Juan Manuel Valadez Alcantar
Juan Manuel Valadez Alcantar died in a Guadalajara hospital Thursday, October 29, at age 74.
Valadez was born in Chapala on September 30, 1941, the son of Pedro Valadez and Aurelia Alcantar. As a young man he opened Chapala’s very first real estate office in partnership with Humberto Anaya. He later took over management of the Chapala Haciendas Hotel, a place where he made friends with many expat residents of the era and rubbed elbows with famed Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez when he was still an up-and-coming entertainer and the incomparable Ranchero artist Chavela Vargas as she came into the height of her career.
In the early 1960’s he took up residence in Santa Barbara California where he was employed as a chef by the popular Thrifty’s Drug Store chain. He returned to Chapala following a horrific automobile accident that left him scarred with life-long physical disabilities.
He is remembered as a down to earth man who relished living the simple life of a Mexican country gentleman and innate bon-vivant. His joyous spirit and passionate appreciation for the culture and customs of his native land were contagious characteristics generously shared with family and a wide circle of friends.
Valadez is survived by Dinah DeVry, his long-time friend and devoted life partner of the last ten years, sisters Filomena, Concha and Elodia, daughters Martha Angelica, Aurelia and Carmen Lucia, and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by former wives Louisa Peters and Aurelia Beltrán, and son Juan Manuel.
Following a funeral Mass held October 30 at Chapala’s Capilla del Carmen in Chapala, his remains were cremated for interment at the family burial plot in the local cemetery.