Alfredo Villanueva

Obituary of Alfredo B. Villanueva

Alfredo (Fred) Bambao Villanueva of Tucson, AZ passed away at Catalina Post Acute and Rehabilitation on Tuesday, May 16 after a life well lived. He was 91.


Fred was born in Naguilian, La Union, Philippines in 1931. He graduated as valedictorian of his high school and earned the following academic degrees: B.A. from the University of Manila, where he participated in ROTC; M.P.A. from the University of the Philippines; and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.


His teaching career spanned 37 years, including positions at Northern State Teachers College, Winona State University, Moorhead State College, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Pima Community College. He retired as an Emeritus Professor at Western Illinois University, having taught political science and public administration for nearly 30 years. He was a favorite of students, taking international students under his wing and providing nicknames to nearly every student in his classes. In addition to teaching, he had extensive consulting and publishing experience in public affairs and public administration.


In August 1962, he met Joyce Altman by chance in San Francisco. They were the only two to show up for Saturday afternoon mass, which unknown to them, had been cancelled. In place of church, Fred invited Joyce to an impromptu dinner date that evening. They were married three months later and happily married for 60 years. Together, they raised five daughters, and he was especially proud of their  accomplishments.


Fred was active in the communities he called home. In Macomb, IL, where the family resided for nearly 30 years, he was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He was also active in Democratic politics, serving as precinct chairman and assisting with Presidential campaigns for many years. In Tucson, he was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church and continued to be involved in the Knights of Columbus. He was deeply religious, attending daily morning mass with Joyce. He enjoyed spending time with family, traveling, photography, reading/researching (politics and history), fishing, gardening and watching boxing (especially Muhammed Ali and Manny Pacquiao). He was a fan of the soap opera “All My Children” and the series “Dallas,” and could often be found watching CNN or C-Span with his favorite cup of hot tea. He looked up to his hero, Douglas MacArthur, lifted others up with his use of clichés and storytelling, and had a generous, kind heart.  


Fred’s legacy was built on overcoming adversity, pursuing academic success, embracing community service and serving as a devoted husband and father. He is an inspiration to us all.


Fred is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Joyce Villanueva; five daughters: Kim Villanueva (Sarah Iaiennaro) of Springfield, IL; Hope Collins (Dave) of Roscoe, IL; Pam Greene (Tom) of Chino Hills, CA; Yvonne Villanueva-Russell (Eric) of Commerce, TX; and Estela Villanueva-Whitman (Brad) of Des Moines, IA; 12 grandchildren: Trish (Darius), Claire (David), Sam, Alex, Olivia, Erika, Blake, Luke, Josh and Thomas; and 7 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother, Honorata; father, Ariston; and brother, Calixto.   


The funeral mass is scheduled for Tuesday, May 23 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 8650 N. Shannon Road, Tucson, AZ. A rosary service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at Holy Hope Cemetery, 3555 N Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ immediately following the service.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Kidney Fund. You may send mail gift notifications c/o Estela Villanueva-Whitman, 1121 44th Street, Des Moines, IA, 50311, or e-card notifications to


The family would like to thank the staff at DaVita Northwest Tucson Dialysis for their compassionate care of Alfredo (Lolo) for the past five years.




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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Adair Funeral Homes - Avalon Chapel
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