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Rafael Francisco Cristobal Valdez

January 20, 1983 - July 6, 2020


Rafael Francisco Cristobal ValdezRafael, beloved son, husband and brother died due to complications from Diabetes in his home in Salem.  He was 37 years old.  He was born in Moses Lake, WA and moved to Oregon in 1985.  He was the first child born to Juan Jr. and Laurie Valdez.  He was married to Melody Valdez.  They were married in 2008.

Rafael enjoyed playing games and especially strategic games.  He worked for many years at Borderlands and most recently at Wild Things in Salem.  He was well known and involved in the gaming community.  He loved to run gaming tournaments, work with customers, mentor, teach and building gaming decks for people.  At nearly 6’ 7”, he was called a Gentle Giant and had a heart of gold.  He always saw the good in people and believed that kindness and love were very important.  He had a wonderful sense of humor, heartfelt laugh and always enjoyed a good conversation.  He was a beloved member of his family and will be greatly missed.

Rafael is survived by his wife, Melody, his parents Juan Valdez Jr and  Laurie Valdez, his brother Juan Gabriel Valdez III, sister Amanda Valdez, Grand parents Maria C Valdez, Howard and Lillian Findley, Aunt Frances Findley, Uncle Shawn and Aunt Bevin Findley, Aunt Amalia Valdez, Uncle Jaime and  Aunt Kaylynn Valdez, Uncle Javier Valdez, sister in law Ashley Valdez, cousins Genia Lewis,  Davi Valdez, Jaime Cedillo, Robert Cedillo, Juan Jacob Valdez and Kaycee Valdez and nephew Juan Adrian Valdez IV.  Rafael is proceeded in death by grandfather, Juan G. Valdez and cousin Juan Carlos Valdez.

A Celebration of Life service will be announced, at a later date. 

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Raf will be missed. The kindness and positive aura he projected will be with me forever. Rest in peace my gaming buddy.



Rafael will always be remembered for the way he made people feel. He was a big guy with a lot of love and kindness that he shared generously. I'm going to miss his big hug whenever I saw him. Love you, Rafael. Fly free and happy.