Deaths and funerals


Guadalupe “Lupe” Chavez

Guadalupe “Lupe” Chavez, age 73, a resident of Belen went to be with our lord on Monday, Sept. 5.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Juan and Manuelita Garcia; and granddaughter, Yvette Baca.
Lupe retired after 28 years as a bus driver for the Belen Consolidated Schools. In her free time, she enjoyed playing bingo, traveling, camping with family and cooking. Lupe’s home was the one place anyone could stop knowing they would be welcomed with love and a home cooked meal.
Lupe left behind the love of her life, Richard Chavez, with whom she was married for 55 years. The two of them where blessed with four children, Gina and Keith Donoghue, Betty and Edward Chavez, Tommy Chavez and Bernadette Garley, Cathy Chavez and Richard Saavedra, and Elaine Campbell; 14 grandchildren, Theresa Chavez, John and Sarah Chavez, Jessica Gallegos, Crystal Giron, Dominic Tuttle, Jennifer Chavez, Myranda Chavez, Ashtyn Chavez, Justine Chavez, Mackie Saavedra, Savannah Georges, Carlos Garley and Matthew Garley. She also had 21 great-grandchildren, who filled her heart with lots of love. Lupe also left behind seven brothers and sisters, Margaret and Herman Trujillo, Dorella Skemeta, Johnny and Dorothy Garcia, Lillian Garcia, Celso and Lorena Montano, Ray Garcia and Leonard and Lorraine Garcia, Josie Smith and Joe Garcia; and 11 brother- and sisters-in-law; Pat and Jan Chavez, Cipri Romero, Molly and Ben Martinez, Martin and Jean Chavez, Rey and Louise Chavez, Bill and Lisa Chavez, Dennis and Frieda Chavez, Susan and Robert Beasley, Dora Chavez, Lorraine Marquez and Mary Garcia.
Pallbearers will be John Chavez, Jennifer Chavez, Leonard Garcia Jr., Andrew Trujillo, Mark Garcia and Steven Montano. Honorary pallbearers are Ray Garcia, Juan Garcia Jr. and Leonard Garcia.
A viewing will be held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8, with a Rosary to be recited at 6 p.m. A final visitation will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.
Sign Lupe’s  online register book at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Ralph Gutierrez

Ralph Gutierrez, age 82, a lifelong resident of Belen, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Sept. 4.
He married Deluvina “Vina” Sanchez on Nov. 22, 1948, and they have been married for 62 years. Ralph retired from the railroad after 38 years of service.  
He was preceded in death by his parents, Emilio and Trinidad Castillo Gutierrez; son, Rudy; brother Roy; and sister, Lucille Pacheco.
Ralph is survived by his loving wife, Vina; three sisters, Cecilia Sanchez and her husband, Martin, Betty Luna and her husband, Pat, and Mary Simms; brother, James; sister-in-law, Margaret Gutierrez; and brother-in-law, Narciso Pacheco.
All services will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church beginning with a viewing at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8, with a Rosary to be recited at 9:30 a.m. and a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Tomé Catholic Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be his nephews, Roy K. and Jeremy Gutierrez, Ronald Luna, Marvin Sanchez, Billy Ray Martinez, and Johnny Ray Marquez.  Sign Ralph’s online register book at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Don Magnussen

Don Magnussen, 74, a resident of Tierra Grande, passed away Friday, Sept. 2, after a long illness.  
He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on April 22, 1937, and raised in Denver, Colo., before moving to Albuquerque.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Georgia Sheldon Magnussen and  E. H. (Sam) Magnussen; and survived by his wife of 47 years, Judi Lawrence Magnussen; and his older sisters, Barbara Neavill and her husband, Jim, residing in Fargo, N.D., and Patricia Bjerkestrand from St. Charles, Mo.; and many loving nieces and nephews.
An accomplished auto mechanic with careers in home building and water well drilling and pump installation, he was a significant do-it-yourselfer with an affinity for boat and car racing, animals and Mother Nature.
After leaving the parts department of Frontier Ford in the late ’60s, he and his wife moved into a home they built on Thompson Ridge in the Jemez Mountains. Because no well drillers would attempt the four-mile road up Thompson Ridge, he bought his own cable rig, and for the next 15 years, drilled wells for the cabins he constructed there.  
He subsequently built and lived in homes in Veguita and Tierra Grande, southeast of Belen.
He and Judi enjoyed a happy life of accomplishment, with loving pets and dear friends. After being diagnosed with leukemia in 2004, he gradually limited his activities until his recent need for hospice, which was so well provided by the helpful employees of AmberCare in Belen.
At his request, Don has been cremated and no services are planned.  He wants his friends to remember their happy experiences with him. The website,, afforded a beautiful opportunity for his friends and relatives to share memories with him online before his passing.  It remains active, should anyone wish to access photos and share memories of Don with his survivors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to an animal shelter, church or charity of their choice.  
Please visit Don’s online guest register at

Sybil Mae Stevens

Sybil Mae Stevens, a resident of Los Lunas since 1977, passed away Sept. 5.
She is survived by a son, Steve Stevens of Albuquerque; and daughter, Jean Emmons and son-in-law, Dave Emmons of Canon City, Colo. She is also survived by granddaughter, Rene Holtam and her husband, Rob; and great-grandchildren, Ryan, Tanner, Tyler and Robbie of Centenniel, Colo.; sister-in-law Yoko Downey; niece, Shirley Stout and her husband, Barry; nephew, Patrick Downey: and great-nephew Derek Stout; many friends, including Bernice Coleman and Joe Garcia.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry, in 1957; her father, Arthur Downey, in 1982; her mother, Annie Mae Downey, in 1997; her brother, Stafford Downey, in 2009; and brother, Stanley, who passed away at 6-months of age.
She was born in Tucumcari on Dec. 3, 1926, but moved shortly thereafter to Memphis, Texas, where she lived until age 12. The family then moved to Mountainair, where she spent many happy years.
Sybil moved with her family to Albuquerque in 1955. In 1957, she enrolled in and completed studies at Draughns Business School, and in 1962, she began college at the University of New Mexico, majoring in elementary education.
After graduating in 1966, Sybil taught school at Valle Vista Elementary School for 20 years. She was married to Dave VanNoy for 14 years, and together they enjoyed many years raising and racing thoroughbred horses in the Belen area and later moving to Los Lunas.
After retiring from Albuquerque Public Schools, Sybil worked part-time keeping books for a small business in Bosque Farms and Albuquerque, finally retiring at the age of 80.
There will be a viewing at Harris-Hanlon Mortuary in Mountainair on Friday, Sept. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The funeral will follow at 1 p.m. with Ray Mondragon officiating.
Pallbearers will be Dave Emmons, Steve Stevens, Pat Downey, Barry Stout, Derek Stout and Tom Wynn. Burial will follow at the Mountainair Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to Harris-Hanlon Mortuary, “Our Family Serving Your Family,” 505-832-6130,