Photography

Joaquin Villarreal

1997 ~ 2022 (age 24)

Obituary

Joaquin Villarreal died on May 28, 2022. He was 24 years old. Bipolar disease was the principal cause of his death. Born and raised in Austin, he graduated from MaCallum High School. Joaquin was a student at Tarleton State University, transferring to Texas State after several semesters. He withdrew from college when COVID-19 forced classes online. 

Like many his age, he was a gamer, first with YuGiOh cards, then with video games. Unlike his peers, he spent many Saturdays at the “Great Hall Games” store with much older guys participating in historical miniatures war-gaming. This gaming recreates historical battles through the use of 3D terrain, miniature soldiers and vehicles. Dice are used to insert intangible aspects such as training, morale and leadership.  Joaquin celebrated his teenage birthdays at the Milleniumcon, Texas’ biggest historical miniatures war-game convention. 

Skate-boarding was another passion. His balance was excellent and he seemed to have a knack for the sport. We visited every skatepark within 50 miles of Austin and in other cities any time we traveled. Once Joaquin said to me, “I’m only happy when I’m skating.” As he grew up, he liked going to Austin Skatepark by himself. A posse of younger kids would follow him to the “No-comply” skate store and back to the park. 

In addition to Renaissance Faires, he combined his interest in costumes, history and gaming through his Airsoft hobby. (A team game similar to paintball where you eliminate players by tagging out opposing members). When he was invited to be part of the Tomahawk Development Airsoft Team he was excited to be recognized for his skills in this area. It was something he enjoyed very much.

Joaquin appreciated music and liked to dance. One grandmother’s “Asserín, Asesrán” and the other’s "Hello Dolly” very early favorites. When he first became aware of recorded music, he listened to what his parents did: Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bob Seger and Bobby Blue Bland. Classic conjunto music was on the radio as well. As a teenager, he embraced hiphop and electronica (Daft Punk). Moving to Stephenville introduced him to country music, particularly local favorites like Koe Wetzel. In 2020 Joaquin began playing the guitar, progressing quite a bit before he died. He learned to play Jimmie Rodger’s songs and introduced us to the music he liked, such as Billy Strings 

He had a huge heart for animals. Once he wanted to be a veterinarian, but didn’t want to perform euthanasia. His last dog companion was the energetic Luci, renamed “Lucifer” once some of her destructive qualities were identified. He loved Luci despite her wildness and cared for her as well as Jackie, Chewie/Chuy, Scout and others.

In 2021, Joaquin successfully completed testing to be an apprentice with the Austin Electrical Training Alliance, a five-year classroom and on-the-job training program sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 520 and the Central Texas Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). He was thrilled to be part of the Union, eagerly volunteering for both member events and required community service. He was determined to succeed, following a strict schedule in order to be on early-morning job sites where he sometimes worked up to 60 hours a week. 

 

A memorial service will be held: 

11:00 am, Saturday, June 25, 2022 

Manchaca United Methodist Church

1011 FM-1626, (Manchaca) Austin, TX 78652.

 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to one of the following charities: 

 

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

https://bbrfoundation.donordrive.com/campaign/Joaquin-Villarreal

747 Third Avenue, 33rd Floor

New York, NY 10017

800-829-8289

Our Tax ID # is 31-1020010.

 

LifeWorks

3700 South 1st St.
Austin, Texas 78704

development@lifeworksaustin.org
Phone: 512-735-2470
http://www.lifeworksaustin.org

 

Emancipet

7010 Easy Wind Dr, Ste. 260 

Austin, Texas 78752

philanthropy@emancipet.org
Phone: 512-956-4748
https://www.emancipet.org

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