In Memoriam: Alumnus Al Villa
Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Al Villa, November 13th, 1965 - July 18th, 2011, passed away at the University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA. Born in Santa Barbara, CA, he was the son of Albert and Madaline Ramirez Villa. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Kay Fratzke.
Albert was a member of All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas, a Scout Leader, and a member of the Knights of Columbus in Manassas.
He was also an alumnus of IWP, where he will be missed. "He was always a good student, and he really enjoyed the Institute and believed in its mission," commented Jason Johnsrud, Director of Student Affairs at IWP.
Al began his studies at the Institute in the summer of 1994, and in spring of 1998, he received a Certificate in Intelligence. He continued to take classes until spring 2002, and was one of four Masters Degree recipients in IWP's first graduating class the following November. He received a Master of Arts in Statecraft and National Security Affairs.
Professor John Tierney remembers that, "Al was a congenial fellow with warmth and good humor. He was a studious person who loved the subjects of history, intelligence, and political science. I remember him telling me that he was a distant relative of the famed Mexican bandit, Pancho Villa, but Al was quite the opposite of that WWI era terrorist: he was fairly quiet, cordial, humorous, and serious in his career pursuits."
IWP's founder and president, John Lenczowski, commented, "Al Villa was one of the earliest students at IWP who first took individual courses for the sheer value of the education even when we were offering no credential at the end of the rainbow. One of the most memorable and gratifying moments I've experienced at IWP was when I read Al's term paper for my class in international relations and statecraft. It was a paper on U.S. strategy towards China, and it reflected exactly the kind of integrated strategic thinking that we teach here at IWP. Upon reading this paper I was witnessing the fruits of the hard work of so many people here on our faculty and staff. It was a delicious moment, and I'll never forget it. Al was an outstanding student with a big heart and a strong character, and he will be sorely missed. His passing on is America's loss."
In addition to his beloved wife, Al is survived by two sons, Albert III and Jake Villa of Bristow; two daughters, Ariel and Elizabeth Villa also of Bristow; one sister, Shirley Villa of Lompoc, CA; and two brothers, Randy Villa and his wife Eden of Bristow; and Anthony Villa and his wife Patricia of Lompoc, CA.