Deaths and funerals (03/07/12)


Manuel P. Baldonado
Manuel P. Baldonado, age 71, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Thursday, March 1.
He was a member of the First Assembly of God and the Ambercare family for seven years. Manuel was a wonderful, loving husband, father and friend.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Annette Apodaca; mother, Antoinette Baldonado; father, Bonifacio Baldonado; grandmother, Magdalena Baldonado; and grandfather, Manuelito Baldonado.
Manuel is survived by his loving wife, Arasely Baldonado; son, Danny Baldonado and wife, Diana, and their one child; son, Manuel Baldonado Jr. and wife, Virginia, and their six children; son, Patrick Baldonado and wife, Irene, and their two children and three great-granddaughters; son, Adam Baldonado and his three children; son, Jarrad Baldonado and wife, Calli, and thier one child; daughter, Adelaida Baldonado and her one child; daughter, Kandice Gurule-Baldonado and son-in-law, Steve Apodaca.
All services were held on Sunday, March 4, at the First Assembly of God. Pallbearers were Patrick Baldonado, Adam Baldonado, Jarrad Baldonado Steve Apodaca, Anthony Romero and Joe Trujillo. Honorary pallbearers were Marcus Hernandez, Jeremiah Rivera, Danny Baldonado and Maunel Baldonado Jr.
The Baldonado family would like to express extreme gratitude to all of the Ambercare and First Assembly of God family for their love and support through this difficult time.
Sign Manuel’s online register book at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

José Epifanio Chávez III
War veteran, born in Lemitar, on March 22, 1924, José Epifanio Chávez III, longtime resident of Belen, passed away March 3 at age 87 in Rochester Hills, Mich.
He grew up a young cowboy and farmer in Polvadera, N.M., then serving as a young man in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, before enlisting in the United States Navy as a master bugler on the USS Gladiator (AM-319) Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the U.S. Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from mine fields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.
Other duties included serving in the Underwater Demolition Teams, which lead to the formation of the U.S. Navy SEALs, officially pegged in 1961.
Following the Navy, he started a long career as a carpenter, teacher and general contractor in Albuquerque.
He married Helen C. Gilbert, of Belen, in June 1945 and is survived by their three children, Donald Chavez and wife, Lucy S. Reyes-Chavez, Mark Chavez and wife, Lisa, Camille Chavez-Gabbrielli and husband, Massimiliano Gabbrielli; grandchildren, Leticia Chavez-Bourgeois (36), and husband, David Bourgeois, Joe Chavez (34), Michelle Chavez (34), Larisa Chavez (20), Camila Fajardo (20), Megan Ross (20), Hunter Ross (18), Ashleigh Ross (18), Ricky Reyes (13), Camlan Chavez (10), Helen Chavez (8) and Jaiden Chavez (6); great-grandchildren, Olivia Chavez (9), Noah Bourgeois (5), Savanna Bourgeois (4) and Gavino Bourgeois (2); his sister Jodi Cowper; brother Gilfred Chavez and wife, Priscilla Sanchez-Chavez; and sister Jenny Lucero and husband Silas.
He was preceded in death by his father, Jose Epifanio Chavez, and mother, Francisquita Chavez, of Belen.
He enjoyed outboard boating, fishing, camping and deer hunting with his father, brother, children and nephews.
A Rosary will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 8, at French Funeral Home, 111 University Blvd. NE.  A Funeral Mass will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, March 9, at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, followed by internment at 1 p.m. at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.
Thanks to pallbearers Joe Chavez, Robert Lujan, Ricky Reyes, Richard Brookins, Julius Brookins and Anthony Brookins.

Robert R. Farrell
Robert R. Farrell, formerly of Belen, recently passed away on Feb. 15 at the Bath NY Veteran’s Administration Nursing Home.
Born on Jan. 28, 1921, in Kenosha, Wis., Robert grew up in Chicago Heights, Ill.; served in the U.S. Army during WW II in the European Theater of Operations; and was married to Betty Schilling, who passed away in April 2006, for almost 60 years.
They have three children, Tom (Patti), Bob, and Patty (Jay Cole); two grandchildren, Shane and Ryan (Christine); and one great-grandchild, Kellen.
Bob and his family moved a number of times around the country, working as an insurance agent for various companies. Bob and Betty settled in Belen with Patty in 1972,  buying the Johnson Insurance Agency, renaming it the Mid-Valley Insurance Center until 1984 when they retired.
He served as president of the Belen Chamber of Commerce in 1976. He was honored as Citizen of the Year in 1977 with his efforts to start a branch college of UNM in Valencia County.
Bob was a member and Elder in the First Presbyterian Church in Belen and served on several committees. He helped organize the Belen Girls Softball League from 1974 to 79. He was also active in Cub and Boy Scouts, Little League coach, and was always around his children’s and grandchildren’s activities.
Bob and Betty moved to Ithaca, N.Y., in the fall of 1990 to be close to their family.
Bob and Betty will be buried at the Bath VA National Cemetery in June.

Christopher Hernandez
Christopher Hernandez, age 46, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 29.
He was preceded in death by his father, Tomas Hernandez; daughter, Rosemary; sisters, Anita Quesada and Christina Hernandez.
Christopher is survived by his mother, Sarah Hernandez; children, Chris Michael, Crystal, April, Sarah, Tomas and Virginia; sisters, Bernadette, Rosemary, Frances, Sarah, Patricia, Monica and Anita; brothers, Gavino and Gilbert; and numerous nieces and nephews.
All services will be private.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., 864-4448, where an online guest register is available at