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Juneau resident Juan Jose Moser, 78, died on June 5, 2003, at his home due to complications related to emphysema.
Moser was born on Oct. 7, 1925, on a German ocean liner while his parents were emigrating to Mexico. He was raised in a German community in Mexico where he met the love of his life, Estella. They were married in 1948 in Mexico. By 1959, they had grown to a family of six children when they moved to the United States. They eventually settled in Las Vegas, Nev., where they raised their expanded family of 10 children. The family made Juneau their home in 1979.
According to his family, he held many jobs, but his calling was to be a chef. He was the executive chef for many of Las Vegas' large hotels and was well respected in the culinary union, of which he was a proud member. In Juneau, he was best known as the owner of El Sombrero, where he and his wife were known as Papa Juan and Mama Estella by their patrons and employees. His daughter Liz and son Fritz bought the restaurant from him when he retired.
Family members said he was a devoted husband and a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. "He had a heart for people and especially for his family. He was happiest when the entire family would gather for the numerous celebrations it had. He was a gentle man of strong character who loved to tell stories of his childhood, beat his sons-in-law at chess, dispense free advise and liberally pass out candy to his grandchildren," the family said.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Gustavo Moser and sister Julia Moser; and oldest son, Juan Jose Moser Jr.
He is survived by his wife, Estella Moser, 54, of Juneau; and children, Estella (Jim) Vaden of Las Vegas, Elizabeth (Ted) Lehrbach of Juneau, Gus (Karen) Moser of Las Vegas, Julie (Eric) Simpson of Juneau, Fritz (Patty) Moser of Juneau, Hans (Tonja) Moser of Juneau, Walt Moser of San Diego, Paul (Faith) Moser of Los Angeles, and Erika (Brent) Fagerstrom of Juneau. He also is survived by grandchildren Stacey, Tiffany, Brea, Nicholas, Corey, Paul, Kaylie, Jordan, Ryan, Phillip, Matthew, Megan, Alex, Eric, Garrett, Connor, Lexie, Kaitlin, Logan, Riley and Chatham; and great-grandchildren Tre, Daron and Kamron. He also is survived by his sister-in-law Lou and her husband, Fernando Orozco, and their family of Juneau. His family extends throughout Germany, Mexico and the Lower 48, and is too numerous to list.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, June 9, at the Juneau Christian Center, next to Fred Meyer.
Estella and her family can be contacted at 3455 Meander Way. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the American Lung Association at www.lungusa.org/donate, or mailed to 61 Broadway, sixth floor, New York, N.Y., 10006.