Pastor Manuel Pena Pérez, age 73, of Ulysses, Kan., died Saturday, Sept. 8, at his home.

He was born in San Antonio, Texas, on Aug. 30, 1945.

His family settled in Brownsville, Texas, where he graduated high school and entered the United States Army on July 1, 1964. He was honorably discharged on June 14, 1967.

He accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior in a Methodist Church during his childhood. He preached his first message at age 18 to the youth group in the Baptist church. He married Elizabeth Ponce Cortez on Sept. 16, 1968.

From this union were born three daughters: Sandra Reyes; Sara Silva; and Flora Velardes. He studied at the Biblical Institute of San Antonio and graduated from Wayland Baptist University in 1975.

In January 1975 he began as pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista, Ulysses, Kan., where he served until his death.

Manuel had a fruitful ministry of 43 years. Among his dreams that were fulfilled were constructing the auditorium and establishing the radio station KQUI 100.3 L.P.

He also worked as a bus driver at USD 214 for 41 years and was recognized on May 22, 2018.

Among the loved ones who preceded him in death was his wife Elizabeth. She died Aug. 24, 2017.

The funeral was held Wednesday morning, Sept. 12, at Oasis Church in Ulysses with Pastor Eloy Felan officiating.

Burial with military honors was in Ulysses Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to radio station KQUI 100.3 L.P. in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 405 W. Grant Ave., Ulysses, KS 67880.

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