Deaths and funerals


John Michael Baca

John Michael Baca, age 65, a lifelong resident of Belen, passed away on Friday, Aug. 26.
He was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church and was the faithful sacristan, Eucharistic Minister and fix-it-or-clean-it man for Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church for more than 20 years.
John was devoted to his Catholic religion, especially the Blessed Sacrament and Our Blessed Mother. He was an ivory pillar to his family and extended family. John was honored this year as Parade Marshal for the 2011 Fiestas and will be given the 2011 St. Francis of Assisi Award. He was a third-degree Knights of Columbus, and was in the N.M. Air National Guard.
John was one of the college students, Anna Chavira (Connie’s sister) hung around with, at the Newman Center at UNM. Connie is forever grateful for the introduction. He was with AT&T from Sept. 14, 1970, and married Connie on Oct. 23, 1970.  
John loved his job — first working with telegraph, circuit order and finally in 1990 working outdoors, maintaining the huts and offices from Abo, Mountainair, Corona, Vaughn, Roswell, Magdalena, Socorro, Belen and Los Lunas. He really enjoyed driving a snow cat up Capilla Peak in the Manzanos. John retired from AT&T after more than 40 years of excellent and faithful service.
John was dedicated to his wife, sons, mother and mother-in-law, always making sure everyone was given his total care. If he was within 90 miles of home, he got home that night.  He attended daily Mass wherever he could find one, and he had a heart of gold.
He was preceded in death by his father, Ignacio C. Baca; stepfather, Arthur S. Abeyta; brothers, Nash and Phillip; brother-in law, Michael Roy; and sister-in-law, Anna Chavira;  his grandparents, Ramon Baca y Chavez, Eulalia Castillo de Baca, Felipe Santiago Castillo, Macedonia Castillo, Arculia Armijo and Carlota Sanchez.
John is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Connie “Nee Constance Chavira”; sons, Michael Anthony and his wife, Magda Martinez-Baca, and John Stephen and his wife, Irene Maestas-Baca; grandchildren, Alexis, Devin, Anna, Dominique, Clarissa and Antonio; his mother, Rebecca Castillo Baca Abeyta; mother-in-law, Emma Moya; father-in-law, Roy T. Chavira; sisters, Becky Apodaca, Mary Jo Baca and Mary Susan Gonzales and her husband, Bennie; brothers, Raymond and his wife, Alice; Anthony and his wife, Shirley; sister-in-laws, Loretta and Victoria Baca, Bernadette Merriman and her husband, Gilbert, and Maria Bohlken and her husband, Jim; brother-in-laws, Joseph Chavira and his wife, Irma; Fred Chavira and Rick Huff.
All services were held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church. A public viewing and Rosary were held Sunday, Aug. 28. A final visitation and Funeral Mass were held on Monday, Aug. 29, with Father Stephen Schultz officiating. Interment followed at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.
Sign John’s online register book at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

James H. Fernandez
Died 2011

James H. Fernandez, 56, a lifelong resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 28.  
James is survived by his brother, Peter Fernandez and his wife, Priscilla; nephews, Michael S. Fernandez and Kim Ly, Jason R. Fernandez and his wife, Jennifer, and John Z. Fernandez and his wife, Jami; grandnephews and nieces, Camaren Ly, Emma Fernandez, Alaina Fernandez, Garrett Fernandez and Zachary Fernandez; special aunts and uncles, Theresa Fernandez-Abeyta and Louis Fernandez and his wife, Emily.  
James was preceded in death by his parents, Jose I. and Lorinda Fernandez; brothers, Joseph A. Fernandez, Frank D. Fernandez, Victor Fernandez and Daniel D. Fernandez; and sister, Rita D. Fernandez.  
A visitation will be on Friday, Sept. 2, from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. at San Clemente Catholic Church, 244 Luna Ave., Los Lunas, with a rosary and vigil service to follow at 6 p.m. Deacon Jim Snell, reciter. A final visitation will be on Saturday, Sept. 3, from 9:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. at the church with Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10 a.m. Father Douglas Mitchell, presider. Interment will follow at Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Michael S. Fernandez, Jason R. Fernandez, John Z. Fernandez, Carlos Mireles, Chuck Vigil and Charles Chavez. Honorary pallbearers will be Georgia and J. W. Siniard, Peter, Carol, Ashley Reshkemer Alicia Aguilar, and Larry Guggino.  
To sign the online guestbook please visit  Arrangements by Gabaldon Mortuary Inc.,1000 Old Coors Dr. SW, 243-7861.

Raquel Perea Lewis

Raquel Lewis Perea, 34, a lifelong resident of Los Lunas and now at peace with her mother, Eloisa, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 25.  
Raquel was a loving mother, daughter, and sister, who took pride in her family, always making sure that birthdays and holidays were never forgotten.
She was a mother to her nieces and nephews as well as a friend. “Rock” will be missed by all who knew her.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Eloisa Perea; and one great-nephew, baby Michael.
Raquel is survived by her three sons, Joseph of Lakeview, Mo., Wilfred Nieto and Isaac Lewis of the family home. She is also survived by her father, Jimmy Perea of Los Lunas; two sisters, Victoria Valladarez and her husband, Hubaldo, and Naomi Escamilla and her husband, Miguelito; and one brother, Jimmy Perea Jr.; two grandchildren, Mariana and Emma; her nieces, Amilia and Analicia; nephews, Michael, Jonathan, Jesse and Victor; and she leaves behind four great-nephews and nieces, Julian, Divina, Destiny and Nathan.
She is also survived by one grandmother, Mary Moya of Peralta; and many loving uncles, aunts and cousins.
Special thanks to Albert Chavez who was a friend, brother and caregiver to Raquel.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at the
Los Lunas Seventh-Day Adventist (English) church, followed by a graveside service and interment at the Perea Cemetery in Peralta.
Noblin Funeral Services Los Lunas Chapel is in charge of arrangements.  Sign Raquel’s online guest register at

Gladyce Olson
Died 2011

Gladyce Olson, age 94, a resident of Bosque, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 17.  
Gladyce was born in Eau Claire, Wis., and spent her working years a a medical missionary.  
She is survived by her brother, Paul Oberg; nephews, Steve and Pete Oberg; and the Nelson family nieces and nephews.  
A committal service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 10 a.m. at Sunset Memorial Park.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., where an online guest register is available at

Irma Alice Reed

Irma Alice Reed, age 93, a resident of Valencia County, passed away on Monday, Aug. 29.
She was born near Yates City, Kan., on March 4, 1918. Irma was a master gardener and also raised tropical fish. She created her own strain of guppies that won first place at the State Fair.
Irma was a Sunday school teacher for many years. She was also a excellent cook and had a great love for children.
Irma is preceded in death by her husband, Elvin Reed; and two sons, Robert M. Reed and Brian Reed. She is survived by her son, Donald L. Reed and his spouse, Jackie, of Caddo Mills, Texas; daughter, Patricia Estep and her spouse, Steve, of the home; 11 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and nephew, Gene Hatch.
A viewing will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave. A graveside service will follow at Fairview Memorial Park in Albuquerque at noon. Pallbearers will be Terry Reed, Steve Estep, Chris Estep and Bill Moss.
Please contribute in Irma’s memory to any organization that benefits animals.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, where an online guest register is available at

Katherine Wersonick

Katherine Ruth Wersonick was born on Aug. 4, 1914, in Magnum, Okla., and passed away in the loving home of her niece, Joyce Harder, and great-niece, Paunice Driskill, on Aug. 29 in Los Chavez with her loving family by her side.
She lived most of her adult life in Albuquerque and had been a member of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. Katherine had retired as manager for Learners Stores in Albuquerque.
She loved to travel, dance and play bridge. Reading was a passion and she always kept a conversation lively. She also had a special love for family pets.
Katherine is preceded in death by all of her brothers and sisters and her parents, Bob and Beulah Wetsel, an early pioneer family to the Clayton, Cuba and Taos areas.
She is survived by her sons, Ross Wersonick and his wife, Cleo, of Rio Communities, and Mike Wersonick and his wife, Marla, of Edgewood; daughter, Bobbie Mallory of Tomé; six grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.
A special thanks for the care and concern for her well being goes to Presbyterian Hospice and to Joyce and Paunice.
A private family memorial service will be held as a celebration of her life.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local animal society in her memory.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., where an online guest register is available at

Richard Ybarra
Died 2011

Richard Ybarra, age 60, a resident of Belen, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 24.
He was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Tomé. Richard enjoyed painting and playing the guitar.
He is preceded in death by his daughter, Angela Baca; and his parents, Ben and Elvira Ybarra.
Richard is survived by his wife, Criselda Ybarra; daughter, Rose and her husband, Shawn; sisters, Pidi Medina, Carmen Gandara and her husband, Cornie, and Irene Vasquez and her husband, John; brothers, Ben Ybarra and his wife, Anita, and Gilbert Ybarra; four granddaughters, Elena Baca, Crystal Baca, Ashley Ybarra and Alyssa Baca. Also surviving Richard are numerous nieces and nephews.
All services will be held on Thursday, Sept. 1, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Tomé, beginning with visitation at 10 a.m. followed by recitation of the Rosary at 10:30 a.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at the Tomé Catholic Cemetery.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., where an online guest register is available at