Raul M. Cota, 82, of Phoenix, AZ, peacefully passed away in the early hours of December 19, 2007. His overwhelming warmth and love kept his family near to him in the last days of his life. He was born on January 8, 1925 in Burbank, California to Ramona Mendoza Cota and Jesus Valenzuela Cota, and was the eldest of five children. At age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and proudly served his country in WWII in the Philippines. Shortly before his death, he generously shared his priceless experiences as a Mexican-American soldier for a Hispanic historical project. An entrepreneur, he owned Arizona Terrazzo, a specialized flooring company for over 25 years. Although a hardworking business owner, his family always came first. He left his children with enumerable memories of the many trips, family parties, and of his remarkable sense of humor. He was a dedicated family man, an avid sports fan, and an animal lover. He is survived by three siblings, Dora and husband Tony Gardella, Pete Cota and wife Lucy, and Lupe Moreno and wife Frances, his four children, Olivia Duarte, Rose Cota, Ophelia McNeill, David F. Cota, and spouses. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and another on the way. Services will be held Friday, December 21st, at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1954 North 24th Street. Rosary will be said at 10:30 A.M. followed by Funeral Mass at 11:00 A.M. Interment will be at St. Francis Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home.
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