Manuel Olivarez

September 11, 1932 ~ April 28, 2018 (age 85)
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Manuel (Manny) Olivarez passed away at The Cottage in the Meadow in Yakima, Washington on Saturday, April 28, 2018.  He was born on September 11, 1932 in Welasco, Texas to Jenaro Olivarez and Natalia Olivarez Ramirez.  When Manuel was fourteen, his family migrated to Washington’s Yakima Valley where they worked as farm laborers.  As a young man, he served in the National Guard and then returned to the Yakima Valley to haul crops for his eldest brother, Juan Agular.

He met his future wife, Velma Sue Adcock, in 1956 while trucking crops in the Prosser area.  After a brief courtship, they married and lived in Sunnyside, Washington until late 1959.  They then moved to Fresno, California where Manuel joined his brother, Gilbert, as a road construction laborer.  The couple’s three children were all born in Fresno: Dwight Jeffrey on September 14, 1960, Cynthia Lavonne on February 4, 1963, and Lisa Ann on February 25, 1964.

In 1965, the couple returned to Sunnyside and for a short time owned and operated a Mexican café.  They separated in 1966 and Manuel returned to Fresno to join his brothers in the construction industry.  While in Fresno, he also proudly served as an Auxiliary Reserve Officer for the Fresno Police Department and had many adventures working part-time as a security guard.  He particularly enjoyed working special events and concerts.

Manuel had a deep love for his large and extensive family.  He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Juan Agular, Sr., Donacina (Chana) Flores, Olivia Salinas, and Johnny Olivarez.  He is survived by his children Jeff Olivarez, Cyndi Drollinger, Lisa Slabach, and five grandchildren.  He is also survived by siblings Gilbert Olivarez, Abel Olivarez, Isabel Fernandez, Josefina Olivarez, over one hundred-fifty nieces and nephews and numerous cousins in Cuidad Valles and Mexico City, Mexico. 

Memorial Mass will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sunnyside, WA.  Those wishing to sign Manuel’s online memorial book may do so at   Smith Funeral Home in care of arrangements 

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