John Abeyta, Sr.

Services were held today for John Manuel Abeyta Sr., a longtime Sitka resident.
The services were held at 11 a.m. at the Salvation Army church, followed by graveside services at Sitka Memorial Park, and a reception at the Salvation Army.
John died Feb. 10, at SEARHC-Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, surrounded by his family and friends.
John Manuel Abeyta Sr. was born  to John and Frances Pacheco-Abeyta on Oct. 8, 1936, in Las Vegas, N.M. In lieu of his diploma, John had worked to earn his GED.
John retired as a substance abuse counselor for Aurora’s Watch.
John married Justina Mae Paul on Feb. 23, 1970, in California. They resided in numerous places, but chose to raise their three children in Sitka.
John had a heart of gold. He was always there for his family, and always had encouragement for his children and grandchildren.
“He had an awesome sense of humor with a quick wit that always kept you on your toes,” his family said.
John had many pastimes, but watching the Denver Broncos was his all-time favorite. Fishing with his wife Tina, and watching his son and grandsons play baseball, were other favorites.
He also spent time in fellowship at The Fortress of The Bear, and later became a lifetime member.
In his golden years, along with Tina, John would often enjoy his time playing bingo or taking short vacations in Las Vegas, Nev.
John was preceded in death by his parents John and Frances Pacheco-Abeyta; brother Robert Joseph Abeyta Sr.; his daughter Jacklyn Abeyta; and nephew Allan Simpson.
John is survived by his loving wife, Justina Abeyta; and his children John (Leadia) Abeyta Jr., Jeanette Abeyta and Oscar Avalos, all of Reseda, Calif.;  and Maryann Nells, Frances (Adam) Baratki and Frank Abeyta, all of Sitka.
His grandchildren are John III, Phillip, and Victor Abeyta, of Reseda; Brandon and Winona Nells, Robert and Anthony Brown, all of Sitka; Linda ‘NiNi’ of Denver, Colo.; Michelle of Reseda; Amelia Abeyta and Joey Abeyta of Sitka; Monica and Valerie Avalos of Reseda; and Patrick and Jackie Lucero of Denver.
Also surviving are great-grandchildren Jayln Leonard of Sitka and many others; his sister Margaret (Wally) Watson of Pueblo, Colo; nephews Buddy, Gary and Jeff Watson of Sitka and Joseph Abeyta Jr. of Denver; nieces Glendora Sanchez of North Dakota and Myrna Robb, Annette Johnson and Ginny Watson, all of Denver; and many other nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
The family suggests memorial donations be made to Fortress of the Bear or the Salvation Army.

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