Our precious and much-loved Juan Carlos left us very suddenly for the arms of Jesus on November 2nd (All Souls Day). We are heartbroken because we couldn’t get from New Mexico to Tucson in time to say our goodbyes.
Juanito will be remembered by many long term residents of East County, especially in Patagonia.
He was born with debilitating scoliosis which caused him to have to wear body casts as a baby and, when he was 13, he underwent an eight-hour surgery and double spinal fusion.
Juan was the bravest child we had ever, ever experienced. Although he suffered great pain as a child and as an adult he never ever complained. He bore his health conditions with dignity and strength all of his days — always.
As a youngster he even played Patagonia Little League, up until his ability to run was so seriously compromised that he realized he was a detriment to his team. It was always such a wonderful experience to see him give his all on the ballfield.
As we recently gazed at so many photos of Juanito many more memories came flooding back, including his days at Patagonia Elementary, in the beautiful little school on the hill. He remembered the staff from those days fondly, Nancy Hale, Kate Musick, Gerry Boling, Elvia Miranda, Dusty Hudson and more, along with numerous friends and classmates. He also spoke of his friends from St. Therese’s, especially Lupe Urquidez whom he rode to weekly catechism classes with.
Juan proudly obtained his associate degree from Cochise College in Sierra Vista, with an emphasis on the hospitality industry. At the time of his passing he was a long-time employee of Desert Diamond Casino & Entertainment in Sahuarita. We’ve been absolutely amazed and touched by the outpouring of love and affection by his fellow employees and casino staff. We shouldn’t be surprised at all because they are simply returning the warm feelings Juanito had for all of them. Our beloved Juan was a very caring man.
Juan is survived by his dear mom, Irma Fuller, his loving brother Thomas Fuller and the only dad he ever knew, Brock Fuller. He is also survived by his significant other, Ileana Conklin of Tucson. He is survived by all his family in Santa Cruz County, most especially his loving 93-year-old Abuelo, Adolfo Raul Gallardo, his heartbroken aunts, Tia Martha Wagner, Tia Ana Rodriguez, and Tia Patty Gallardo, and his loving Tio, Adolfo Arturo Gallardo. Juan was predeceased by his cherished ‘Tita’, Clemencia Ibarra de Gallardo. He is mourned by numerous cousins from southeast Arizona and stretching to the states of Sonora and Sinaloa in Mexico.
We will miss Juanito forever and he will never be forgotten. We will cling tightly to our fond memories and hold onto our faith for strength. We know that we’ll be reunited with him (tall and strong) when God calls us.
Juan was remembered at a small family service at Carrillos Mortuary in Tucson. He will be inurned at Sunset Memorial Park in Albuquerque at a later date.