Baker City, Oregon

Manuel Tarango, 80, of Baker City and a former longtime resident of Stanfield, Ariz., died Sept. 20, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

A memorial Mass for him will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Friday at the St. Elizabeth Health Care Center chapel, 3325 Pocahontas Road. The Rev. Robert C. Irwin will celebrate the Mass. Another memorial Mass will be celebrated Oct. 8 at Casa Grande, Ariz.

Manuel was born on June 2, 1924, at Fort Davis, Texas, to Encarnacion and Alejandra Magallanes Tarango. Manuel was raised and educated on the family cattle ranch at Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico. His family owned a store in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, where as a child he sold his eggs to a Chinese restaurant owner.

When a terrible drought hit the region, Manuel and his brother Eliseo decided to come back to the United States. They took on many farm labor jobs before settling at Stanfield, Ariz., where they picked cotton by hand in a migrant camp.

He met his wife of 53 years, Elena Morales, at Stanfield. There the two brothers raised their families together.
Until his retirement, Manuel worked for Martin Talla Farms, Lewis Johnson and John Wayne’s Cattle Feedlots.
He was “Tata” to everyone at Stanfield, especially to the several children he and Elena cared for. Manuel always had a pocketful of change for every child he came in contact with. He had a passion for gardening, target shooting, hunting and farming with his sons and daughter.

His generosity was expressed to all, even to strangers to whom he would give his new boots, new coat, and his wife’s favorite Mexican blankets. His family grew up hearing him recite poetry and singing Mexican ballads.

“We will miss ‘Papi,’ but rejoice with thanksgiving for the love, guidance, and compassion he shared with every one of us, family, friend or stranger,” his family members said.

Survivors include his wife, Elena Morales Tarango; sons, Hector, and his wife, Lynn, of Yakima, Wash., Carlos of Running Springs, Calif., and George and his wife, Bertha, of Queen Creek, Ariz.; his daughter, Ma’Lena Tarango Wirth and her husband, Karl, of Baker City; and his beloved daughter-in-law, Norma Tarango of Casa Grande, Ariz.; 10 grandchildren, David, Anthony, Alfredo, Stacy, Sarah, Beth, Brandon and Laura Tarango and Adam and Victoria Wirth; one great-grandson, David Jr. “D.J.” Tarango; numerous nieces and nephews; his brothers, Rafael and his wife, Gloria, and Father Carlos Tarango; one sister, Esperanza Serrano, and her husband, Sebastian.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Santana, Roberto, Jose, Reynaldo, Concepcion, and Eliseo; and one sister, Dolores Aguirre.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Elizabeth Health Care Center through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, September 24, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor