Juan S. Jimenez passed away peacefully at Peppi’s House Hospice in Tucson on Thursday, September 2. He was 91. Though he is gone, a fire burns eternally in the hearts and memories of all who knew him; a fire that was ignited in the mountains of Harshaw on December 3, 1929.

Juan was born to Juan and Josepha Jimenez. At the young age of 16, Juan enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served proudly in the Korean War, and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant. Before he was shipped to Korea, he met the love of his life, Magdalena “Nena” Trujillo, at a dance in Patagonia, whom he courted through letters during his time at war. Upon his return, the two were married on February 22, 1953, and spent 64 “damn” years together before her death on July 9, 2017.

Following his military service, Juan worked as a federal employee as an electronics maintenance manager at Fort Huachuca until his retirement in 1981. He then opened his own business called “JJ’s Repair Service,” where he repaired televisions and other electronic devices.

He was a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was directly involved in the foundation of the Patagonia chapter of the VFW. With his good friend Bill Piper, they were both instrumental in the establishment of the annual 4th of July celebration in Patagonia, which they introduced on America’s bicentennial. He served as commander from 1977 to 1978. As a member, he was an active participant in the VFW’s 4th of July BBQs, Turkey Shoots, providing the children’s Christmas goodie bags at Christmas time, and many other VFW activities.

Juan was a dedicated member of his community, serving multiple terms as councilman and two terms as mayor of Patagonia. He was also a cowboy, working cattle on the weekends with his cousins, Ricardo Jimenez and Angel “Shorty” Jimenez at the Rocking Chair Ranch in Harshaw and the Crown C Ranch in Sonoita. 

He was a kind, generous, no-nonsense man with a larger than life personality who always went the extra mile to attend to the needs of anyone and everyone until his health prevented him from doing so. With that being said, he was also known to raise hell when circumstances called for it; a trait inherited by his children, grandchildren and so on.

He was a man who enjoyed early morning coffee with the day’s newspaper, western movies, tending to his garden, going for drives to his beloved Harshaw with a few ice cold Keystone Lights, and sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of the area and the bountiful stories of his adventures as a child. 

Juan is preceded in death by his dearly beloved wife Nena, parents Juan and Josepha Jimenez, brother Carlos, sisters Deloris, Christina, Elena, and son-in-law Bob Dunklee.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughters, Margie Dunklee and Mary Jimenez; sons Juan (Helen), George (Gloria) and Frank (Diana); grandchildren Ricky, BobbyAnne, Johnny, Rebecca, Amanda, Lisa, Jesus, David, Adriana, Franco, Bianca, Valerie, Andrea and Samantha; 17 great grandchildren with two on the way; and sisters Maria Louisa Valdez, Josephine Fuentes, Angelita Rowe and Frances Sepulveda, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Juan was adamantly vocal about his wish to not have a funeral Mass or services upon his death. He will be interred with his beloved wife Nena at the Southern Arizona State Veterans Cemetery at a yet to be determined date. 

On behalf of Juan’s family, we are eternally grateful to Peppi’s House Hospice and the wonderful nursing staff for the care, empathy and compassion they provided for our dear Tata. There are not enough words to adequately articulate how much we love and miss him, but his legacy lives on.