Obituaries: July 13, 2023
By Mid Valley Times Staff
5:32 am,
July 13, 2023
Martha S. Aguayo

Martha S. Aguayo of Del Rey, died on July 2, 2023. She was 74 years old. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 from 5 to 7 p.m. with a Rosary said at 6 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, July 27, 2023 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sanger. Wallin’s Sanger Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Abel Avila

Abel Avila of Parlier, died on July 8, 2023. He was 86 years old. Visitation will be on Thursday, July 13, 2023 at 9 a.m., a Rosary said at 9:30 a.m. and a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrow’s Catholic Church in Parlier. Wallin’s Parlier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 

Antonio Montalvo Mena

Antonio Montalvo Mena of Reedley, died on July 4, 2023. He was 70 years old. He is survived by his wife, Rosalinda Montalvo, two sons and two grandchildren. Dopkins Reedley Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Porfirio Montes

Porfirio Montes of Reedley, died on July 3, 2023. He was 59 years old. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 from 10 to 11 a.m., a Rosary said at 11 a.m. and a funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua old church. Interment will be at the Reedley Cemetery District. He is survived by his wife, Julia Montes, three sons, two daughters and five grandchildren. Dopkins Reedley Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Frederick Donald Parkinson
Frederick Donald Parkinson

Mr. Frederick Donald Parkinson of Sanger passed away Monday, June 26, 2023, in Fresno at the age of 92. Fred was born Nov. 10, 1930 in Ireland to Charles and Mary Parkinson and the youngest of 10 children. In the early 1950s he met his future wife the late Mrs. Alma Hayes Parkinson while still living in Ireland and in the mid-1950s he moved and worked in Australia for work. In 1957, Alma moved to Pasadena, California to live with her brother and soon after Fred followed and moved to Pasadena, California to be with his childhood sweetheart Alma. On May 7, 1960 Fred and Alma were married and settled in San Gabriel, California and in 1990 they moved and settled in Sanger where the remained until most recent time. Fred worked for Cal Ink for many years before retiring in 1990. Fred and Alma moved to the Nazareth House in Fresno where they remained together until their passings. 

Fred was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 62 years, Alma Hayes Parkinson in 2022, three brothers and six sisters. He is survived by his extended family in Ireland and many beloved friends in the Sanger. 

A funeral mass will be held Friday, July 7, 2023, at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sanger followed by interment at Sanger District Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Wallin’s Sanger Funeral Home. 

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to Catholic Charities.

Frances G. Pineda

Frances G. Pineda, 93, formerly of Parlier, Calif. passed away on July 2, 2023 at her home in Tucson, Arizona, surrounded by family. Frances was born in Fabens, Texas on Oct. 10, 1929 to Juanita Martinez and Francisco Guerra. She grew up with her four siblings who all preceded her in death. 

Frances G. Pineda

Frances married her first husband at age 17 and had five children whom she raised in Pocatello, Idaho before divorcing and moving to Hanford, Calif. in 1961. 

Frances met and married Rutilo Pineda and shortly after, became one of the biggest Farm Labor Contractors in Parlier, Calif. for 35 years from 1976 to 2011. Frances and Rudy built a home and began farming in addition to owning a small trucking business. Together they employed hundreds of local employees whom Frances always treated as family. 

Frances loved cooking for family and visitors, dancing, gardening, having holidays and the occasional drink during celebrations at her home on Manning Ave. She often took care of all her grandkids, helping to buy school clothes and instill manners and respect. She could always be counted on to help whenever and wherever possible. She suffered many sorrows throughout her life. In addition to outliving all her siblings, she laid her two sons, Frank and Ralph Galaviz to rest. As difficult as that was, Frances remained the strongest woman this family had known and continued to live for her remaining family members. Frances had a wonderful sense of humor that remained even up to the days before her passing. Frances leaves a legacy of unconditional love and nurturing to the generations of family she leaves behind.

Frances is survived by her three children Juanita Galaviz of Tucson, Ariz., Dora Alba of Parlier, Calif., Dennis Galaviz of Selma, Calif. and her daughter-in-law Sylvia Barnett of Hanford, Calif. Frances had 76 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her four siblings, two sons, her husband, a grandson, and a great-grandson. 

Viewing will be at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 830 Tulare St. Parlier, Calif. on Friday, July 14 at 8 a.m., followed by The Rosary at 8:30 and Mass at 9 a.m. Graveside service will be at Parlier Cemetery, 7932 S. Mendocino Ave.

Raul Leon Ramirez, Sr.

Raul Leon Ramirez, Sr. of Orange Cove, died on June 28, 2023. He was 62 years old. A funeral Service was held on July 12, 2023 at Dopkins Dinuba Funeral Chapel. He is survived by his wife, Betty Crain, two sons, four daughters, 16 grandchildren and many great- and great-great grandchildren. Dopkins Dinuba Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Grace Wilhelmena Sweeney

Grace Wilhelmena “Willie” Sweeney of Kingsburg, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 16, 2023, at age 95. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. 

Grace Wilhelmena Sweeney

Willie was born in Sanford, Florida, June 23, 1927, to John Leonard and Mary Elizabeth Niblack. The family moved to California in 1942, when her father accepted a job in Needles, Calif. 

Willie attended Needles High School and graduated in 1945. After graduation, she moved to Barstow, Calif. to work for her uncle’s donut shop. While living in Barstow, she met Jack Sweeney at the local roller rink and they were married June 1, 1947, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Soon after they married, they moved to San Bernardino, Calif., to establish roots and start a family. Willie was a stay-at-home mom, raising four children in Southern California. In 1965, Jack accepted a position with General Telephone Company in Reedley, Calif. and the family moved there. 

While living in Reedley, Willie continued as a stay-at-home mom, until she went to work for the Reedley DMV office in 1969. During her 20-year career with the DMV, she started as an entry level clerk and advanced to the position of head control cashier, when she retired in 1989. 

Willie and Jack moved to Kingsburg, Calif. in 1989 and settled on a small fruit ranch, where she enjoyed having her family close by and having plenty of space for family and friends’ visits. Willie enjoyed her time spent with family and made sure everyone was always welcome and there was always plenty of food and good stories for everyone to enjoy. 

Willie also enjoyed her time playing cards with friends, bowling, square dancing, ceramics, crafting, traveling with Jack in their RV and watching her children and grandchildren’s sports activities. She was an active member of the Telephone Pioneers of America; Eagles Auxiliary Lodge in Reedley and she was a member of the First Baptist Church in Reedley.

Willie was proceeded in death by both of her parents, by her husband, Jack Sweeney, Kingsburg, Calif.; son, Pat Sweeney, Walla Walla, Wash.; sister, Marian Heflin, Burlington, WI; brother, John Niblack, Ogden, Utah; sister, Frances Harmon, San Bernardino, Calif.

Willie is survived by her son; Mike Sweeney (Sandie) Kingsburg, Calif.; daughters, Sharon Sweeney, Fresno, Calif.; Karen Carlson (Scott), Kingsburg, Calif.; daughter-in-law, Lesa Sweeney (Pat), Walla Walla, Wash.

Willie is survived by her eight grandchildren, Ryan Sweeney (Melissa), Clovis Calif.; Matt Sweeney, Walla Walla, Wash.; Kevin Sweeney (Misty) Kingsburg, Calif.; Megan Holbrook (Jeff) Walla Walla, Wash.; Kyle Sweeney (Anneka) Kingsburg, Calif.; Ben Carlson (Christina) Kingsburg, Calif.; Wes Carlson, Kingsburg, Calif.; Alyssa Harlow (Jordan) Visalia, Calif. 

Willie is also survived by her 15 great-grandchildren and was an aunt and a great-aunt to several nieces and nephews.

“Willie” will always be remembered for her strong faith in Jesus Christ, her kind heart, great sense of humor, love for family, warm hospitality, exceptional southern fried chicken, apple pie, dough cookies and her wonderful smile. 

She was truly our Amazing Grace! 

The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Sierra View Homes in Reedley, for the wonderful care she was given during the last four years of her life. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Sierra View Retirement Community. 

Services will be held on Saturday, July 22, 2023, at Kingsburg Community Church, 11 a.m., with a reception to follow.

About the Author

Mid Valley Times Staff