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Madera to lay hero to rest

For The Madera Tribune

World War II Veteran Pasqual Reyes stands beside a monument honoring prisoners of war.


Pasqual Reyes, World War II veteran, dies

On Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, our country and the Reyes family lost a true hero, Pasqual (Pesqo) Reyes.

Pasqual proudly served his country during WWII in the United States Army, Company A, 142nd infantry, 36th Division. He participated in the liberation of Italy, France and fought his way into Belgium and the Rhineland Forrest (on the way to the Battle of the Bulge) where he was captured by the Nazis and transported to a POW camp where he would spend the next 9 months. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart. Over the years, Pasqual was honored numerous times for his service to his country.

On April 17, 1948, Pasqual married the love of his life Ramona. They had four children, Ronald, (USMC 1st Battalion, 9th Marines KIA 03/30/1968 Vietnam), Nancy, Michael (USMC) and Yvonne. He also had two sons from prior marriages George and Bobby Reyes. Pasqual and Ramona have 19 grandchildren, 42 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren and he loved every single one of them.

Pasqual enjoyed the outdoors and often took his family camping; Huntington Lake and Rosarito Beach were favorite spots. He taught his children how to fish, ride dirt bikes and swim; he was always surrounded by family. Pasqual and Ramona enjoyed many family get-togethers, BBQ’s and Holiday parties at their home in Hacienda Heights, it was “the place” to gather. Since it was also one of the only homes on the block with a built in swimming pool all the neighborhood children would come to enjoy the pool on hot summer days, he would watch the kids while Ramona would grill hot dogs for everyone. They would often host pool parties for their son Ronald and his military buddy’s when they were on leave from Camp Pendleton.

Pasqual was a member of Fresno Ex-Prisoners of War Chapter 1, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled Veterans of America, AmVets of Visalia and a lifetime member of the VFW Post 1981. As a POW Pasqual regularly participated in Fresno’s Veterans Day Parade, waiving at the crowds from atop the POW float often with his wife Ramona and one or two of his children on the float with him. He didn’t like the attention, but his wife and children always felt strongly that he should be recognized for the hero he was.

Pasqual was filled with unconditional love for his country and his family. He will be remembered for his kind and gentle ways, his sense of humor, his love for life, his generous heart and quiet strength. Pasqual is preceded in death by his son, Ronald Reyes — USMC 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, KIA 03/30/1968, Vietnam; his siblings Esther, Jenny, Larry and Tommy and his daughter-in-law, Rachel Reyes.

He is survived by his wife Ramona Reyes, sons Michael Reyes and fiancé Theresa Harris, George Reyes and daughter-in-law Gloria Reyes, and Bobby Reyes; daughters Nancy Bustos, Yvonne Reyes and daughter-in-laws Marcia Neira and Elaine Martinez Curry and “special grandson” Ron Reyes.

Visitation will be held on Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. followed by a Recitation of the Rosary at Jay Chapel.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1 p.m., Friday, at St. Joachim Catholic Church. Interment to follow at Calvary Cemetery.

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