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Posted on July 9, 2014 | 8:25 a.m.

Anthony ‘Tony’ Rios of Santa Barbara, 1924-2014

Source: Pueblo del Rey Funeral Services

Anthony Alexander Rios, 90, died on Sunday, July 6, 2014, at Serenity House Hospice in Santa Barbara.

Anthony Alexander Rios
Anthony Alexander Rios

Tony was born in Santa Barbara on May 4, 1924, the youngest son of Manuel Joseph and Carmelita Hames Rios. He was pre-deceased by his brother Francis and sister Marina. His grandparents were José Francisco and Marina Castaños Rios, who ran the family ranch at the San Miguel Mission for Tony’s great-grandfather, Petronillo, who was married to Catarina Avila.

Petronillo came to Alta, Calif., to train the Mexican army in the use of smooth-bore cannon in Monterey and later began to purchase land throughout Central California, including the rancho in Paso Robles. Tony loved to share family stories of the early California days.

These various activities encompass Tony’s life experiences: paper boy for Thomas Storke; acolyte in Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church with more than 10,000 hours at the altar; mechanic for local car agencies; owner of Santa Barbara Diesel Service Shop; motorcycle racing for 15 years; life member of the Santa Barbara Motorcycle Club; bareback and Brama bull riding; commercial swordfishing on his boat, Spaniard; backpacking and hunting into the Sierra Nevada Mountains; master mechanic for Litwin Corp. in Houston, Texas; Griffin Co. in Los Angeles; Eaton and Smith in San Francisco; and John F. Blakemore Construction in Santa Barbara.

Tony’s refinery work was based in Santa Barbara, Alaska and St. Croix of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also worked oil fields off the Pacific coast, Alaska and the Bearing Sea. He was a member of Operating Engineers for 35 years, working heavy equipment, including work on the California Aquaduct Project. Tony was a marine engineer for General Marine Transport in Santa Barbara.

He was proud of his son, Richard James, and granddaughter, Kathryn Marie. A great friend and terrific storyteller will be missed deeply by all who knew him.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 15 at Calvary Cemetery. Please join us in celebrating the life of this remarkable friend.

Arrangements by Pueblo del Rey Funeral Services.

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