Peter John Curiel
Peter John Curiel
  • November 16, 1953 - November 28, 2017
  • Tempe, Arizona

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Peter John Curiel journeyed into his next chapter on Tuesday, November 28 at 11:52 AM at the age of 64. His legacy and spirit are carried on by his wife Debbie, daughter Katie, mother Lucia, father Juan, sister Sylvia, brother Paul, and several other loved ones from the Barrera, Curiel, Diaz, Gutierrez, Silvas, and Valdez families, as well as an extended family of loved ones and friends from every walk of life. Pete is reunited with his brother Steve, aunt Isabela Valdez, uncle Steve Silvas, aunt Micaela Diaz, and many other loved ones and ancestors.

Pete was born in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday, November 16, 1953 to Lucia Silvas Curiel and Juan Torres Curiel. He was a second generation Mexican-American with roots back to Jalisco, Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico. He grew up next to Phoenix in the small migrant farm worker town, Tolleson, Arizona. This is where he enjoyed sunny school days, running around the neighborhood to visit friends and family, swimming and camping trips to the canals and rivers, racing down the empty farm roads and cruising down Central Avenue, while working tirelessly during school vacations in the migrant farm worker camps, harvesting produce for the U.S.

Pete ventured out of small Tolleson during his college years when he obtained his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University. He became the first person in his immediate family to obtain a Bachelor's degree - quite an accomplishment for a first-generation Mexican-American youth in the 1970s. His first job out of college was a managerial job at a department store for which he was able to relocate to the small town of Rock Springs, Wyoming to continue his work in retail. This is where he met his first wife and mother to his child, Melanie. During his time in Wyoming, he also went to work for the oil industry as a mud engineer in the cold outdoor elements. While the work was rough, he enjoyed the structure, quality training and independence, which are hallmarks that Pete carried with him when he chose to commit the rest of his career with United Parcel Service (UPS).

After the birth of his child, Katie in the 1980s, Pete and his family moved to warmer and sunnier weather back home in Arizona. It was then that Pete began his honorable career as a driver for UPS. In the more than three decades that he devoted to UPS, he made life-long friends and colleagues, was a dedicated employee who fine-tuned his driving and professional skills, and had endless beautiful rides through the Sonoran desert and northern Arizona.

During these years, he enjoyed not only developing his skills as a father and husband, but also his care for loved ones, life-long and new friends, and colleagues. He also continued his immense love for the outdoors through hiking, camping, fishing, and entering 5Ks and 10Ks, eventually becoming a long-time supporter of the Pat Tillman Run. He also had a huge love for dancing and music, and would often go out country or disco dancing during his younger years, followed by concerts of some of his many favorite bands. He was also an avid sports fan, especially for the Arizona State University Sun Devils and his beloved Arizona Cardinals. It was with his beloved wife and partner of 12 years, Debbie, that he experienced many of these enjoyments, especially as diehard sports fans, and frequent travelers throughout Arizona and the U.S.

Despite the effects of arthritis throughout life combined with the cancer diagnosis in his last months, he never stopped being active. Pete lived an amazing 64 years and perhaps was saved from going through much more suffering if he had not passed suddenly. In those 64 years, he was a loving father, husband, son, cousin, primo hermano (cousin brother), friend, colleague, community member and brother to hundreds; he achieved and loved much, and brought happiness through his beautiful character and smile that he gave so freely to loved ones and strangers alike.

Pete blessed many people by being a living example of dedication, faithfulness, patience, determination, strength, hard work, fun, humor, self-improvement, forgiveness, love, belief in destiny, and the power of a huge heart and smile. It was this character that really defined him and throughout any struggles in life, he always took the lessons and would say "que sera, sera", "whatever will be will be".

If Pete were here today, he would want to remind you to give your love more freely to the ones you love and let them know they are important to you. Help your loved ones more, especially your parents. Never give up on bringing people together for cherished fun times, even if they don't want to and even if you have family drama every time you're together. Forgive easily and laugh at and with each other much more. Have fun often, and be more relaxed and let things go.

Pete's character and many precious memories are etched in the hearts of hundreds of loved ones. Pete's family appreciates the acts of love and kindness that loved ones and strangers have done, big and small, to respect, honor and celebrate Pete's life and legacy.

Remember and celebrate Pete: