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Old Central Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Friday October 15th, 2021
9:00am - 9:45am

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Family Will Receive Friends

Vining Funeral Home
Thursday October 14th, 2021
6:00pm - 8:00pm

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Funeral Service

Old Central Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Friday October 15th, 2021

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Concluding Services

Thatcher Cemetery
Friday October 15th, 2021

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Pete Hortelano

Pedro “Pete” Hortelano, age 81, born April 29, 1940, entered into eternal rest with his loved ones by his side on October 5, 2021, in Thatcher, Arizona.

Pete was a devoted father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was a hard worker from a very young age. To seek a better life, at the age of 34 he immigrated from Mexico and started working in New Mexico, then eventually moved to Arizona. He has been a resident of Thatcher for 44 years.

On his free time, he loved to dance, visit friends, and watch his daughters’ sports games. If they didn’t have a game, you could find him supporting the Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters athletics. Eventually the grandkids came along, and he loved spending every minute with them whether it was traveling to their ball games or babysitting. Pete was so loving and caring to those around him. He is well known for his contagious smile. He always was smiling and laughing everywhere he went. His sweet spirit will be deeply missed.

He leaves behind: his wife of 48 years, Hermelinda Ruiz Hortelano; daughters, Sandra Hortelano, Elvira Hortelano, and Mariana Way (Johnny); 13 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.

Pete was preceded in death by: his parents, Jose and Elena Valenzuela Hortelano; his brothers, Jose, Juan, Pancho, Aurliano; his sisters, Clara, Elena, and Manuela.

Funeral services for Pete will be conducted Friday, October 15, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., at the Old Central Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Bishop Jesus Mendoza. Concluding services will follow in the Thatcher Cemetery.

Family will receive friends Thursday evening, October 14, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., at the Vining Funeral Home and on Friday morning, October 15, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. until 9:45 a.m., at the Old Central Chapel.

Those who would like to attend the services via Facebook Live can join on Vining Funeral Home's Facebook page, Friday morning, October 15, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (MST).


Pedro “Pete” Hortelano was born to Jose and Elena Valenzuela Hortelano in Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico on April 29, 1940. Pete was the 5th child of 10. His dad was the sole provider of the family, and his mom was the homemaker. His dad passed away at a young age, and the boys had to start working to help their mother. He would always tell us stories about his childhood, and that’s all we knew about his young years. They would sell eggs and milk in town. He told us one time that his dad would send him on the train to sell milk and eggs, and by the time he got to town, most of the milk had spilled, and the eggs cracked, but he would sell what he could. They would get tires and rope and make their shoes when they couldn’t afford any. The shoe stands in town would have piles of shoes, and he would find his size and put them at the very bottom so no one would buy them, and he planned to come back when he had enough money. Weeks would go by, and his saving kept going to his mom and the family, so the next time he went by the shoe store, he saw if his shoes were there, and they were, and he wanted them so bad that he just walked away with them and never came back.

Pete had many friends and loved to go out dancing on the weekends. One of his friends was my Tio Chito, who was dating my mom’s sister at the time, and he would go over to her house with him, and that’s how he met my mom. They were young and later went their separate ways when at the age of 34, my dad immigrated from Mexico to seek a better life and would work for many ranchers. His first job was in New Mexico; then, he moved to Seligman, AZ, delivering food to the ranchers around the Grand Canyon. My mother joined him, and they had their first child Sandra on September 18, 1974. They moved to the Gila Valley three years later, where they were married on April 29, 1977, at the court house. A little after that, Elvira was born on June 13, 1977; my dad started working as a cotton farmer for the Claridge’s in Solomon, then moved to Geronimo where they lived for a couple of years. Their final move was to Thatcher, AZ, where he lived for 44 years. Ten years after Elvira was born, Mariana came as a surprise baby on August 30, 1987. My dad was so proud of his girls, and my mom said he would get mad if we got hurt under her care. He went on to work for Jim Daley, Jim Palmer and ended his farming career working for Dennis Layton.

Pete was a faithful member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we are blessed with the gospel in our lives because of him. His hobbies were visiting friends and watching us play sports. If we didn’t have a game to watch, you could find him supporting the Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters athletics. Eventually, the grandkids and great-grandkid came along, and he loved spending every minute with them, whether traveling to their ball games or babysitting. He was so loving and caring to those around him. He is well known for his contagious smile. He always was smiling and laughing everywhere he went.

Sandra- There are so many memories with my dad, but I’m going to share some of my favorites. We spend countless hours on the farms with him. When I would go at night, I would take my pillow and blanket and have just enough room for me to sleep by his feet. He would kill rabbits and snakes, and we would take them home to cook and eat them. For Mexico’s Independence Day in September, I would always go to Mexico with my dad, and one time he forgot my birth certificate. He didn’t want to turn around, so he left me for the weekend at a family friend's house, the Arrellanos. Dad never told mom, and she found out a couple of years ago when I told her, and dad was in big trouble after that. We just laughed about it. He was supportive in all that we did. I remember I had a mat that I would practice gymnastics on, and I would work on my back handspring, and he was supposedly my spotter, but he would flip me so hard I would land on my neck, and I would still get up and do it all over again. I don’t know how I never broke my neck. He loved playing pool and would bring home big trophies (My mom’s favorite nights). He was my travel partner, and we would travel wherever the boys were playing to watch their games. My boys’ memories were him supporting them in their sports.

Grandpa loved baseball, especially the Braves, so Pedro would take him to the Diamondbacks games when they played the Braves. Dad loved boxing, so Pedro would make sure he kept him up to date with all of them and made sure he had a place to watch them. Angel remembers every morning; he would get up and read the scriptures. He made us laugh pretty easily, was a hard worker, thrifty with his hands, and always had a firm handshake. Thomas remembers grandpa taking care of him and how grandpa took him to his first day of Head Start, and he did not want to go, and Thomas was holding on to the steering wheel so tight, screaming and crying, so grandpa just took him back home because he didn’t want the cops called thinking he was kidnapping him. Another was when they were watching the train and grandpa was driving, and he didn’t notice the Railroad crossing bars were down till the last minute, and he slammed his break and gave them both whiplash then they just looked at each other and started laughing.

Elvira- I want to share some of my family’s unforgettable memories of my daddy. I remember as a child, I would be so excited for him to get home from work as I would meet him in the driveway and hang on to his leg as he would drag me in the house. It then became the neighborhood thing Aaron and Gary would join, and I was a little jealous to share my dad. I then became old enough to drive, so one day, he took me out to the farm roads to teach me how to drive standard I remember trying to go up a hill, and the truck would stall, and he would get so upset, but I learned, I guess that was his point of never giving up (life lesson). I then started having children, and he continued to be that amazing person to my children. AJ remembers when he was four years old being on the tractor with him and them crashing into a ditch and laughing together about it. Shawntia remembers his great babysitting skills. He would let her do whatever she wanted. She was the first girl grandchild born, so she was his little princess. Shawnise’s memory of her grandpa was always tickling her, playing boxing with her, and taking Jayleon and her for a ride around town. Then he became a great-grandfather, and he continued to be the best. Elijah remembers his grandpa Pedro being funny, letting him see his sword, playing in the truck together, and climbing the tree. These memories are just a few; we came up with a lot more, but we had to sum it up, or else we would be here forever. All these memories define my daddy as a good-hearted and selfless person who loved his family. I was so blessed to have a daddy like him. We will remember him through the countless memories he left behind.

Mariana- My memories with dad are that he would never hesitate to practice my pitching. Tractor rides were my favorite, and I would love to take him lunch with my mom because I knew that I would get to ride the tractor for a little bit. I remember I had a daddy-daughter activity for the church that we went to, and one of the activities was where the dads had to stick their feet under a divider, and we had to see if we knew which foot was our dads. And my dad and I were laughing because we were the only dark ones there, and he would tease me that I wasn’t going to choose the right one. He would always tell me he wasn’t going to be here to watch me get married, and he walked me down the aisle in 2009; then it changed to that he was never going to meet my kids. He babysat every single one of them and even learned to change diapers. Johnnys memories of my dad he said most were private, but he said he always felt welcomed and loved learning new skills from him. Some of my best memories were watching him with our kids. They brought so much joy to him even until the very last day. He was at every one of JayLeon's games he could be at, and if he wasn’t there. He would be calling and asking how the game went. JayLeon's remembers when grandpa would wait for him to get off the bus, and they would walk across the street to watch an EAC baseball or softball game. Grandpa would buy him popcorn and a drink. Another memory is grandpa dancing; JayLeon would pretend that he was throwing money at him, and he would dance even more.

JayLeon and Jaeda remember the day we got sealed in the temple. In November of 2015, Johnny and I were sealed, and I was able to be sealed to my parents on the same day. So, I always tease my sisters that he’s my dad forever. Janaeya and the twins’ memories are that he was always fun, and he would do this rhyme with them, and it would start on their hand it would end with them being tickled, and when they would hurry and beat him to his recliner then, he would throw them off to the other couch. I’ll never forget the love my dad had for each one of us. No matter what kind of trouble we were in, we never did anything wrong in daddy's eyes. He loved us through the good and the bad. And he was like that with everyone never judged.

This last year we have watched our dad decline in health. His blood work and everything would come out fine. They never could find anything wrong. Then almost exactly two months ago, we took him to the ER because we thought he was having a stroke, and that is when they found a fast-growing tumor in his cerebellum where balance and coordination are located. We saw a Neurologist, and he was sure that it was cancer. We had the option of surgery, but with his age and COVID, we did not want to put him through that alone. So as a family with him, we talked about it, and he told us he wanted to stay home. So, we fulfilled his wish and my mom stepped away from some of her jobs to be able to care for him. Sandra and Kurt handicapped his whole room and bathroom. My mom had him so spoiled and so clean. He even had a bell next to him and he would ring it when he needed something. She would drop everything and run to see what he needed, even if it meant burning her toast and smoking the whole house out. They had a routine going and he knew exactly what time breakfast was or what time his eye drops were supposed to be given and my mom couldn’t be one minute too late because we would never hear the end of it. We loved spending the last months with him at home crying and laughing. We made the best of it and are so thankful that we were able to care for him. He passed away peacefully with us by his side on October 5. We know he’s in a better place, and we know that he is free from his headaches. We’re blessed for the time we had with him on this earth. His sweet spirit will be deeply missed. We love you, daddy!

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Pete Hortelano, please visit our flower store.


I met Pete when he was farming down here in Bryce, one day he killed a rattle snake, I picked it up by the tail and it struck at me'''' but it didn't have a head''' scared the crap out of me''' Needless to say Pete laughed his butt off''' I did too''' Great Man'''

AL R SMITH Oct 18 2021 5:41 PM

So sorry for your loss prayers for you and the family

Anthony bonilla Oct 14 2021 3:12 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Pete Hortelano

Lesli m Berryhill Oct 14 2021 2:02 PM

Los accompaneamos en su pesar Dios les de consuelo .

Esela y Rene Molinar Oct 12 2021 3:54 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Pete Hortelano

Estela and Rene Molinar Oct 12 2021 3:52 PM

So sorry for you loss

Edee Teague-Smith Oct 10 2021 9:30 AM

Nuestro mas sentido pesame, a toda la familia, Dios le de Fortaleza. 🙏❤️

Delgado Family Oct 9 2021 2:42 AM

Our Condolences to the family. Prayers to all. May he Rest In Peace. From Poncho Terrazas and The Nabor's.

Raquel Nabor Oct 8 2021 11:01 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Pete Hortelano

Tammy Bejarano Oct 8 2021 10:35 AM

My condolences to the family. Pedro was a great man and left many memories!!

Renae Maldonado Oct 8 2021 12:49 AM

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