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Willard Merrill Tubbs
November 21, 1924 - May 14, 2020
Tubbs obit 02
Willard was a husband, father, grandfather, electrician and cowboy that we all knew and loved dearly. He joined his recently deceased wife (Eileen Caputo Tubbs) on Thursday, May 14, 2020.  Willard had six children, Donald Tubbs (spouse Billye, Wenatchee, WA), Christina Gliege (spouse Gary, Caldwell, ID), John Tubbs (spouse Lori Kelley, Bend, OR), the late Patricia Davis (spouse Darwin, French Camp), Susan Stevenson (spouse Craig, French Camp), and Joe Tubbs (spouse Caryle, Manteca), along with 15 grandchildren, 26 great- grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
   Willard was born in Porum, Oklahoma to John and Della Tubbs along with four sisters, the late Maxine Simpson, the late Nadine Modine, Lucille Reiter, Lavona Duncan, and one brother, the late John F. Tubbs.
   At age 23, Willard moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to work as an electrician. While there he met and fell in love with his “Italian Bride”. Willard and Eileen eloped and lived in Utah for 2 years, then moved to Stockton, CA for 5 years before finding their forever family home for 64 years on Trinity Street in Manteca.
   In 1963, Willard started Tubbs Electric and operated on his own until his sons joined him in 1976 to establish Tubbs and Sons Electric. The company helped light up Manteca and the surrounding area for 55 years. Even in his later years one could walk into the shop and find Willard still working or answering calls. He was the face of "PR" for the company and trained many electricians with his vast knowledge of the trade. Other general contractors often acknowledged Willard’s skill and quality of work along with his natural ability to build friendships.
   Willard felt privileged to serve on the San Joaquin County Grand Jury. He was also a member of the local E Clampus Vitus and named Grand Marshall at the Manteca Rodeo.
   Willard always had an affinity towards racehorses, gardening and Jack Daniels. He owned and trained many thoroughbred horses, taking them to county and state racing tracks throughout California. One of his fondest memories was attending the Kentucky Derby with Eileen for their 50th wedding anniversary. Willard grew the sweetest oranges and lemons in the state and took pride in hand washing and delivering them to family and friends.
   Willard was an avid outdoorsman. He loved taking trips into the wilderness to hunt and fish. He was proud to donate a bison head from his taxidermist grandson to hang in the Manteca High gym where generations of the Tubbs family attended.   Willard was also a big sports fan, especially when it came to his kids and grandkids. He was never hard to miss, wearing his cowboy hat in the stands and often critiquing the game officials. Willard cheered on and was thrilled when their Tubbs and Sons sponsored team won the 1986 National Fast Pitch Softball Championship.
   Willard left a lasting imprint on all who knew him. Willard and Eileen’s life together built a legacy of family and community. They will both be remembered daily by their family.
Willard lived life to the fullest. He, his cowboy hat, and his fun loving attitude will always be missed.
   In lieu of flowers, please bet a few horses at the Kentucky Derby and take a shot of Jack Daniels in Willard’s honor. Donations will kindly be accepted at Remolona Family Guest Home at 360 Button Ave., Manteca, CA 95336. (Where he spent his last days, and for the great care they gave dad too).
   P.L. Fry & Son is honored to be serving the Tubbs family. An online tribute page is available for condolences to the family at

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Thursday, May 21, 2020