Tony Valencia Jr., beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, friend, teacher, and coach passed away peacefully on September 21, 2019, in Socorro, N.M. at the age of 74.
Tony is preceded in death by his parents Tony and Sinforosa Valencia Sr.
Tony is survived by his wife, Lorraine “Cookie” Valencia, his three children Melissa Adams(Robert Adams), Tony “Moe” Valencia III, and Eric Valencia (Cathleen); 9 grandchildren Brandi (Kyle Curry), Kristin (Nathan Dail), Taylor, Alyssa, Hanna, Hayley, Evan, Elijah, and Avery; 3 great-grandchildren, Matthew, Anthony, and Makenna; and his 3 sisters Isabel Savedra, Frances Cases (Paul), and MaryAnn Valencia as well as many nephews, nieces, and friends.
Born in Socorro, N.M. on August 23, 1945 and from an early age Tony was a fixture within the community as he was often times seen alongside his father delivering laundry or at the ball fields. Tony graduated from Socorro High School in 1962 at the age of 16 and attended Highlands University on a basketball scholarship. From 1966-1972, Tony served in the Army National Guard. Also in 1966, Tony married the love of his life, Lorraine, and they soon settled down in Socorro.
Tony acquired the same passion for sports, teaching and family as his father and he dedicated his life towards them. Tony exuded an unmatched energy in all he did and wanted nothing more than to transfer his knowledge and enthusiasm to those around him.
Tony began his teaching career at Socorro Junior High in 1973. He began as a history teacher and soon moved into physical education. It was during this time that Tony began coaching Socorro’s youth. While he spent time coaching football, his true desire was basketball.
In 1987, Tony took over the head coaching position at Socorro High School. He built his teams on a foundation of hard work, discipline, community, accountability, and teamwork. During his first year, Valencia led the Warriors to their first state tournament appearance in more than 40 years, and the long-sought after walk down the ramp at The Pit, where they ultimately lost in the state championship game. The Warriors continued to be successful during his tenure until he retired from coaching in 1992 in order to spend more time with his family.
Tony retired from teaching in 2007 after more than 34 years of teaching, coaching, and serving his community. He will be missed by his family, friends, colleagues and students.
Tony was laid to rest on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. Services were at San Miguel Catholic Church, 403 El Camino Real, Socorro, N.M. The rosary was recited at 8:30 a.m. followed by a Mass. For more information or to send your condolences, please visit https://www.danielsfuneral.com.