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Fred, was born February 17th, 1931 in Dawson NM, passing October 24, 2022. Fred is survived by Mary (Reyes) Muñoz, his children Dolores, Steven, Becky, Lisa, Johnny, Helen, Robert, Debbie, 4 sisters, a brother and many grandchildren. He was preceded in death by Paula, his youngest daughter, mother Jennie Padilla, father Enrique Muñoz and grandfather Pablo Armendariz, who raised him.
A Memorial to Celebrate His Life will be held on November 19, 2022 at the American Postal Workers Union (401 Kinley Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102) from 1 – 5 pm. A Private Family Service will be held at the Santa Fe National Cemetery with full military honors.
Dawson was a booming coal mining town and at one time became the largest populated city in NM. The city had some opportunity, but Fred would look elsewhere, and even with its charm, left Dawson. Fred enlisted in the Air Force in 1949, he became a world traveler having been based in New Mexico, Texas, Vietnam, Japan, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. A major part of his military career was as an aircraft mechanic which included installing propellers. He was later promoted as an instructor to train all the newly enlisted mechanics.
After proudly serving 21 years, Fred retired having achieved the Rank of Master Sergeant. In July of 1970, he packed up his family from Pease AFB, and moved back to Albuquerque where he soon opened Fred’s Exxon. After many years there, he built a successful business and was well liked in the community. While there, he met Dr. Tom Borden, a man who would become one of his many good lifelong friends. Soon after meeting Tom, they started hunting and fishing together, which turned into a passion for him. He would sneak off to Mexico and many parts of the States including, Alaska, with his favorite being in the Quemado Lake area. This is where he also met another couple of lifelong friends, Pete and his brother, Johnny Hildago who were from Aragon NM. Many years and some great hunts ensued and it was during one of these hunts that Pete coined Fred’s nickname as “Fast Freddie". While Pete was driving them to a hunting area, they drove into a herd of deer with Fred remarking “wow look at that big elk!!” It turned out to be a trophy Mule deer instead. Realizing this Pete stopped and told Fred to “get out get out”. While trying to get out Fred got stuck, at one-point Pete used his feet to push him out. Well, it took too long and the deer was gone. They talked and laughed about that incident along with many others for years to come. Many good times were had together. Fred liked that area so much that when Exxon pulled out of Albuquerque he moved to Quemado NM to open up Fred’s Chevron. He was now living close to his favorite hunting and fishing grounds. While there, he also met another lifelong friend Ferm Evans. They were soon out hunting and fishing together. While living in Quemado, he once said the weather was so cold there, that he would put his jacket on in September and take it off in March. He really enjoyed bringing family and friends, to go hunt, fish and camp. This was the beginning of having large gatherings. He enjoyed sitting by the fire visiting, eating great food with family and friends. After many years working and living there, it was time to thaw out and warm up that body of his. His friend Ferm was now living in Elephant Butte and encouraged him to move there.
Fred drove down, found a cozy place to live, officially retired and packed up once again. He made the move to rest his bones and did this by relaxing in his boat trolling for that elusive big fish. Happy to be there, he had thawed out from the cold temperatures and it suited him well. His new place brought the family and friends to go play at the Butte, which was done throughout the long weekends of summer; sometimes having groups of 40 or more enjoying amazing get togethers. As the years passed health issues slowed up Fast Freddie, but his mind stayed sharp as ever. Before he left us, he asked that we continue to get together with our family and friends as often as possible; as this would be part of his Legacy.
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