Cover photo for Epifanio "Jr." Padilla Jr.'s Obituary
Epifanio "Jr." Padilla Jr. Profile Photo
1931 Epifanio "Jr." 2021

Epifanio "Jr." Padilla Jr.

September 27, 1931 — July 2, 2021

Epifanio Padilla Jr, known to all as “Jr.” was born September 27, 1931 in Albuquerque NM and left us on July 2, 2021 at his Moriarty home. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Annette, affectionately known to him as ‘Blondie’. Jr. was preceded in death by his parents Epifanio and Lasarita, brothers Carmel and Alonzo Padilla, sisters Pauline Chavez, Eutimia ‘Timi’ Lucero and Dorothy Garcia. Jr and Blondie have four children, Johnny and wife Donnette Padilla, of McIntosh, Robert and wife Gretta Padilla of Moriarty, Wendy and husband Gilbert Montez of Albuquerque, Paul and wife Linda Padilla of Rio Rancho. They have 10 grandchildren 17 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. Jr. spent his early childhood in the Los Padillas area and at 5 went to live with his beloved aunt and uncle, Elsie (his mother’s sister) and Andres Montoya. He remembered those years fondly and told stories of living in the tiny community of Chloride NM for a time. Jr. met the love of his life at an Albuquerque birthday party in 1947 and never looked back. They dated when she turned 16 and planned to marry after Annette finished high school. Jr. was drafted in 1952 and served in Korea until the end of the war as a part of the 58th Engineer Floating Bridge Company. Immediately after his time in the service, on October 31, 1953, Blondie and Jr. were married. He got a job working for Hedges Oil, who had a chain of NM gas stations and became invaluable to the company. He ran a series of locations through the 50s and early 60s, all but one along Route 66. Albuquerque, Gallup, Tijeras and finally Edgewood. The large arrow on the top of the hill located just before the Edgewood exit pointed to what was initially a Hedge’s location and then became the first “Jr’s Service Station”. Construction of I-40 forced Jr to find a new place, moving briefly to a small place a couple of miles west, but ultimately landing in the familiar Moriarty location in 1969. The changing times in the 70s led to Jr dropping the gasoline and focusing on tires and auto parts and so it became “Jr’s Tire and Auto Parts” as we all know it today, still in operation and owned by Robert Padilla. In the words of Will Rogers, Jr never met a man he didn’t like. All who met him came away feeling they had a new friend. And they did. Warm, capable and extremely quick witted, he made a lasting impression on the world. Everyone knows Jr. The stories of his generosity are endless. He always believed in honesty and integrity, regardless of whether you get the same in return. Many a time, a knock would come in the night, someone desperately needed gas, or had a flat tire and he would invariably go out to help them. You could count on Jr. On the day he left us the heavens opened up and poured down the biggest rainstorm Moriarty has seen in years, leaving behind a beautiful rainbow for all to see. Jr has left the building. A Memorial Service is scheduled for Sunday, July 18th at 3:00 P.M. at the Moriarty Lions Club Hall. A potluck reception will immediately follow. Arrangements were entrusted to Harris Hanlon Mortuary in Moriarty, New Mexico.
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