Deaths and funerals (09/26/13)


Veronica (Vera) G. Baca
Died 2013
Veronica (Vera) G. Baca went to dance with the angels in Heaven on Monday, Sept. 23. She was surrounded by her loving husband and children.
Mrs. Baca is survived by her husband, Adam B. Baca; her children, MaryAnn Rich and husband, Stan, Marvin Jeffrey Baca and wife, Joyce Eileen, Marilyn Joyce Wallace and husband, Les N., Marsha Janine Madden and husband, Brad, Michelle Janifer Gonzales and husband, Paul M., Marva Jean Aragon and husband, Andrew, Melanie Janelle Garcia and husband, Fidel J., Melissa Jolene “Missy” Sánchez and husband, James Lawrence; grandchildren, Jason Dale Miller and fiancée, Victorie Klein, Kayla Ann Rich, Colton Trae and Caitlyn Shaye Baca, Dakota Laramie and Cheyenne Brooke Wallace, Taylor Ryan Madden, Tiffani Nicole and Brittani Noelle Gonzales, Marlene Preslee and Casey Cash Aragon, Joshua Adam Garcia, Joseph Lawrence and Madison Veronica Sánchez;  great-grandchildren, Benjamin Adam Miller, Clara Rosaline and Nicholas Wayne Selman; sisters, Theresa and Dr. Matt Baca, and Margaret and Ray Pyle, sisters in law, Francis and Ruth Gabaldon; brother in law, Fermin and wife, Lena Baca; sister-in-law,  Alice Baca; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Mrs. Baca was preceded in death by her daughter, Marlene Jeanette; granddaughter, Kierstin Marie Sánchez; parents, Dennis C. and Maria A. Gabaldon; brothers, Tony and wife, Molly, Henry and wife, Sarah, Paul and Raymond Gabaldon; in-laws, Orfelio P. & Selfa B. Baca; sister-in-law, Cora, and husband, Jim Boeck; brothers-in-law, Levi, Elue, Jimmy, Abe and wife, Nora Baca; and sister-in-law, Gally Baca.
Mrs. Baca was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas.
A visitation and Rosary were Wednesday, Sept. 25, at San Clemente Catholic Church in Los Lunas. A final visitation will be Thursday, Sept. 26, at the church from 9:15 a.m. until 10 a.m., with Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10 a.m., Father Jim Marshall, presider.  Interment will follow at San Clemente Cemetery in Los Lunas.
Pallbearers will be her sons-in-law and honorary pallbearers will be her grandsons.
Please visit to sign the online guestbook. Arrangements by Gabladon Mortuary Inc., 1000 Old Coors Dr. SW, 243-7861.

Roberto M. Barela
Roberto M. Barela, born in Tomé on Nov. 9, 1928, passed away on Sept. 23.
A celebration of his life will be on Saturday, Sept. 28, with a visitation at 10 a.m. and a service at 11 a.m. at  the Family Worship Center, 7311 Glenrio Road, NW, Albuquerque, 831-5368. Pastor Steve Ulibarri officiating. Lunch will be served with the family following service.
For detailed information, visit

Peggy S. Hawkins
Peggy Scott Hawkins, a Los Lunas resident, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, Sept. 17.
Born Sept. 12, 1951, in Louisiana, Peggy gradually got a taste of many places around the world. Her father’s military assignments took the family to Germany and Alaska, and Peggy graduated from an American high school in Tripoli, Libya. She also lived parts of her life in New York and Houston, Texas, Alaska again (moving there with her first spouse), Truth or Consequences and Albuquerque.
Peggy enjoyed collecting angels, decorating for Christmas, professional football, shopping at second-hand stores, cooking well, fishing, Elephant Butte Lake and her cherished puppy dogs.
An avid fan of word-search puzzles, Peggy also could “smoke ‘em” on “Wheel of Fortune,” breezing through all the rounds in front of her home television.
Outside the home, she was certified by the Pima Medical Institute, and spent many years in service to the hospital and health care industries. She most recently had attended Sagebrush Church.
Peggy is survived by her husband, Billy; mother-in-law, Freta, of Los Lunas; brothers-in-law David (Karin), of Veguita, and Leldon (Doris), of Farmington; daughter, Andrea Turley and son, Will Lee, both living near Birmingham, Ala.; sister, Blenda Helms, of Spring, Texas.; brother, Ron Lewter, of Clovis; and a step-sister.
She was preceded in death by both parents, Huey P. and Margie Lewter; her previous husband and her father-in-law.
A private family memorial will be held at a later date. Psalm 23:1-4

Dorothy Morgan Pitts
Dorothy Morgan Pitts, age 90, of Belen, passed away on Monday, Sept. 16.
Dorothy delighted in her four grandchildren, Michael (Danielle) McHale, of Norman, Okla., Tim Hankins Jr., of Sao Palo, Brazil, Tyler (Lauren) Hankins, of Tulsa, Okla.;  and Morgan Ries, of Rowlett, Texas. Dorothy recently met her new great-granddaughter, Whitley Danielle McHale, of Norman.
Dorothy was a legal secretary for more than 30 years in Lawton, Okla., before retiring to sell real estate in Pendaries, N.M. She was a free spirit who loved life, helping people and working in her church.
She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Belen, where she served as a deacon. Her love of cooking and gardening was only surpassed by her love of family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Della Brumfield; one brother and three sisters; husband, Bill Morgan; and grandson, Miller McHale.
She is survived by her second husband of 26 years, Jon Pitts, of Belen;  daughters, Susan (Terry) McHale, of Norman, Okla., Jean Ann Hankins, of Tulsa, Okla., and BJ Ries, of Rowlett, Texas. She is also survived by her stepchildren, Jon (Trudy) Pitts, of Paso Robles, Calif., Jamie Pitts, of Boise, Idaho, Jerald (Ivy) Pitts, of Idaho City, Jodi (Mitch) Williams, of Solvang, Calif.; and sister-in-law, Gail Fields, of Chino Hills, Calif.
A service at First Presbyterian Church to celebrate her life is scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 5.
Memorial contributions can be made in her honor to First Presbyterian Church of Belen, 85 Manzano Expressway, Belen, N.M., 87002.
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

Shirley Mac Sachs
Shirley Mac Sachs, age 82, died Tuesday, Sept. 17, after a prolonged illness.
Born April 4, 1931, in Hope, Ark., she lived in Hope as a youngster and teenager. She became Miss Hope, Ark., in her late teens.
She married Herman Sachs in 1953 and settled in Belen. They had nine children, seven boys and two girls.
They were members of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, and their children attended Saint Mary’s School. They were involved within the community and loved the people of Belen.
She worked at Pete’s Cafe, Little Anita’s and Cracker Barrel. She was known as “our favorite hostess” and loved serving the people.
She was gregarious and quite the joker with all whom she met. Shirley loved to cook for her family and adapted quickly to our New Mexico cuisine and introduced many variations to our renowned foods.
She loved bingo and visiting with family and friends. She will be missed by those who knew her.
Survivors include her sister, Bonnie Heer, of Texarkana, Texas; aunt, Joyce Murray, of Little Rock, Ark.; children, Stephen, Anna, Sammy, Chris (wife, Theresa), Greg (wife, Cathy), Lisa (husband, Martin) and David; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, extended family, and many nieces, nephews and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Herman Sachs; and children, Michael and Richard.
All services were held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church on Friday, Sept. 20. Interment will be held at the Santa Fe National Cemetery at a later date. Find Shirley’s online tribute at

Joe E. Trujillo
Joe E. Trujillo, age 53, a resident of Jarales, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 19.
Joe retired in 2004 after 25 years of outstanding service as a corrections officer. He loved being outdoors hunting, fishing and camping with his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He was always willing to go out of his way to help others and enjoyed making people laugh.
He was preceded in death by his father, Albino Trujillo; and father-in-law, Horacio Jaramillo.
Joe is survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Gloria Trujillo; his four children, Rachel and Ismael, Carlos and wife, Lisa, Mathew and wife, Monique, Melanie and fiancé, James; 11 grandchildren, Jaron (Bubba), Kaleigh, Carlitos, Alyssa, Aliyah, Jericho, Reagan, McKenzie, Mariah, Jeremiah and Gabriel; his mother, Cidia Trujillo; five brothers and sisters and their spouses, Delia and Pat Gallegos, Dennis and Ester Trujillo, Bobby Trujillo, Berlinda and Joe Arias and Raymond and Angela Trujillo. All of his nieces and nephews had a special place in his heart.
All services were held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Interment will followed at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.
Sign Joe’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Elena L. Vallejos
Elena L. Vallejos, age 32, a resident of Belen, went to be with our Lord on Tuesday, Sept. 17,  after a long illness.
Elena loved life and was obtaining an associate’s degree in phlebotomy at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus.
She loved fast cars and watching them race; she also watched football, especially the San Francisco 49ers.
Elena always looked forward to spending time with her family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her son, Brooklyn Vallejos; and grandmother, Ann Loranca.
Elena is survived by her daughter, Iliana Portillo; three stepchildren, Jacob, Michael and Bryanna Vallejos; mother and stepfather, Bobbie and Dale Cox; father, Stephen Paynter; biological father and his wife, Gerald and Diane Moody; brother and his wife, La Kyeemo and Missy Granger; grandfather, Juan Loranca; father of her children, Michael Vallejos; and dear friend, Manuel Sanchez. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
All services were held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Interment will be held at a later date.
The family would like to thank Belen Police Department for their quick response at the home. A special thank you to Detective Portio for his effort on helping Elena.
Sign Elena’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.