Gilbert Loya Jr., 90, passed away on January 24, 2022, surrounded by his beloved wife and daughters.
Gilbert (Gil) was born in El Paso, Texas on October 18, 1931 to Gilberto Sr. and Ramona (Quesada) Loya. He attended Ysleta High School, graduating in 1950 in the top 10 of his class. He was a member of the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. He was the quarterback on the football team.
He attended the Texas College of Mines (now University of Texas at El Paso) and graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering. He was active in the Sigma Gamma Epsilon Society and Alpha Phi Omega. He went through ROTC and was in the Army Reserve where he reached the rank of Captain. He also pitched for a semi pro baseball team, the Ysleta Aztecs where he was known as Lefty Loya.
After graduation he married Josephine (Josie) Nunez, of Socorro, Texas on May 29, 1955 at the Socorro Mission – La Purisima Catholic Church. They were married for 66 years and had three daughters, Cynthia, Patricia and Angela.
Later that year Gil and Josie moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he began his lifelong career with Phillips Petroleum Company. He started in the Metallurgical group and moved on to work in several different areas. When in the International Group he moved his family to Sydney, Australia and Caracas, Venezuela. Where they made lifelong friends. He returned to Bartlesville to work in Data Base Management and completed his career in Houston, Texas where he was the IT Manager for the Eastern Division.
While living in Bartlesville Gil and Josie also took on the challenge of restoring, as their home, the original Bartlesville Country Club, built in 1911. He loved that house, it was his special refuge for many years.
After 33 years Gil retired and joined Josie in her antique business. He refinished and restored antiques and they sold them at various antique shows. They belonged to the Washington County Antique & Collectibles Association and enjoyed spending time at Linger Longer in Dewey.
Gil loved to travel and had many opportunities throughout his life. As part of the Hispanic Energy Forum, he was invited to a White House luncheon in 1984 with President Ronald Reagan. He also had the opportunity to travel to Greece, Singapore, New Zealand, Libya, Curacao, Norway, Columbia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico. As part of the Jaycees he was a JCI ambassador to the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. For 25 years Gil and Josie traveled throughout the United States for a yearly reunion with a special group of friends from the Jaycees.
Gil served his church as a member of the Rosarians, Homebound Ministry and Knights of Columbus. Gil and Josie belong to a monthly gourmet group and a Friday night supper club. For many years Gil enjoyed his membership in a local investment club.
Gil is survived by his wife, Josie, his daughters Cindy Loya of Houston, Texas, Pat Thrower of Oklahoma City and Angela Copley and her husband Rik of Cedar Park, Texas, his grandchildren Mitch Thrower and wife Allison of Edmond, Oklahoma and Julianne Thrower of Plano, Texas. He is also survived by a special cousin Frank Loya of Ruidoso, New Mexico and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Elisario (Chayo) Loya and cousins Virginia Loy, Ruth Martinez and Bill Spann.
We are especially grateful to the healthcare workers we met at Elder Care, Ascension St. John Jane Phillips, Heritage Villa, St. Francis Hospital, Tulsa and to Juli Merciez, RN, BSN. We have a new appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
A friend described Gil as quiet, very intelligent, and at the same time friendly and outgoing with a great sense of humor. He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.
Visitation will be held at Arnold Moore and Neekamp Funeral Home Sunday January 30 at 5:00 pm. The Rosary will follow at 6:00 pm. Mass will held at St John Before the Latin Gate Monday January 31 at 10:00 am. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Knights of Columbus Bartlesville Council #1302 (P.O. Box 94, Attn: Council 1302, Bartlesville, OK 74005) or to The Cottage (307 South Seneca Avenue, Bartlesville OK United States 74003).