Raul Paez Profile Photo
1951 Raul 2021

Raul Paez

July 24, 1951 — September 28, 2021

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Topic: Raul Paez
Time: Oct 7, 2021 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Raul Paez, 70, earned his wings on September 28, 2021.  He is survived by his Son: Raul Celso Paez; Daughters: Anastacia Paloma Paez and Sophia Carmen Paez; Sister: Nanci Atwell; and numerous friends and family. He may be gone physically, but his memory will live forever in the hearts of all those he touched during his lifetime.  

Raul was born to Ramon M. Paez and Natividad Peña in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico in 1951. A lifelong lover of classic cars, Raul spent his first few years growing up around his father’s General Popo gas station and tire shop.

After his father unexpectedly passed away in 1954, his mother moved the family to Phoenix when Raul was seven years old. This is where he developed the work ethic that would carry on through the rest of his life, splitting his early years between school and a small family farm run by his mother, stepfather, and sister, Nanci. Raul would start work long before sunrise, tending to the crops and farm animals. He also was no stranger to adversity, skipping third grade to work on the farm full-time when things became tough.

Raul attended and graduated from South Mountain High School in Phoenix. At South Mountain, he was an active member of the school’s Junior R.O.T.C. program where he met lifelong friends. Graduating high school at the height of the Vietnam War, Raul missed the draft but instead went to go work in sales in the Phoenix area.

One of his first jobs out of high school was packaging chicken eggs for an egg farm in Phoenix. Raul always told friends and family how on his first day of work, his mother made him an egg salad sandwich to celebrate the occasion: by the end of the day, he couldn’t bring himself to see another egg. Raul went on to sell cardboard boxes for what eventually became International Paper, where he would meet Smokey and Joanie Durnait of Sandia Distributors.

That relationship would go on to shape the rest of his life. Smokey and Joanie convinced Raul to move back to Nogales to help work with the growers they had in Mexico. At Sandia, Raul excelled. His hard work and diligence paid off when he and his long-time business partner, Gary Wisdom, were given the opportunity to buy Sandia from the Durnaits in 1991. At Sandia’s helm, Raul and Gary grew the business to become a well-known player in the produce industry.

It was in Nogales, at a Nogales Apache Football Game, that he was introduced by his friends Ernesto “Ernie” Mariscal and Jeanette Batriz to a young up-and-coming Nogales attorney, Anna Montoya. The couple went on to marry in 1992 and welcomed three children into the world: son Raul Celso “R.C.” in 1995, and twin daughters Anastacia Paloma and Sophia Carmen in 1998. As the family grew, so did its involvement in the community. Raul helped his wife, Anna, run and win the election for Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge in 2000 and would often showcase their small classic car collection in local parades.

Raul was a devoted father who did everything he could to make sure his children succeeded, always supporting them as they became more involved in the community through piano, baseball, marching band, basketball, softball, dance, and many other activities. As his childrens’ activities in the community grew, so did his. He was the president of both the Desert Shadows Middle School Band Boosters and the Nogales High School Band Boosters and a member of the NHS Pom Boosters. He also sponsored the Sandia Sluggers baseball team, who traveled across the state playing in tournaments.

Raul was fortunate to have seen his children graduate from college and start their careers. He was a pillar of the community and made sure to give everyone a hard time, never out of malice and always out of love.

Raul lived his life to the fullest. A boy who was born in humblest of circumstances grew up to see the world. He saw palaces and cities across Europe and South America, visiting countries like Peru, England, Scotland, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain and more. Even so, he was happiest when he was at home with his family or in his ancestral home of Navidad, Jalisco. We are all blessed to have had him in our lives.

A visitation and rosary service will be held at Martinez Funeral Chapels on Thursday, October 7, 2021 from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and a funeral mass will be held at Sacred Heart Parish on Friday, October 8, 2021 at 11:00 am.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Raul Paez, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, October 7, 2021

5:00 - 9:00 pm (Pacific time)

Martinez Funeral Chapels-Nogales

891 W Mariposa Rd, Nogales, AZ 85621

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Rosary

Thursday, October 7, 2021

7:00 - 7:30 pm (Pacific time)

Martinez Funeral Chapels-Nogales

891 W Mariposa Rd, Nogales, AZ 85621

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Friday, October 8, 2021

9:00 - 10:30 am (Pacific time)

Martinez Funeral Chapels-Nogales

891 W Mariposa Rd, Nogales, AZ 85621

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass Celebration

Friday, October 8, 2021

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

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