed to Vietnam. He served two years in the Army from 1966 to 1968 and was assigned to the 17th Engineer DET and awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnamese Campaign Medal, and Sharpshooter (Rifle).
After he returned from his tour in Vietnam he continued to live in Los Angeles and worked at a plant making parts for airplanes. He spent his spare time with his brother Tony at the Main Street boxing gym in downtown LA sparring with Ernie "Indian Red" Lopez, and Danny "Lil Red" Lopez who later became the world champion. He would always tell us stories about his boxing days and continued to watch boxing matches whether they were in Las Vegas or on TV. After a few years he returned to Wapato and worked various jobs throughout the valley until he retired as the Cellar Master at Staton Hills Winery.
He enjoyed many camping trips with his son and grandsons fishing at Dog Lake, Wenas, Horsethief, Spearfish and Track D. Opening Day would always be planned months in advance. Mony also loved baseball and was a diehard "Yankee" fan, making sure he had his tickets when the Yankees came to Seattle and making sure he watched them on TV. He loved to travel, anywhere and everywhere. If someone said let's go to Nevada, California, Minnesota or Colorado, he'd tell Shirley pack up and let's go; they traveled everywhere together and were inseparable.
Mony always had a kind and generous heart. He lived his life to the fullest and loved every minute of it. He was the kind of person that would do anything for you if he could. He loved spending quality time with his family and always said family was the most important thing in his life; without them he would have nothing.
There are no words to will be loved and missed by his family, his extended family, friends, and people who knew him for only a short period of time. He will always be a special person. WE LOVE YOU MONY.
Mony is survived by his wife and companion of 31 years, Shirley Alvarado, his children Angelina (Rolando) Rivas of Wapato, WA, Krystal (Nathan) Eyle of Wapato, Allison (Tom) Stephens of Yakima, WA and Michael (Teresita) Alvarado of Moxee, WA, his grandchildren, Santos, Marcus, Jazlyn, Aliyah, Lexie, Allison, Azayla, Christina, Isaac and Raymond, his siblings, Tony (Joanne) Alvarado of Dayton, NV, Christina (James) Facio and Mike (Rachel) Alvarado of Sacramento, CA. He is preceded in death by his parents Rufus and Angie Alvarado, his father in law Charles Gwinn, and his brothers in law Santos Castilleja and Jim Aleck Sr.
Visitation will be 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at Merritt Funeral Home in Wapato. Recitation of the Rosary will be at 6:45 p.m., Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at Merritt Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m., Thursday, January 31, 2013 at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in Wapato with burial to follow at Reservation Community Memorial Park. To share a memory of Mony, visit www.merrittsfuneralhome.com