Cecilio ‘Aitxitxe’ Iturriaga
Cecilio ‘Aitxitxe’ Iturriaga

Feb. 5, 1945 - Feb. 15, 2014

Heaven gained another strong "Basko" on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah with the passing of Cecilio Iturriaga of Battle Mountain, Nev. Just 10 days after his 69th birthday and exactly two months following the death of his first son, Frank Iturriaga, Cecilio completed the life he began in 1945 in Ereno, Vizcaya, Spain when he was born to Frank "Patxi" Mendi and Josefa Iturriaga.

After "Lio" graduated from high school, he was drafted by the Spanish Army to serve 14 months in Burgos. After leaving the service, he worked in a tool factory in Ermua and at 19 years old, fell in love with his forever bride, Jesusa Maria Elguezua. Cecilio wanted an American education for his children so he and Jesusa waited nine years to marry so he could prepare a stable life for their future family in the United States.

He started that life in America at 24 years old by working in Grandview, Idaho at Simplot Feedlot for four years before returning to Spain to marry Jesusa "Amuma" on Oct. 6, 1973 in the Catholic Church in Mallavia. After honeymooning for two months, Cecilio returned to the United States, this time moving to Battle Mountain, Nev. The couple was reunited at the Star Hotel in Elko in April of 1974, just one month before they welcomed their first son, Frank to the world, due to the incredible generosity and support of George Ancho and Battle Mountain Gold (formerly Duval). Seven years later, they added their youngest son, David, to the Iturriaga family.

Throughout the years, "Aitxitxe" was a hard working sheepherder and heavy equipment operator at the mines surrounding Battle Mountain and Winnemucca until he retired in 2007 to spend more time with his family. Family was the pride of Cecilio's life. His sons had a deep respect for the man he was and the men he raised them to be. Cecilio enjoyed fishing and gardening, visiting with his grandchildren, and working on projects in his garage until just one day before his death.

In addition to his loved ones in Spain, Cecilio Iturriaga is survived by his wife and son, Jesusa and David Iturriaga, and his daughter-in-law and grandchildren, Jennifer Ramos Iturriaga, Alexis, Blake, Darion, Asier and Patxi all of Battle Mountain, Nev. His nieces, Maite Narvaiza Kovis and Begonia Narvaiza Peck of Battle Mountain and Jayone Fitzhugh of Idaho, and his nephew Aitor Narvaiza of Elko are also beloved survivors of our "Aitxitxe."

A Catholic Rosary Service will be held at St. John Bosco Catholic Church on Thursday evening, Feb. 20, 2014 at 7 p.m. Services to honor Cecilio's life will be held at St. John Bosco's Hall on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family would request contributions to "Frank Iturriaga Scholarship Fund" mailed to P.O. Box 576 Battle Mountain, NV 89820.