Manuel Leos Contreras was born to Jose Almanza Contreras and Juliana Leos Contreras on September 6, 1947 in Carlsbad, NM. He graduated from Carlsbad Senior High School in 1966. Shortly after gradation he, along with two of his hometown friends, went to Houston, Texas to work as a welder on ships docked on shore. Months after arriving in Houston, he received his draft papers to serve in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was a missile launcher and was also a military police officer. He served from 1966 – 1969. Manuel returned and worked various jobs throughout his lifetime. Everything from truck driver, welder and also a bartender at the American Legion lounge.
Manuel had also enlisted in the National Guard Armory in Carlsbad, NM, the American Legion and the V.F.W. of Carlsbad.
In 1969, he met Elsie Pineda where they shared their lives together for 50 years, having three children: son, Dennis Joe Contreras, daughter, Anna Maria Contreras and son, Manuel Contreras, Jr. “Rooster”
Manuel was a people person. There weren’t very many people that didn’t know him or of him. At any gathering, he made himself known. Manuel was known for cooking on the grill, “cooking a bone,” as he would say, or he was right there giving tips on how to properly cook on the grill.
Most of all, he was known as a husband, a father, a son, a brother and uncle. But what brought the most joy to him was being known as “Popo” – grandfather of 8.
Manuel was preceded in death by his parents: Jose A Contreras and Juliana L. Contreras.
Survivors are his wife, Elsie Contreras; son, Dennis Joe Contreras and wife, Melissa and their kids: Jakob Nicklus, Justus Rey, Maleah Rose and Malachi Emmanuel; daughter, Anna Contreras; son, Manuel Contreras, Jr. and his children: Anthony Ruiz, Manuel “Popason”, Nodin and Julian; his siblings: Daniel Contreras, Juanita Olguin, Dorinda Dominguez, Paul Contreras, Lionel Contreras and David Contreras.
Pallbearers are David Contreras, Paul Contreras, Daniel Contreras, Jr., Leslie Carrasco, Lionel Contreras and Joe “Moose” Rodriquez. Honorary pallbearers will be his grandchildren: Jakob Contreras, Justus Contreras, Maleah Contreras, Malachi Contreras, Anthony Ruiz, Popason Contreras, Nodin Contreras and Julian Contreras.
Visitation will be 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Monday, September 23, 2019 at Denton-Wood Funeral Home. A prayer service will follow at 7:00 PM. Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 PM, Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at Denton-Wood Funeral Home Chapel with Deacon Leon Garcia officiating. Interment will follow in Santa Catarina Cemetery, Carlsbad, NM.
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