Florencio T. “Sammy” Arciniega, Jr.
Our most merciful and loving Lord God took our beloved husband, father, son, brother, Tata and friend. He departed peacefully at home among his loving family, on January 19, 2012, after a courageous battle against cancer. Sammy was born November 4, 1949 to Florencio T. Arciniega, Sr. and Teresa A. Arciniega of Douglas, AZ. He was a resident of Douglas for most of his life. Sammy graduated from Douglas High School in 1969 and in February of 1970 he joined the U.S. Navy. He successfully completed his boot camp training in San Diego, CA. He was later assigned sea duty on the U.S.S. Bainbridge DLGN-25. His battle station was at the forward 5” gun mount as the breech loader. The ship was assigned duty off the coastal waters of Viet Nam. Sammy was honorably discharged. During his service he was awarded the National Defense Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal with bronze cluster, Meritorious Unit Citation and the Presidential Unit Citation for commendable service. Sammy returned to Douglas and attended Cochise College. Completing his studies there he went on to ASU and graduated with a BA in Criminal Justice in 1975. While at the University he became involved with the Native American movement. During the fourth of July Parade he was given the honor of escorting the Grand Marshall who was the father of Ira Hays the World War II hero of Iwo Jima. He was a Correctional Officer at the Long Beach Correctional Facility and the Lon Poc Correctional Facility in California. He returned to Douglas and was hired as a JAG (Jobs for Arizona Graduates) counselor. He very much enjoyed teaching high school students. Sammy was employed at Fort Huachuca with Personnel Civilian Recourses. After thirty years of faithful service, he retired. Sammy was a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve later transferring to the U.S. Army Reserve and was honorably discharged. Sammy was a member of St. Luke’s Parish, and as a young boy, served as alter boy. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Fred Hilburn Post 11 and marched with the legendary Drum and Bugle Corp. He served many post positions and was a member of the Honor Guard. He was a Scout Master for troop 426 of Post 11. Sammy was also a member of the VFW and served many post positions there as well. He and his wife Martha were very involved in the organizations and fundraisers to erect the beautiful Douglas Veterans Memorial dedicated in 2000. Sammy’s family knew him as a great Patriot who loved his family and this great country. They were proud that he was an outspoken advocate or the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Sammy was preceded in death by his father Florencio and two older brothers, Luis and David. He is survived by Martha, his wife of 25 years, his mother and his four children, Mary Francis (Ruben), Samantha M., Florencio T.III, and Michael A. He is also survived by two brothers, Francisco (Sandra) Geronimo (Lorraine) and many nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts and cousins. Sammy has been blessed with 15 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter. We are all grateful to Sammy. He left us a guiding path to our Lord Jesus Christ. We will miss him dearly. Adios Sammy our beloved “Tumbleweed Chaser.” A Rosary will be recited by Deacon Gonzales in joyous celebration at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Pirtleville. A Mass of the Resurrection will be offered at 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at St Luke’s Catholic Church with Fr. Arnold Noriega officiating. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery with full military honors by the American Legion Post 11 and the U.S. Navy Honor Guard. The American Legion Riders will escort their fallen comrade. Pallbearers who will serve are: Florencio T. Arciniega III, Michael A. Arciniega, Mark R. Arciniega, Pablo E. Arciniega, Joel Lopez and I-Ric T. Posey. Honorary Pallbearers will be: Francisco Arciniega, Geronimo Arciniega, Geronimo Arciniega, Jr., Teresa M. Noe Arciniega, Jamie Lason, Rene Gonzales and Sergio R. Mendez.
Brown Page Mortuary is in charge of arrangements, 364-3434