Francisco Huerta-Esparza
Francisco Huerta-Esparza
  • December 11, 1938 - August 1, 2014
  • Queen Creek, Arizona

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My father, Francisco Huerta-Esparza, was born December 11, 1938 to Dolores Esparza and Primitivo Huerta. He was born in his home, as was accustomed in small town, such as his, Barreras, Jalisco. He was the eldest of 11 children. His siblings are Ramon, Candido, Moises, Jose, Epifania, Agripina, Gloria, Maria Reyes, Maria Asuncion and Isabel. He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Maria Asuncion.

At the age of five he was sent to work on the farm with his grandfather, Papa Pancho. He spoke of these days as some of the happiest in his life. It was hard work, but he was happy to be there with his grandmother, Mama Chavela and Papa Pancho. He always shared that he learned to be a honest and hard working man because of him.

He completed the third grade, went to "La Escuela Amarilla", but had to leave to go to work. His favorite subject, math. At the age of 12, he left his family and came to this country in search of work. He often told the story of having nothing but the clothes on his back, hopping trains to move around, searching for food to eat in some of the least desirable places, in fact, his only possession was his belt, and he traded that for a piece of cheese. But, he made it.

He traveled through California, picking peaches, grapes, almonds and whatever was in season. Picked cotton in Texas and potatoes in Yuma Arizona. He spoke of getting run over by a tractor in Yuma, he got picked up, driven to Phoenix, dropped off, the doctor gave him some pills for the pain (no x-rays, no other treatment), He had back problems and problems with his knee since then. The money he earned he would send to his mother to help take care of the family.

Eventually, when his Bracero Contract would expire, he would return to Jalostotitlan Jalisco, stay a bit, and return to look for work. On one of his trips home, he asked for Cirila Gonzalez Alvarez hand in marriage. They were married February 13, 1960. They were young, mom was 19, dad was 21. From this union, eight children were born. Francisco, Esther, Javier, Maria, Celia, Teresa, Martha, Irene.

He always spoke of how hard life was when they were first married. How they had nothing, he would always look for ways to make a few pesos. He was a paletero man for a little while. He shared with me that when I was just a baby, I became very ill and was near death. He had worked and had a few pesos, mom had bought some medicine and given it to me but I was not improving. Mom and dad went to the city but could not find anyone to help them, so they went to church to pray. There a nun had taken me from them and took me under their care, asked my parents to pray. Hours went by and they did not know what was happening. Eventually the nun came back and told them they could take me home, I would be okay. They went back to the farm.

A few days later, dad went into town, trying to borrow $5 pesos, but not knowing who to ask. He ran into his Best Man, Salvador Gonzalez, a truck driver in Guadalajara. Before dad could ask for a loan, his best man tucked $100 pesos into his shirt pocket, he was in disbelief and did not want to take it unless it was considered a loan, but his friend would not accept these terms, said it was a gift from one friend to another friend. Tears would come dads eyes when he would tell this story, this, he said, was his best friend for life.

He often said that most men are fortunate to have one best friend, but he was blessed because he had two best friends. The one man he knew he could always count on, the man he shared his ideas, his joy, his fears, his laughter and tears, the one he trusted with his very life, his brother Candido Huerta Up until he took his last breath, his best friend was by his side..

It was 1964, he returned, worked in different places until he got a job working at a Duck Farm, located between the San Gabriel Riverbed and 605 Fwy. Worked there for 25 years, retired at age 52,

He moved to Guadalajara Mexico, taking with him our mom and sister Irene. He loved his retirement years. Worked on his farm, El Pitayo, for 18 years. Got up at 6:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. He loved his animals, from his faithful dog, La Loba, to his horse, La Cotorra. He took great pleasure in naming all his animals and had many farm toys, but two of his favorites were his tractors. He filled his pond with fish and grew corn, modernized the farm by running electricity through it.

Aside from his farm and real estate investments, his greatest investment was his undying faith in the Catholic Church. His devotion to Virgin de Guadalupe, Virgen de La Asuncion, Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Santo Nino, and Jesus Christ was unwavering. He donated to many charities, we would sometimes tease him about how many envelopes he would receive on a weekly basis, and he would gladly send what he could.

He had a hobby that did not include work, he loved to travel, take cruises with his children. He traveled to the East Coast to visit his daughters in Virginia, and joined his children in Disney Cruises to the Caribbean
Islands, a couple of times, went to Puerto Rico, went to Hawaii, and his favorite cruise, Disney Mexican Riviera.

In 2006, he purchased a home in San Tan