Manuel Aja Jr.

Manuel Aja Jr. was born May 25, 1928 in Seligman, Ariz., to Manuel and Matilda Aja. Manuel passed away July 24, 2014, at his home in Cahone, Colo., with his family by his side. He was laid to rest in the Cahone cemetery. A family celebration of life was held on July 26.

His youth was spent working on the family sheep ranch in Williams and Glendale, Ariz. Manuel proved his love for football by, as his father said, “Learn to work before you play.” Manuel attended Arizona State University for four years, where he loved to play football. While in college he found the love of his life, Dona Mae Lovitt who he married on Dec. 8, 1951.

Manuel proudly served in the Navy and was honorably discharged with a back injury. He and Dona bought a farm in Buckeye, where they both proudly raised their four children. Manuel treated each one of his children as individuals and expected them to always follow the right path in their own way. He also did custom hay farming with his son in-law Bill.

In 1984 Manuel and Dona sold their farm in Buckeye and bought Dona’s parents, Willard and Viola Lovitt’s family farm in Cahone Colo., where he and Dona farmed until they retired.

He loved the Lord and led a Christian life being baptized in 1975 and attending church in both Buckeye and Cahone.

Manuel loved the outdoors. He would walk the canyons counting the days until hunting season when he could share all the best places to hunt with his family and special friends. There were many great memories made during hunting season.

Manuel is survived by his wife Dona of 62 years of marriage; his daughters Pam Aja Lanford, Paula Newby and husband Rick, Trina Rains and son Manuel and wife Lucinda. He had seven grandchildren: Jamie Daniels, Meredith Mauk and husband Nick, Davey Kerr and wife Stephanie, Devin Newby and girlfriend Erika, Will Aja, Kristin Misiak and husband Chris and Matthew Rains and wife Sylvia. He had five great-granddaughters: Taryn, Maesyn, Baylie, Lakyn and Hyder. Sisters Julia Echeverria and Virginia Youngker and husband Chuck, sister in law Irene Aja, brothers Robert and wife Sherry, Benny and wife Herbie and brother – in laws Cloyd Lovitt and wife Lavina and Bob Lovitt and wife Colleen as well as nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends.

Proceeded in death by parents Manuel and Matilda Aja, son in law Bill Lanford, his brother Bass, brother in law Phillip Echeverria and niece Debbie Lynn Aja.

Donations may be made to Hospice of Montezuma, P.O. Drawer 740, Cortez, CO 81321.