In loving memory of Joel Gonzalez-Aguilar
Joel Gonzalez-Aguilar was born in Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oaxaca, Mexico on May 18, 1957, to parents, Martin Aguilar and Natividad Gonzalez. Joel, cherished husband, father and grandfather, passed away on October 28, 2023, while in the arms of his beloved wife.
At the tender age of fourteen, Joel departed from his home in Mexico to seek a better life in the United States, embarking on the journey alone. After working various jobs across the U.S., Joel arrived in Show Low, Arizona in pursuit of employment at the local sawmill. However, upon his arrival, he learned that the sawmill was not hiring. It was during this time that he crossed paths with “Grandma” Verde Maxwell. Recognizing his youth and need for support, she graciously welcomed him into her life. Grandma Maxwell extended her care by providing him with a place to stay and offering him a job at her eatery, Maxwell House. It was there he met his wife, Roberta.They married in 1978, and through their union, they brought three daughters into the world. They raised their family in Show Low, where Joel dedicated his time to coaching not only his own children, but also others in the sports of baseball, basketball and soccer. In his leisure, he cherished time spent with his grandchildren, delighting in their various sports and activities, and found solace in the outdoors and tending to his garden.
While he held various occupations, his heart truly belonged to the art of culinary expertise. Joel opened his first restaurant in 1997 and went on to own and operate his own restaurant with his wife by his side for over 20 years. He worked tirelessly to build a better life for himself and his family, leaving behind a legacy of determination and perseverance. He was known for his culinary talents, with his authentic Mexican green chile being his signature dish.
For half a century he enjoyed his life in the White Mountains and called Show Low his home. He took delight in being a member of this community, always extending a helping hand when needed. His warm smile and kind heart will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. Joel’s legacy lives on in the hearts he touched and his memory will be forever cherished.
Joel is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Roberta Nelson-Aguilar; his daughters, Jolanda (Jason) McNeil, Crystal (fiance Robert) Rodriguez, and Susanna Aguilar; his grandchildren, Penelope Rodriguez, Zonte Diego Campos, Annabelle Rodriguez, Zorenzo Joel Campos, and Brewer Feliz Jones; and brothers, Gildardo Aguilar and Rogelio Aguilar. Joel’s love and warmth will continue to live on through his family, who meant the world to him.
In celebration of his life, we invite all friends and family to come together on Saturday, November 11, 2023 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Pineglen Community Center located at 5231 E. Show Low Lake Road, Show Low, AZ, to honor the life of a truly extraordinary man.
The Broken Chain: You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide. And though we cannot see you, you are always at our side. Our family chain is forever broken, And nothing seems the same, But as God calls us one by one, The chain will link again.