Merle Lawrence "Larry" Esquibel, age 84, of Kingman made his journey home to be with the Lord on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, with his canine companion "Duke" by his side. Larry was born on March 15, 1928, in Kingman to Hermenifcaldo and Dora Esquibel. He is now reunited with his loving wife Darline Esquibel; his sisters, Mary Mendoza, Helen Montez, Louise Cruz, Pearl Banegas and Dora Belle Esquibel; and his brothers, Trinidad Esquibel, Frank Esquibel and Tiburcio "Butch" Esquibel.
As a young lad, you could always find him with a slingshot in the back pocket of his overalls chasing lizards. He attended local schools and loved to play basketball in high school. At 17, he enlisted in the United States Navy (he was big for his age!) and served during WWII. He relished his travels around the globe and the faraway places and people he met along the way. After his service, he returned home to be with his mother and worked several jobs to help support the family. He also served in the local unit of the National Guard.
He relocated to Southern California to pursue a career in the aerospace industry. He worked for North American Aviation (later to become Rockwell International), and in those early years was a mock-up tech and worked on the hydraulic systems for the F-100, X-15 and the B-70 aircraft. Years later, he worked on the space shuttle as an electronic production assembly analyst and was always proud whenever a shuttle lifted off! During the times when the aerospace industry had its problems, he took on the role of a deputy sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff's Department for many, many years.
After retirement, Larry and his wife, Darline, moved to Cochise, Ariz., and bought a farm. He loved animals and had many at the farm, where they grew alfalfa, cotton and green chilies for the Ortega Chile Company. They also took care of many foster children while in Cochise. After several years, they sold the farm and relocated back to his hometown, Kingman. Larry loved to hunt and fish with his children, grandchildren and friends. He was a gentle giant and shared his love with all.
He is survived by his three children, Martin Esquibel of Las Vegas, Mark (Nancy) Esquibel of Kingman, and Marsha (Howard) Pennington of Kingman; his three stepchildren, Mike Cassady of Texas, Pat Cassady of Massachusetts, and Peggy Wooley of Kingman; his grandchildren, Steven Esquibel, Christina Melo, Joseph Dronchi, Mimi Esquibel, Tina Esquibel, Derek Esquibel, Misha Phillips, Tyler Esquibel, Martin Esquibel Jr., Mercedes Esquibel, Casey Robbins, Lacie Robbins, Travin Pennington and Tyona Taylor; and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, as well as his eldest brother, Raymond Montez.
The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, at Praise Chapel Church, 419 Harrison St. (off Hualapai Mountain Road), Kingman. A reception will be held at the church immediately following the service.