American Veteran 02

Julio Riojas

August 14, 1948 ~ February 12, 2022 (age 73)

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Julio Riojas. Age 73, of Lancaster, Texas passed away February 12, 2022. Born in Dallas, Texas and grew up in West Dallas. He was from a multi-generation American family. He attended Crozier Tech before being inspired to follow a long line of Military family members and joined the Marine Corps where he honorably served 17 years, including deployments to Vietnam and Cambodia. He attended college at UCLA while stationed in California before receiving the Purple Heart award, among others. He was proud to be a Marine with the mentality of “Once a Marine, always a Marine”. He later met and married the love of his life, Dora. They started their family and settled in the Lancaster, Texas area where he spent the next 34 years working as a machine operator for Quaker Oats then retiring from Owens Corning in Waxahachie, Texas.

His children fondly remember their dad being a tough man’s man. He was their protector, provider and raised them to be tough. He loved being with his family and attending church at Spanish SDA Church in Waxahachie. He was always present for his kids and you could often find him in the kitchen while his wife was visiting family in Mexico; teaching his children to cook (mainly American food like chicken fried steak and scalloped potatoes!), to keep a clean house and well cared for lawn. His family always felt loved and cared for, especially his grandchildren who called him Papo. He will be missed everyday by those who knew him.

From his children: Our Dad is the root of our family; not only did he run our home as if he was still in the military, he would tell us that he was our staff Sargent and that we were the private soldiers. He taught us discipline, resilience, ethics, and morality; and to never lie, cheat, or steal.  In other words, how to be a decent human being. We were trained to respect authority and to follow orders at all times. He enrolled us in Karate and kick boxing classes without being asked and were trained to physically defend ourselves. He wanted to make sure that we could defend ourselves in case he wasn’t around like in “school’. He helped us do our homework and complete our science projects. Dad was our biggest cheerleader. He believed in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves. We were rewarded for good behavior, so every Sunday evening my dad would take the family to Braum’s for ice cream in Lancaster. As we got older and he became a disabled veteran, he would take each of us individually to have breakfast with him at Denny’s Restaurant once a month. Even after he became a disabled veteran, he was still a tough Marine.  He could still shoot and kill a snake from far-away. He never lost his rifle skills. He never lost his sarcastic sense of humor. One of he’s favorite quotes we learned from him while growing up was: “Excuses are like ass holes, everyone has them, except for you, you have two.” We knew what he meant by that. My Dad did not accept excuses from us. He would always say “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. However, when it comes to his grandkids, he was a different man. Those grandkids were able to disarm him from all Marine toughness!

He is proceeded in death by his parents; Guadalupe and Herminia (Munoz) Riojas and several siblings.

He is survived by his loving wife Dora Maria Riojas of Lancaster; his children: daughter Karla Puente of Lancaster, son Joaquin Puente of Lancaster, daughter Donna and husband Heber Ortiz of Lancaster, Kevin Russel who is also part of our family in Lancaster; six grandchildren: Leo, Areyana, Adrian, Andrew, Aaliyah and Enrique; his four-legged companions: Chico and Mary. 

A memorial service is planned for a later date.      


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