John Cruz, 66

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SOUTH PORTLAND — John Cruz, 66, of South Portland, died Sept. 30, after a brief illness.

Husband of Cathy Cruz and father of Margaret Cruz, he was born and educated in California. He served with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and was a survivor of the Hamburger Hill battle.

Cruz worked for Freightliner of Maine as the trailer shop manager for 20 years.

He loved lobster fishing off his boat, “Margaret Rose,” and spending summers at his Long Island summer home.

Cruz was very proud of his daughter and all her accomplishments. He coached her sports teams in elementary school and was her most faithful spectator during her high school years. He was especially proud of her academic accomplishments and her acceptance as a doctoral candidate at the University of Connecticut.

He was also very proud of his Mexican heritage, but enjoyed being a huge part of his wife’s extended Irish-American family. He was particularly close to his “bro,” Kevin Folan. He loved all the children in the family and shared many favorite memories with them. He will be fondly remembered as the “fun uncle.”

He is survived by his wife, daughter, and goddaughters, Nichola Napolitano and Colleen Martin.

Visitation was held Oct. 3, at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, South Portland. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at Holy Cross Church, South Portland, and burial followed in New Calvary Cemetery.