Aviles family memorialized with tree in Pacana Park

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Jesus and Juanita Aviles, patriarch and matriarch of the Aviles family, a pillar of the Maricopa community for the last five decades, died just a week apart late last month (see obituaries below). The Avileses raised 10 children in Maricopa and, despite having received virtually no education themselves, made sure each of their children graduated from Maricopa High School.

“They gave each one of us something they never had,” David Aviles said Tuesday at a ceremony honoring his parents. “I love them for that.”

In addition to his active role as a youth sports coach, David is a founding member of the Maricopa Parks, Recreation and Libraries Advisory Committee. That prompted Chris Ward and other members of the Committee to do something to recognize the Aviles family. That something was planting an ash tree near the lake ramada at Pacana Park.

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“David is a part of our Parks and Recreation family and, therefore, his mother and father are extensions of our family as well,” Marty McDonald, director of the department, said. “The tree will grow big and provide a lot of shade. In a lot of ways, the tree is symbolic of how they raised their 10 children: they stood tall, watched over and protected their children.”

Despite the spontaneous nature of the event, most of those 10 children were in attendance for the ceremonial planting, which also was attended by members of the PRL Advisory Committee, the city manager and Maricopa’s mayor, Kelly Anderson. All were very appreciative of the gesture and, speaking on behalf of the family, David thanked everyone involved, saying, “We love you all and this beautiful city we call home. God bless you all.”

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Brothers Robert, Ruben and David Aviles.

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The family took an active role in planting the ash tree in honor of their parents.

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The siblings, (from left) Steve Aviles, Ruben Aviles, Gloria Osuna, Lucy Rodriguez, David Aviles and Robert Aviles, enjoy a light-hearted moment.

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Gloria and Lucy (above) received help from young Isaiah Aviles, 5 (below).

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Juanita E. Aviles (1933-2006)
Juanita E. Aviles was born on January 27, 1933 in Naranjo, New Mexico. She passed away on July 22, 2006 in Scottsdale at Brighton Gardens Hospice of the Valley. Juanita moved to Arizona in 1950 and had lived in Maricopa for the past 45 years. Juanita worked for the Maricopa School Unified District for over 15 years as a cook but is remembered most as a loving mother and grandmother and as a caring friend and neighbor. Juanita enjoyed sewing, reading, embroidery and spending time with her grandchildren.

Juanita is survived by her husband Jesus Aviles and her 10 children, Ruben Aviles, Hector Aviles, Gloria Osuna, Rick Aviles, Maria Perez, Lucia Rodriguez, Steve Aviles, David Aviles, Elena DiBiase and Robert Aviles all originally from Maricopa. She is also survived by 25 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Jesus E. Aviles (1927-2006)
Jesus E. Aviles, 79, a longtime Maricopa resident passed away July 29, 2006 at Odyssey Hospice of the Valley in Mesa. Mr. Aviles was born on January 29, 1927 in Corpus Christi, Texas. He moved to Arizona in 1950 and lived in Maricopa for over 45 years. Jesus was a retired farm laborer, where he traveled throughout the United States in the “campos” wherever there was work to be done. He enjoyed watching the Diamondbacks play baseball, loved Western movies of John Wayne, and enjoyed listening to Tejano music. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He was a devoted husband, beloved father and dedicated “tata” and abuelo. He will be deeply missed.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Juanita Aviles, and is survived by 10 children (Ruben, Hector, Rick, Steve, David and Robert Aviles, Gloria Osuna, Maria Perez, Lucia Rodriguez and Elena DiBiase), 25 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.