Veronica Villegas Romero was born on October 14, 1954, and passed away at the age of 68 in Phoenix, Arizona on September 19, 2023, after a short battle with cancer.
Veronica was born in Hollister, California to Rafael and Angela Villegas, the eldest of five siblings. She was the quintessential oldest child, entrusted at a young age with the care of her younger siblings. She graduated from Hollister High School in 1972 and continued her education at Heald Business College in San Jose, Calfornia graduating in 1974. She married Nelo Romero in an intimate ceremony in her parents’ backyard in Hollister, and they would have celebrated their 48th Anniversary in October.
Veronica is survived by her husband Nelo and twin sons Joel (Michelle) Romero and Nello (Amanda) Romero, all of Phoenix. She will be greatly missed by the grandchildren she adored- Addison, Christian and Eli Romero. She is also survived by her parents, Rafael & Angela Villegas, and siblings Elsie (David) Marshall, Eddie Villegas, and Ivy Villegas. She was a beloved Aunt to Adrian (Lorena) Villegas, Vanessa (Andrew) Marentis, Jeffrey Villegas, Amanda (Dylan) Spitler, Anton and Layla Borges. She was preceded in death by her brother George Villegas.
Family meant everything to Veronica, and spending time with her grandchildren was her greatest joy. She was a true matriarch to her family and extended family and was the unofficial “Boss” of the closely knit Villegas siblings. Veronica was assertive and never afraid to make a decision- she was a true leader in her personal and professional life. Her career within the Department of Economic Security (DES), for the State of Arizona, spanned many years, from just after college to retirement. In those years she was recognized often for the significant impact she made on others. She was a great mentor who was known for her efficiency, work ethic and exceptional problem-solving ability. She was the “gold standard” of executives within state services.
In her retirement years she was able to become a full-time Grandma and she enjoyed this phase of her life immensely. Her grandchildren meant the world to her, and it was evident to everyone she knew. She visited her family in Hollister often, assisting in the care of her parents in later years while lovingly bossing everyone around her.
Veronica was an accomplished seamstress and had been sewing since she was a teenager. She called it her “therapy,” and made beautiful clothes for herself and family members. She and Nelo began every morning with coffee in their backyard, with one of her cats over the years contentedly purring on her lap. She had many close friends she was in contact with, including her Marine Moms Support Group she met through her son Joel’s deployment to Iraq in the early 2000s, to her core group of work friends that she lunched and laughed with often.
A Mass to celebrate Veronica’s life will be held in their Moon Valley neighborhood at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 10:00 a.m., followed by a reception at the church hall for family and friends to gather, remember, and share stories of Veronica.