Mr. Avila was born Dec. 21, 1921, in Southern California and moved to Tracy as a child, attending New Jerusalem and Banta elementary schools and Tracy High School. He later earned his diploma in 1968.
He served as a corporal in the U.S. Army’s 779th Tank Battalion in the Philippines and was a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars.
After World War II, he worked 42 years as a purchasing agent for Southern Pacific, first in Tracy and then in Watsonville.
Mr. Avila also played baseball in Tracy in the 1940s and 1950s and played one year of professional ball as a pitcher for the Stockton Ports.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Antonia Avila of Watsonville; seven children, Rose Avila of Reno, Danny Avila of Salinas, Maryanne Jones, and her husband, Brian, of Aptos and Andrea “Andi” Dean, and her husband, Wayne, Evelyn “Evie” Borrego, and her husband, Jim, Tom Avila, and his wife, Virginia, and Suzanne Avila, all of Watsonville; two sisters, Delia Lara of Tracy and Adeline Johnson of Turlock; 12 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Phillip and Juanita Avila; his brother, Alfred Avila; and two sisters, Lydia Flores and Nellie Ovalle.
Friday’s Mass will begin at 10 a.m. at Our Lady Help of Christians Valley Catholic Church, 2401 E. Lake Ave. Burial will follow in Pajaro Valley Memorial Park, 127 Hecker Pass Road. Arrangements will be handled by Mehl’s Colonial Chapel, 222 E. Lake Ave., in Watsonville.