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Emilio Saenz

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 15th, 2013

Emilio Saenz, 89, lontime resident of Atascadero, passed away Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. He was born in Barstow, Calif. to Emilio and Maria Saenz.

Emilio's fond childhood memories include playing with his brothers and friends in the Mojave desert and traveling to Chihuahua, Mexico, to visit cousins at the family ranch in the High Sierras and ride their spirited horses.

He worked as a steeple jack painter on the high steel beams that built metropolitan Los Angeles in the boom years following World War II.

Emilio married Mary Louise and they settled in San Bernardino, to raise three children. Emilio decided to change careers in the mid-1960s and moved the family to Salinas, while he worked at Soledad State Prison and pursued his teaching credential at San Jose State.

After graduation, he became a teacher at the prison and encouraged and helped inmates learn life-enhancing employable skills.

He transferred to California Men's Colony in the late 60s and settled in Atascadero on property where he could pursue his love of gardening and horseback riding.

Emilio was a well-read historian, talented artist, amazing storyteller and accomplished equestrian and sportsman.

He served for many years as a member of the San Luis County Sheriff's posse. He rode his beloved horse, Annie, in parades and participated in search and rescue missions throughout the county.

He enjoyed dancing, and through his membership in a dance club, met his late wife, Jane.

Emilio cherished his family and many wonderful friends. He participated in classes, breakfast clubs and philosophy discussions to exercise his active mind.

Emilio is survived by his daughter, Rose  (Max); sons Fred (Jan); and Luis (Peggy); granddaughter, Maria; brother, Rudy Saenz; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was is predeceased by his brothers Manuel and Philip; Mother of his children; Mary Louise; and wife, Jane.

A celebration of Emilio's life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Elks Lodge, 222 Elks Lane in San Luis Obispo. All are welcome to come and share their memories of this unforgettable man.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Elks Club Purple Pig Children's Charity.

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