Longtime Farm Worker Advocate Dies

<p>Tomas Villanueva</p>

Tomas Villanueva

Tomas Villanueva, who for decades advocated for farm workers in Washington state, has died.

He was 72.

His daughter, Graciela, says her father passed away on Friday.

From the state capitol to the orchards of Central Washington, Villanueva played a key role in improving working conditions for farm workers, advocating for minimum wage and health care standards.

He worked on improving farm worker housing in the days workers still camped unsheltered in the banks of the Columbia River.

"I know the community is going to miss him, at least I am," said Prosser grower Adolfo Alvarez, "Because he worked really hard for us, and part what we're doing right now is part of the hard work he's been doing for us."

Villanueva's family plans on holding a ceremony for him in the Yakima Valley in a few weeks.