On Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, Joe Duarte Rios, beloved brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and friend, passed away at the age of 73 from complications related to COVID-19.
Joe was born on March 18, 1947 in Hayden, Arizona to Santiago and Angela Duarte Rios, their 12th child. A few years later, the family would be complete with a total of seven brothers
and seven sisters. He often told stories of a rough childhood, especially after losing his mother at a young age. However, he and his siblings always found a way to make sure everyone had enough.
Joe served his country honorably, enlisting during the Vietnam War and serving two tours. After returning from Vietnam, Joe married and started a family. He also started working at the Ray Mine where he would stay until retirement. After retiring, Joe served as an organizer for the United Steelworkers of America.
Outside of work, Joe was dedicated to his political views. He supported those in his family who held political office and served as a delegate to five Democratic National Conventions. Joe also donated his time to be a baseball coach for many years. It was obvious from his stories, which he told for decades, how much those teams and players meant to him. Joe loved hunting, horses, the outdoors, and had an obsession for classic cars. His creative talent allowed him to draw and paint impressive pictures. He also enjoyed playing the guitar and carving animals out of wood. Joe cherished old photos of his family, often spending hours on the computer making sure those images live on. Joe had a strong connection to his Catholic faith. For many years of retirement, he donated his time and effort to the church. Above all, Joe’s most meaningful passion was for his family. Whether it was a weekend or a holiday, he wanted to be at the house of a brother or sister, where he always looked forward to the next game of Trivial Pursuit. Christmas was always about time with family and then mass. His love for his family lives on in those who knew and loved him.
Joe was preceded in death by his father, Santiago, his mother, Angela, his brothers Manuel, Chente, Tony, Jimmy, and his sisters Helen, Maria, Carmen, Jenny, and Emmie.
Joe is survived by his brothers, Peter and Tommy; sisters, Ruth and Angelita; four children, Annette, Joe Jr., Kenny, and Danielle; 11 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, many other relatives, and Evangeline, to whom he was married for 37 years before they went their separate ways.
Services for Mr. Rios will be coordinated by Griffith Mortuary with Rosary at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 and funeral mass at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 300 Mountain View Dr. in Hayden, AZ. Interment will be held after the mass at Mountain View Cemetery in Hayden, AZ, with a gathering at the clubhouse of the Hayden Public Golf Course at 624 Golf Course Rd. to follow. To view Joe’s obituary or sign the virtual guestbook, visit http://www.griffithmortuary.com/obituary/joe-rios. Due to ongoing COVID-19 exposure concerns, masks will be required while indoors.
Griffith Mortuary is providing exceptional family service. 101 Johnston Dr., Kearny, AZ 85137. Ph. (520) 363-5353. GriffithMortuary.com.