Deaths and funerals (02/08/12)


Joan “Joann” Dils
Joan “Joann” Dils, age 75, a long time resident of Belen, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 4.
She was the daughter of Clifford “Coach” and Marybelle Jones Keith. She attended Belen Schools from first grade to graduation and was active in many activities.
Joann graduated from Belen High School in 1954 and attended college at Eastern New Mexico University on a Ford Foundation Scholarship. In college, she was a cheerleader and “Yucca Blossom Queen.”
She was employed at Sandia Corp., and later at First National Bank of Belen. She was and an officer of Dils Construction Inc., was owner of Dils and Associates, and an officer of Canyon Cliff’s, a Native American trading company.
Her main interests were playing and watching college and professional tennis, hiking, gardening, traveling and studying Southwest history. Above all, she loved her husband and family. She had faith in her God and belonged to a church in Belen.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Rosemary and brother, Steve. Joann is survived by her very special and loving husband, Tommy Dils; sons, Cliff, Loren and wife, Elaine, and Alan and wife, Dawn; equally loved are her grandchildren, Brenyn and Ayla Dils and Tanner and Connor Dils; sister-in-law, Karen Keith; nieces, Kelli Keith, Geri Lynn and husband, Gerald Sanchez, and their children, Jeremy and Shanyn, Dena and husband, Andrew Geoghan, and their children, Ben and Dan.
A viewing will be held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, with a funeral service at 11 a.m. Interment will be held privately.
Sign Joann’s online register book at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Debra A. Horner
Died 2012
Debra A. Horner, age 58, a resident of Belen, passed away on Friday, Feb. 3.
A celebration of Debra’s life was held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the First United Methodist Church of Belen.
Arrangements were entrusted to Riverside Funeral Home of Los Lunas, 820 Main St. NE, 565-1700. Please visit Debra’s online guest register at

Edward Kubisak
Edward Kubisak, age 81, passed away on Friday, Feb. 3, at his home in Belen.
He was born in Chicago, Ill., and was the son of Edward and Helen Kubisak. Ed honorably served in the United States Air Force during the Koran conflict.
It was during this time that he met Roberta “Bobbi” Froehlich. They were married in 1955 and spent the next 54 years together until her passing in 2008.
Ed and Bobbi moved to Aurora, Ill., where they had five children, Jeff of Los Lunas, Ken of Sandwich, Ill., Jim of Aurora, Ill., Kevin of Plano, Ill., and Debi Caldwell of Belen.
Ed went to work for Caterpillar where he was the first traffic manager of their Aurora plant. The family moved to Bristol, Ill., where they made their home for the next 25 years.
When he wasn’t at work, Ed spent every minute with his family. He was a coach for the Bristol Pony League and the president of the Bristol Boys Baseball Association. Ed would always find time for anything with his children.
He would always have a smile on his face and his humor was contagious. Every Christmas, he would make sure that “Santa’s” visit was something special to look forward to. He was known throughout the neighborhood for his “Trick or Treat” visits and started many other traditions that the family looked forward to every year.
Ed retired from Caterpillar in 1979, and moved with Bobbi to Albuquerque. After settling in Belen, they became involved in the hot air ballooning community. Ed earned his hot air balloon pilot’s licenses and spent as many hours as he could in the air. He served as a safety official at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta for many years.
Through all the years, he always had Bobbi by his side. The cruise they took together for their 50th wedding anniversary was one of his favorite memories.
Ed was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Belen, and had friends too numerous to even count, and they, along with his family, will always remember the times they spent with him.
He is survived by all five of his children, brother, Carl Kubisak of Dana Point, Calif.; sisters, Jean Kubisak of Eau Claire, Wis., and Paula Grant of Crown Point, Ind.; 16 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
A public viewing will be held from 2 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Romero Funeral Home Chapel. A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, at Terrace Grove Cemetery in Belen.
Ed will be laid to rest beside his loving wife. A reception will follow at the family home.
The family request that donations be made to the Valencia Shelter Services, 303 Luna Avenue, Los Lunas, N.M., 87031.
Sign Ed’s online register book at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Pete Mendoza
Pete Mendoza was born Sept. 6, 1937, in San Marcial, N.M., and went into the arms of our Lord on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the age of 74.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Eloy and Ignacita; son, Daniel; brother, Pilar; and sister, Maria. Pete is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Mary Mendoza; children, Debra Bernal, Yvette Garcia and husband, Toby, Margie Maldonado and husband, Charlie, Peter Mendoza and Geraldine Mendoza; grand and great-grandchildren; sisters, Tommie Rosas and husband, Ray, and Lydia Gonzales and husband, Peter; brothers, Julian Mendoza, Epetacio Mendoza and wife, Katie, Ralph Mendoza and Victor Mendoza; and many loving nephews and nieces.
He who knew no strangers will be immensely missed and remembered by his loving, caring, kind and humorous heart. His courage is known from his childhood throughout the years passed down, keeping our family’s hearts fulfilled.
He was greatly respected and appreciated, and help many people during his long career in the construction industry.
Please join the family for services at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Peralta. A Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 9.
Honorary pallbearers will be Brendan and Brian, the lights of his life.
A private family burial will take place at a later time.

Stella M. Sanchez
Stella M. Sanchez, 94, passed away Feb. 3. Stella was born June 25, 1917, in Jarales to Daniel and Guadalupe Sanchez.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Avilio J. Sanchez; her parents, two brothers, two sisters, daughter, Eva Reker; son, Gerard Sanchez; and grandchildren, Darrin Reker and Brian Burkhart. Survivors include a sister, Tonni Garcia, Oceanside, Calif.; daughters, Rachael A. Sanchez and Mary H. Blackwood and husband, William; son, Kenneth J. Sanchez and wife, Saralie; daughter-in-law, Sylinda Sanchez; 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Stella and Avilio were married for 68 years. She devoted her life to her husband and family. She was a member of the Daughters of Isabella and the St. James Over 50’s Group.
A Rosary, visitation and Mass of Christian burial was held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at St. James Catholic Church, 309 S. Stewart Rd., Liberty, Mo., 64068. A graveside service and interment will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Resurrection Cemetery, Liberty, Mo.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. James Catholic Church. Condolences may be left for the family at

George “Eddie” Skelton
George “Eddie” Skelton, of Belen, born in Cowles, N.M., in 1932, passed away on Jan. 26 at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Shirley; and son, Richard. He is survived by his son, John.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Feb. 10, at the Belen Church of Christ, 10 Golf Road, just behind the Donut King, which was one of Eddie’s favorite hang outs.