MONTE VISTA — Juan Antonio Sandoval, Jr. passed away peacefully in his home in El Paso, Texas on January 3rd, 2021. He was born January 7, 1946, in Monte Vista, Colorado.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Juan A. Sandoval, Sr., and his mother, Isidora M. Sandoval (née Sanchez); and his sisters, Neva, Felima, Evila, Nora and Rebecca. He is survived by his sisters Loni, Liz, and Gloria; his brothers Daniel and Carlos; and dozens of nieces and nephews.
Juan graduated from North Denver Public High School and earned his undergraduate degree from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado. He worked as a social worker, travelling throughout the San Luis Valley before pursuing a career as a librarian, earning his Master of Library Science at the University of Denver.
He moved to Eugene, Oregon in the early 1980s, then to El Paso, where he became a valued fixture at the University of Texas at El Paso Library, guiding thousands of students throughout the years as he helped them expand their minds, and more importantly to him, their souls and spirits. One of the best indications of the impact he had on the lives of the students is that former students would send their children to look him up when they went to the university to help shepherd them into adulthood.
He was a passionate patron of the arts, amassing what many call the most extensive and important collection of Hispanic art in the Southwest. His artistic legacy lives on at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas, where he generously donated his entire collection where it is currently being exhibited. His true legacy lives on in the hearts of those who were fortunate to know him.
Juan’s ashes will be interred next to his parents in Monte Vista, Colorado.
Please visit the Juan Sandoval Memorial Facebook group page to share stories and pictures of Juan as we virtually celebrate his life. When it is safe to do so, probably this fall, the family will organize a memorial fiesta in El Paso where we will gather and laugh, cry, hug, dance, and sing in honor of this remarkable man who touched so many lives.
He would appreciate any donations in his name to the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin.