Moses William Padilla passed away on February 21st, 2023, age 91 at Hillcrest Rehabilitation Center in Mankato. Moses was born on September 4th, 1931, in Madison Lake, MN.
Moses was born into one of Mankato's first Hispanic families. At six, his father died, leaving the family in poverty. Several of his brothers joined the military to better their lives. They served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Moses enlisted in the army at age 16 (saying he was 17 to get in). During his 22 years of service, he was stationed all over the world, including Vietnam, Germany, and Spain. Stateside, he resided in Washington, DC, Oklahoma, and Colorado. He loved to travel and was fluent in four languages. Watching him converse with foreigners in their native language was a sight to see. He spent most of his military tenure as a cook (mess sergeant), ending his service as executive chef for generals. While serving in Vietnam, he earned several accommodations medals, including a Purple Heart when he was injured during combat and the Bronze Star for saving another soldier's life. He inspired his eldest son Jeff and his eldest grandson Terrin to enlist and serve in the army. Jeff served in Operation Desert Storm, and Terrin currently serves in the Iowa Army National Guard, Staff Sergeant.
On November 1st, 1969, Moses married Susan M. Hall (St Clair, MN). Deceased parents (Jose) Cruz & Eulalia (Mazuka) Padilla, Mankato, and In-laws; John and Janet (Read) Hall, Eagle Lake, MN.
Moses was talented and hardworking, starting as a teenager with his hauling cart named ‘Tugboat Annie’. After retiring from the army, Moses and his family moved to Canby, MN, where he taught food service management program at the local Vocational-Technical Institute and catered weddings and events in the summers. After retiring in the mid-80s, Moses and Susan opened the Peddler's Inn restaurant in Canby. Eventually, Moses and Susan moved back to the Mankato area to live.
Moses was very active and had many interests. Before joining the army, he was a golden glove boxer; he continued to box in the military, winning a division championship in 1950. He ran marathons, lifted weights, rode bike, and even took up rollerblading in his 70s (despite having both knees replaced). He enjoyed staying in shape and always seemed much larger than his 5'5" stature. He had a great sense of humor. He would introduce himself as Moses and follow up with 'but not the holy one.' He loved to tell dad jokes, and we learned quickly never to 'pull his finger.' He enjoyed listening to music (especially in Spanish), attending church, and reading about wars and battles. He enjoyed watching boxing on TV. You could often find him shadowboxing on the couch, throwing southpaw uppercuts and jabs as if he was in the ring.
His wife, children, and grandchildren were his greatest joys. Susan, the love of his life, was his favorite dance partner for almost 53 years. They were like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on the dance floor. He loved watching his grandsons Terrin play guitar and Tate sing and act in plays. His beloved English bulldog Bubba was one of his favorite family pets. In 2017, he moved to Hillcrest.
A very special thanks to the staff at Hillcrest Rehabilitation Center for their wonderful and loving care of our father.
Moses was proceeded in death by five brothers: Alfred, Pete, Edward, Cruz, and Joseph; four sisters, Lilly Padilla, Audelia Hoffman, Jessie DeSantiago, and Angela Garcia; four brothers-in-law: Harold Hoffman, Iner Severson, Petro DeSantiago, and Timothy Hall and sister-in-law, Claudia McCarthy.
He leaves behind his wife, Susan Padilla, North Mankato, his loving sons Jeff Padilla, Mankato; Marcus Padilla and Linda Remmen-Padilla, Lakeville; grandsons Terrin Padilla and Kylen Zeroni-Padilla, Indianola, Iowa; Tate Padilla and Kylena Salazar-Padilla, Indianola, Iowa, sister Adella Jacobs, Mankato; and brother Rudy and Gloria Garcia, Daytona, Florida; along with his brothers and sisters-in-law Gary McCarthy, Waldorf; Ken and Sherry Eggen, Eagle Lake; Larry and Shelley Hoehn, Mankato, Violet Padilla, Ohio; and Amalia Padilla, Omaha. As well as Betty Padilla, Mankato. In addition, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family members.
Even though dementia robbed you of your memories—it cannot rob us of all the beautiful memories we have of you.
Please join us to celebrate the remarkable life of Moses Padilla. During this gathering, we will share some of our fondest memories and stories of a wonderful husband, father, brother, son, uncle, and friend.
Moses Padilla's life will be celebrated on Saturday, July 22nd, at 4 pm, during the Padilla/Garcia family reunion at Sibley Park Pavilion in Mankato, Minnesota. All are welcome.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Moses Padilla, please visit our floral store.