Raul Bustamante

October 11, 1920 ~ June 20, 2022 (age 101)

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Raul Bustamante was born Trinidad Cota on October 11, 1920 in Hermosillo, Mexico. Before his first birthday he moved to Phoenix, AZ with his birth mother, Ignacia Cota, and his older brother Jesus. Due to both of their early deaths, Trinidad lost all ties to his family in Mexico, but he was left with the knowledge of two sisters who were left in a convent in Mexico. While residing in an orphanage in Phoenix, Trinidad was taken in by Eutemia Aguirre Bustamante and her spouse Don Enrique Bustamante. He was given the name and the birth documents of their deceased son of the same age, Raul Bustamante.                              ·

Raul survived his sweet wife of 75 years, Georgia Hernandez Bustamante, and his loving eldest son, Raul H. Bustamante. Raul is now survived by his daughter Frances Villalobos (Henry), daughter Lydia Mohr (Paul), son Jimmy Bustamante (Sharon), daughter Rose Jeffery (Phil) and son Gregory Bustamante. Raul has 16 grand-children, 23 great grand-children and 4 great, great grand-children.

Raul joined the U. S. Army in 1941 to 1945, serving for 3 years as an Engineer Basic, truck driver, and Pioneer. He initially was stationed in Hawaii and is a Pearl Harbor survivor. He continued on to serve in the Philippines and Australia. Upon returning home, Raul became a U. S. citizen, married Georgia in 1944, and spent his last year of military service at a POW containment camp in Phoenix as a Military Police Officer.

Raul lived most of his life on the same property on 18th St. and Jackson in Phoenix. He would begin working across the street at "the Co-op" when he was just a boy, and continued to work there throughout his adult life as a salesman. Raul worked a few years for the Phoenix Elementary School system as a custodian. Eventually, Raul took his part-time, self-employed upholstery business (La Cabana) and successfully maintained it for many years until his retirement. Raul spent his last 30 years living in Tempe, AZ to live close to his children.

Raul had a variety of skills, talents and virtues. Raul was brave and a true Christian who would put his life in jeopardy to save a stranger. He was generous and empathetic; always ready to help someone with "a few bucks". Family and friends found good advise and non-judgmental counseling with Raul.

He was faithful in prayer every night before bedtime and frequently spoke and showed his love for Jesus and Mary. Raul loved nature and especially loved animals; forming very close relationships with a variety of pets. Raul was an artist and problem-solver who could make anything he set his mind to make (like the house we grew up in). He had a wonderful singing voice and played ukulele, he was an expert whistler and enjoyed dancing. He could draw well and was a wood carver. He was a storyteller who loved to laugh and "shoot the breeze" with friends and family; telling jokes and just being genuinely funny. Raul was an athlete; a boxer, and loved competition, exercise and weightlifting. He earned an advance belt in Judo and was a strong diver ,and swimmer who could catch fish with a spear or his bare hands. He valued healthy eating, juicing vegetables and was a good cook. Raul was a strict, but loving and playful dad, and was very affectionate with his family.

Raul was handsome and charismatic and despite all his virtues, talents and "swag" you could frequently hear him call himself a "regular guy". And maybe he was just a "regular guy", but to his children he will always be remembered as a superhero. Daddy, thank you for helping us feel protected and safe, and for taking good care of us. Thank you for teaching us to be hard-working, creative and responsible, and to love God, family and friends. We love you Daddy.   Private family services will be held.  Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the Bustamante family.              

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