Cover photo for Willie Ernest Apodaca's Obituary
Willie Ernest Apodaca Profile Photo

Willie Ernest Apodaca

d. March 31, 2020

1951 ~ 2020

Willie Ernest Apodaca passed on March 26, 2020 surrounded by his family. He fought valiantly against Interstitial Lung disease in his final years. He died due to progressive lung failure. Willie went home to his eternal reward. His family celebrates with him in his healthy brand-new body.

Willie was born August 3, 1951 in Riverton, WY. He was the second of five siblings to his parents, Macario Cristobal Apodaca and Antonia Josefina Martinez Apodaca. He grew up in his hometown. He earned letters in academics and was an accomplished athlete in multiple sports prior to graduating from Riverton High School in 1970. He then attended the University of Wyoming.

He married Kathleen Eve Johnson on January 26, 1972. During 48 years of marriage, they welcomed three children.

Willie's work ethic was an intrinsic part of his personality. After college, he managed a pizza parlor and later a barbecue restaurant. Willie spent the majority of his career working for Pacificorp, beginning at the Dave Johnston Power Plant in Glenrock, WY in 1977. In 2003, Willie and family moved to Taylorsville, UT where he worked for Pacificorp as an Outage Scheduler Planner in the Engineering Department. Before he retired, he transferred to Lakeside, a Gas-Fired Power plant near Draper, UT. After retiring, he worked as a contract employee for Empower in various Pacificorp plants in Wyoming and Utah. After he "flunked retirement" twice, he went to work for Laron Incorporated until being forced to finally retire when his health struggles required him to go on oxygen in June, 2019.

Beginning in his youth he enjoyed fishing, hiking, and camping in the mountains of Wyoming. Along with his father-in-law, Myron Johnson, Willie took much joy in passing his love of the outdoors on to his children. Willie was also extremely active in his community notably coaching his sons in multiple sports and serving in the Boys Scouts of America as Cubmaster then Scoutmaster in Glenrock. He was also a member of the Converse County Search and Rescue, as well as serving multiple terms on the Converse County Library Board and the Glenrock Recreation Planning Board.

Willie is survived by his wife and children: William Ernest Apodaca (Heather) of Waxhaw, NC, Joseph Carl Apodaca of Taylorsville, UT, and Caroline Marjorie Apodaca of Taylorsville, UT , his 4 siblings: Max Apodaca Jr(Jane) of Las Vegas, NM, Ray Apodaca(Carla) and Isabel Hoenes(Chuck) of Riverton, WY, and Jose Apodaca of Albuquerque, NM; 8 grandchildren: William Apodaca III, Kolu Apodaca, Christoper Apodaca, Patience Apodaca, Zinnah Apodaca, Afton Brauda (Jonathan) and Macario Apodaca of Waxhaw, NC, Savannah Apodaca of Taylorsville, UT and 1 great grandchild: Ayden Apodaca of Waxhaw, NC.

He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents, nephews: Christopher Brooks Apodaca and Tyler Ray Apodaca; Maternal Aunt Bessie Martinez.; Paternal Uncles: Rudy, David, Willie and Alfred Apodaca; Paternal Aunts Viola Trujillo Vigil, Celina Apodaca Vigil and Uncle Joe Vigil; Cousins: Carla Apodaca, Carlos Apodaca, Faith Apodaca, Shauna Martinez, and Gloria Apodaca Boyd.
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