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Louis "Louie" Rocha Menezes
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A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. today at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock for Louis "Louie" Rocha Menezes, 76, of Ceres. He died April 13, 2011 of cancer.

Burial will follow at Hills Ferry Cemetery District in Newman.

Born August 1934 on the Azores Island of Terceira, Louie came to Rhode Island in 1949 when he was just 15. To help support his family, he quit school and began working in a rubber boot factory. After saving some money, he traveled to California where he obtained a job in Gustine as a milker. He met Joyce Helen whom he married in 1957 and they began to save money to operate their own dairy. They succeeded in the late 1960s when they purchased land in the Westport area near Ceres. Louie was able to continue living in this home after his retirement and received his wish of dying there.

Louie and Joyce raised five children and continued to work together as a family doing all of the dairy and farm work themselves. Louie obtained his real estate license, served on the board of the Westport Fire Department, was a founding member of the California Oxen Association and was also a member of Our Lady of Miracles Society in Gustine. Louie always supported the Patterson Feast of the Holy Spirit Association, where he was a director. Mr. Menezes lost his wife of 46 years in 2003 and married Bernadette Xavier Menezes in 2005.

He leaves behind his wife, Bernadette Menezes; his five children, Jace Menezes of Modesto, Lane Menezes of Turlock, Suzie Doer of Kentucky, Father Wade Menezes, CPM, Fathers of Mercy of Kentucky, and Bret Menezes of Modesto; five siblings, Tina Lowicki of New Jersey, Mary Semoes of Massachusetts, Ernest Menezes of Texas, Manuel Menezes of Rhode Island, and Francis Menezes of Massachusetts; 13 grandchildren, Christopher Essman, Cameron Menezes, Jacey Menezes, Blake Menezes, Adam Menezes, Christian Menezes, Daniel Menezes, Taylor Menezes, Chloe Menezes, Kendall Doer, Jude Doer, Seth Doer and Natalie Menezes; and two great-grandchildren, Keary and Katie-Marie Essman. Preceding him in death were his first wife Joyce, brother Arthur Valadao and parents Luiz and Mary Menezes.

Remembrances may be sent to The Fathers of Mercy, 806 Shaker Museum Road, Auburn, KY 42206-9768; or to the Westport Firefighters Association Memorial Fund, 5160 S. Carpenter Road, Modesto CA 95358.

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-Ceres Courier/ April 20, 2011