Vicente Roberto Abeyta was a strong and quiet man who was deeply faceted. More than that, he was rich with people that loved and respected the characteristics that were reflected on each of these facets. During his life Vince had been a sailor, a beau, a lineman for the county, a skilled gambler, an urban gardener, a cowboy, a grandfather, and always, always a beloved husband, father and friend. Regardless of the facet that was being viewed, Dad’s loyalty, charity, integrity and obvious love of life, family and friends were apparent.
Our father was also a proud man: proud of his heritage, proud of his country, proud of his family, and proud of his achievements. But within this deep reservoir of pride he was never prideful. He served on the USS Hoel in 1944, while still in his teens, and was there when the destroyer was sunk killing all but a 86 of it’s sailors, who were then left adrift in the ocean for another two days where even more of the men perished. To anyone who heard the story he would rightly be considered a war hero, yet he never shared these stories with his children or even his wife until very late in his life. In this same way there was never a time when his family heard him compare himself to others in a boastful way. Instead he was always quiet; commanding respect without having to ask for it and drawing that same level of respect to him simply by his actions and through his deep-seated integrity.
Dad was always strong in his faith and openhanded with his charity. Gifts and loans were generous, and assistance with any project was there for the asking. With his family all needs were met unquestioningly, but handouts were not given because that’s not the way one learns life lessons, and it was important to him that we learned to stand on our own. We did. As Ben has so eloquently put it, “A challenge then. A blessing now.”
While Dad was quiet, he was never cold. There was always a very warm, very loving heart in this man that would peak out at unexpected moments: his nightly ritual of goodnight kisses for Mom as he headed off to bed, a cache of love letters from a sailor to his wife, a special dinner out as a birthday or Confirmation treat for his children, a side trip to the Painted Desert on a family excursion to Albuquerque, brand new bicycles on Christmas morning, hand picked and cut Christmas trees that gifted the family with holiday cheer, a special tomb for a beloved pet under the tangerine tree. In short, Dad was a man of few words, but his smile and his actions bespoke volumes about love, charity, loyalty and friendship. For every word he reserved there are a thousand on the tongues of his friends and family that bespeak this quiet hero, and sing of the qualities of the exceptional man we have all been fortunate enough to have had in our lives.
Vaya con Dios Vicente.
A memorial service for Vicente will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 23, 2012 at Menke Funeral Home Chapel, 12420 N. 103rd Ave., Sun City, AZ. Please visit www.menkefuneralhome.com to share memories and leave condolences for the familyPrint Obituary & Condolences