Deaths and funerals (11/28/12)


Adoracion Abrams
Died 2012
Adoracion Abrams passed away on Sunday, Nov. 25.
Contact Romero Funeral Home at 864-8501 for further information. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Kenneth L. Brewster
Died 2012
Kenneth L. Brewster, former Belen resident, passed away in Arkansas on Nov. 13.
Memorial service will be at the First Baptist Church in Bosque Farms (Fellowship Hall) at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1.

Nila I. Chavez
Nila I. Chavez, age 89, a life-long resident of Belen, passed away on Monday, Nov. 26, after a long illness.
She was born on June 25, 1923, in Belen, the daughter of Remelia and Rafael David Baca. Nila was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church and a life-long member of the Catholic Daughters of America and the Sacred Heart Society.
She graduated from Belen High School in 1941. She was first married in 1946 and moved to San Francisco, Calif., where all five of her children were born.
She returned to New Mexico in 1956, and worked for the city of Belen from 1962 until her retirement in 1985. She married Manuel Chavez in 1973 and has resided in Belen.
She has always demonstrated a great love for her church and family. Nila’s calm demeanor was her greatest strength and admiration by her family. She loved to bowl and take walks with her friends and family.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Reuben and Vidal; one sister, Emilia; and the father of her children, Juan J. Peña.
Nila is survived by her husband of 39 years, Manuel C. Chavez; son, James Peña and wife, Sherry of Prescott, Ariz.; daughters, Lorraine Padilla and husband, Preme, of Belen, Joanne Knight and husband, Bob, of Santa Fe, Arlene Hays and husband, Jonnie, of Durango, Colo., and Jeannette Hiner and husband, Larry, of Naperville, Ill.; three step-children, Dennis Chavez and wife, Belinda, of Los Lunas, Luisa Lucero of Tomé, and Clifford Chavez of Los Lunas; five sisters, Lucy Metzner, Gertrude Sisneros, Celine Baca, Eloria Rhoades and husband, Dusty, and Mary Tearnan and husband, Bob; three brothers, Abe Baca, Herman Baca and wife, Mary, and Isaias Baca and wife, Patricia; 13 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces, and 10 step-grandchildren and 15 step-great-grandchildren.
The family extends its sincere thanks to Malcolm H. Purdy, MD, Debbie Winkeljohn, CNS, and the other nurses and staff at Hematology Oncology Associates of Albuquerque, for the loving care given during her long illness.
All services will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church beginning with a viewing at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 28, with a Rosary to be recited at 7 p.m. A final visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 29, with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be her grandchildren.
Sign Nila’s online register book at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Erma M. Howard
Erma M. Howard, age 90, a resident of Belen, passed away Nov. 22.
Erma was born Nov. 4, 1922, at Caney, Okla. She married her high school sweetheart, Thad Howard, July 9, 1941, at the Bernalillo County Court House in Bernalillo.
Erma was very talented at sewing, crocheting and baking. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Los Chavez and a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW Post 2143.
Erma was preceded in death by her parents W.E. (Jack) and Ola Morrison; brothers, Little John, Vaudie, Elbie and Elzie Morrison; and sister, Sennie Puckett.
She is survived by her husband of 71 years, Thad J. Howard; two children, daughter, Patricia Tarry and husband, LB, of Belen, and son, Jimmie Howard and wife, Janie, of Birmingham, Ala.  She is also survived by grandchildren, Travis Tarry and wife, Evelyn, of Las Cruces, Michele Henry and husband, Doug, of Waco, Texas, Rebecca DeRosier and husband, Chris, of Birmingham, Ala., and Linda Brasier and husband, Robert, of San Tan Valley, Ariz.  Erma’s great-grandchildren include, Rachel Tarry, Tarry and Emma Brasier, Jack Grier, and Griffin DeRosier, and Zachary Henry. Erma’s sisters are, Jewel McClellan of Katy, Texas, and Joyce Tillman of Justin, Texas, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at the First Baptist Church of Los Chavez on Monday, Dec. 3, beginning with a viewing at 9:30 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 10 a.m., with Bro. Boyd Morerod officiating. Burial will follow at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home, Inc., P.O., Box 629, Portales, N.M.,  88130.
Pallbearers will be  LB Tarry, Doug Henry, Chris DeRosier, Robert Brasier, Travis Tarry and Michael Padilla.
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

David A. Maldonado
David A. Maldonado, age 57, went peacefully to be with our Lord Jesus on Saturday, Nov. 17.
He was a resident of Peralta, and a lifelong fan of Benny’s Restaurant, Elvis Presley and WWE Wrestling.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Mauricio and Angie Maldonado; sister, Geraldine Black; and brother, Maurice Jr.
David is survived by his brother, Lawrence; sister, Lupe Turrietta and husband, Thomas; sister, Jenny Apodaca and husband, Robert; sister, Valerie Muniz and husband, Frank; and sister, Pamela. He had five nephews, six nieces and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held for David at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Peralta. A burial will follow at Peralta Cemetery.
We will never forget our beloved brother.

Mario Edward Martinez
Longtime New Mexico educator, coach and athletic director Mario Edward Martinez, of Belen, died Sunday, Nov. 25, at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque following a battle with cancer.
Martinez, 58, was surrounded by his family when he peacefully passed away after a rich and full life dedicated to the young men and women of New Mexico.
A public visitation is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29, at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church. A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at Our Lady of Belen at 9 a.m., Friday, Nov. 30, with Father Steve Schultz officiating. He will be buried at the Fort Sumner Cemetery at 3 p.m.
Mario Martinez was born Aug. 30, 1954, in Las Vegas, N.M., to the home of Leopoldo and Mary Martinez. He was raised in Ocate, N.M., for the first six years of his life.
The family then moved to Springer, N.M., and he attended Springer Schools, graduating with honors in 1972. He was an outstanding and determined student and athlete and competed in three sports for the Red Devils.
Mario attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in special education in 1976. He became a teacher and coach, working in Moriarty, Pojoaque, Tucumcari, Carlsbad, Springer and Fort Sumner.
Mario led the Springer Red Devils to state championships in basketball and track and led the Fort Sumner Foxes to five state championships in football and six state championships in track. He is one of only two coaches in New Mexico history to have coached teams to state championships in three different sports.
He was chosen as one of the head coaches for the North-South All-Star Basketball Game in 1989 and the A/AA All-Star Football Game in 1995. He also served on the New Mexico Activities Association Board of Directors, representing small schools in the southeastern quadrant of New Mexico.
Martinez left Fort Sumner after winning the state track championship in 2004, the school’s third straight. He became associate director of the New Mexico Activities Association, serving six years until his retirement. With the NMAA, Martinez was a fierce advocate for New Mexico’s small schools and had an unequaled understanding of the challenges they face.
Martinez was elected to the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008, and is scheduled to be inducted into the National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in June.
He was a member of the Tierra Del Sol Men’s Golf Association, serving in many leadership capacities, and was a regular member of the Belen “Gaggles” golf club. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed hunting and fishing.
Martinez always attributed his success to working with many great people who shared his same passion and dedication in working with kids, and to the many dedicated young athletes he said he was fortunate to coach over the years. He will be remembered for his ability to analyze, organize and lead. His motto was “Always live life to the fullest.”
Mario was preceded in death by his father, Leopoldo in 1964; his first wife, Patricia (Gutierrez) Martinez, in 1994; a sister, Dynna Martinez in 1995; and his in-laws, Arabella Borrego, in 2006, and Arturo Borrego, in 2011.
He is survived by his wife, MaryAnn Martinez, of the home; a daughter, Candida Gonzales and her husband, D.J., and their daughter, Kyrah, of Artesia; a son, Montana Martinez, of Springer; a step-daughter, Kimberly Branch-Ceniceros and her husband, Ernesto, and their children, Santiago Montoya and Marisa Branch, all of Belen; a step-son, Kenneth Branch, his wife, Shenoa, and their son, Armando Branch, also of Belen.
Also surviving are a sister, Agnes Martinez of Pueblo, Colo,; a brother, Patrick Martinez and his companion, Theresa LeDoux, of Springer; a niece, Tonya Vargas and her husband, Leroy, of Albuquerque; and a nephew, Pat Martinez and his wife, Julie, of Springer; and Patricia’s parents, Con and Lucille Gutierrez, also of Springer; as well as many more treasured nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers are Scot Stinnett, Benny Segura, Mike Ortiz, Delbert Jaramillo, Gary Tripp, Stanford Salazar and Lecil Richards.
Honorary pallbearers are D.J. Gonzales, George Chavez, Johnny Apodaca and all his former players.
Memorial contributions may be made to the New Mexico Activities Association Scholarship Fund, in memory of Mario Martinez, 6600 Palomas NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87109.
Arrangements are under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 830 N. Fifth Street; Fort Sumner, N.M., 575-355-2311. To place an online tribute of sign the guest book, go to

Ernest A. Ortega
Ernest A. Ortega, age 64, a resident of Belen, passed away on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.
Contact Romero Funeral Home at 864-8501 for further information.

Clayton R. Shors
Clayton R. Shors, age 55, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Contact Romero Funeral Home at 864-8501 for further information. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Gene J. Turner
Gene J. Turner, age 74, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Monday, Nov. 26.
He was and will always be a member of God’s family.
He was preceded in death by Rose Marie Sturner; and his brother, Bill.
Gene is survived by his daughter, Bernadette Ulivarri  Sturner; sons, Guy and Sue Sturner, and Gene J. and Debra Sturner; and five grandchildren.
For service information please call the Noblin Funeral Service Los Lunas Chapel, 866-9992, 2211-D Main St., where an online guest register is available at

Arlene C. Wyant
Arlene C. Wyant, age 76, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Monday, Nov. 26.
She was very active in the community. Arlene was a charter member of Los Lunas Chapter of AARP, historian, community service chairperson and also on the board of the Los Lunas Library.
She played cards every Monday at the Fred Luna Senior Citizens Center and would teach others how to play. Arlene belonged to the Los Lunas, Bosque Farms and Belen Senior Center and Garden Center.
She loved to make and give gifts to everyone she knew. Every Christmas she would give out 30 to 40 handmade gifts to local nursing homes. Arlene love and cared for her friends, so think of her from time to time and she will live.
Arlene is survived by her loving husband of 40 years, Larry Wyant; son, Darryl Klein of Glendora, N.J.; son, Frank Klein and wife, Terry; daughters, Sarah and Kari Klein, all of Bartlett, Ill., son, Phillip Klein and wife, Joanie; sons, Brock, Garret and Chaz, all of Addison, Ill.
No services are scheduled at this time. Arlene donated her body to UNM’s Anatomy Department.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made in Arlene’s name to the American Diabetes Association, 2625 Pennsylvania Street NE, No. 300, Albuquerque, N.M., 87110.
Sign Arlene’s online register book at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.