Many notable people left legacies in county

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This story tells a little about some of the people who lived in Valencia County and passed away during 2013.
If your loved one isn’t listed, that is because his or her obituary didn’t provide enough details to tell the story.
*Indicates military veteran or civilian contributor to the armed forces.

Benteele “Aunt Geeny” Baldini, of Rio Communities, who was a member of La Merced WOTM Chapter 2210 and a retired secretary and bookkeeper at Trailways Bus Co., died on Jan. 1.

Mary Helen Cordova, of Los Chavez, a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, died on Jan. 1.

David Lawrence Wulf, of Los Lunas, who was a member of Valley Lutheran Church of Los Lunas, and who was a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University and worked as a teacher, sales representative and in management, died on Jan. 2.

Juan “Johnny” A. Aragon, of Los Lunas, who was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Peralta, died on Jan. 3.

Anne Tondre Williams, of Los Lunas, who was an English teacher in Belen and Los Lunas and served on the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus Advisory Board, died on Jan. 3.

Jim “Jimmy” Paul Maez, of Los Lunas, who was a successful welder, concrete plant manager, heavy equipment operator and owner and operator of Available Self Storage, died on Jan. 3.

ï‚«Charles N. Lusk, who lived in Belen from 2000 to 2011, where he was active in the First Methodist church, the VFW, German American Club and the Del Rio Senior Center, died on Jan. 7.

William Alerico Allen, of Bosque Farms, who was a member of the BFE school community, Westside Family Chapel, Mission Valley and First Baptist Church of Los Lunas, and a member of the special needs community and MPS Society, died on Jan. 8.

Paul Eric Chavez, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, Holy Eucharist minister and chaplain for UNM and Lovelace hospitals and was retired from Smith’s Grocery store after 28 years, died on Jan. 9.

Lily Vallejos Trujillo, of Belen, who retired from the Department of Human Services after 21 years of service, died on Jan. 9.

Dorthy “Dottie” Ferzoco, of Rio Communities, who was a member of the Church of Christ in Rio Communities, died on Jan. 12.

ï‚«Orlando Sanchez, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church and who served during WWII and retired from the railroad after 42 years, died on Jan. 13.

Victor Mendoza, of Peralta, who was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Peralta and worked for Western Mobile, died on Jan. 14.

Manuela A. “Nellie” Rivera, of Bosque, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church and active in the Belen and Del Rio Senior Centers, died on Jan. 14.

Eloisa Sanchez, a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, who was a Eucharistic minister and member of The Blessed Sacrament Society, died on Jan. 16.

Loretta Gage, of Tomé, who graduated from the University of New Mexico and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University, the author of “If Wishes Were Horses,” and who worked at Vet-Co of Valencia, died on Jan. 17.

Helen Baca, of Peralta, who was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Peralta, died on Jan. 18.

ï‚«Vincent Pando, of Los Lunas, who served eight years in the U.S. Navy, serving in the Gulf War, died on Jan. 21.

Eva Garcia Glidewell, of Belen, who was the very first Our Lady of Belen Fiesta queen, owned and operated E. Garcia Grocery and was the founder of Eva’s Blue Ribbon Chile, died on Jan. 23.

Louisa Otero, of Peralta, a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Peralta, died on Jan. 23.

Ron Jenkins, of Los Lunas, who was part owner of RJ Auto, a member of N.M. Horse Breeders Association and a member of the First Baptist Church of Bosque Farms, died on Jan. 24.

Debbie S. Rascon, of Belen, a longtime employee at B.C. Student Nutrition, died on Jan. 24.

Priscilla M. Salazar, of Belen, who retired from Bank of America in 1988, died on Jan. 24.

Ethel Lassiter, of Belen, a member of the Belen Church of Christ, died on Jan. 25.

ï‚«Max Sanchez, of Belen, who was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving during the Vietnam era and earned a good conduct medal, died on Jan. 25.

Saturnino “Sato” Chavez Jr., of Tomé, who was a member of the Immaculate Conception Church and retired from the Los Lunas Hospital and Training School, died on Feb. 1.

ï‚«Richard L. Stanley, of Los Lunas, who was in the Air Force in the mid-50s, and who retired from a career as an air traffic controller, died on Feb. 1.

Barbara Jaramillo, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church and the retired senior volunteer program, and worked for a few years for the National Youth Administration, died on Feb. 3.

Gloria M. Sanchez, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, died on Feb. 8.

Harley E. Schwartz Sr., who was a lifetime member of the Rio Grande Estates Fire Department, died on Feb. 8.

Joyce Lee Chalmers, who worked with Presbyterian Hospital Systems, served as a literacy volunteer and ESL tutor and was a founder of the Belen Dr. Martin Luther King Multicultural Commission and an active member of the Baha’i Faith, died Feb. 16.

Patrick J. Flores, of Los Lunas, who retired from the Department of Corrections after 21 years, died on Feb. 18.

Adrian A. Wilsey, of Los Chavez, who loved sports, playing for Little League, where he was on the All-Star team and YAFL, died on Feb. 18.

ï‚«Arthur Fred Bustamante Jr., of Belen, who was a member of the Valencia County Sheriff’s Posse and a Vietnam veteran, serving in the U.S. Navy, died on Feb. 19.

ï‚«Richard Michael Romero, who was a retired Navy veteran, died on Feb. 19.

Bruce Wood, of Bosque Farms, who had a 65-acre dairy in Bosque Farms, died on Feb. 20.

ï‚«Alfred Montoya, of Los Lunas, who was a member of the Catholic Church, a former employee at Sandia National Labs and a U.S. Army veteran, who served during World War II, where he received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Service Arrowhead, and was a member of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the Disabled American Veterans, died on Feb. 21.

ï‚«Rosendo “Buddy” Gallegos Jr., of Bosque, who was involved in World Wide Marriage Encounter, a devout Catholic, co-chairman of Catholic Social Services, a U.S. Air Force veteran, director of Roadrunner Food Bank and a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus, died on Feb. 22.

ï‚«Arlee Lee “Sonny” Wade Jr., who is a decorated Army veteran, who served in the Vietnam War, died on Feb. 26.

Marian Walkup, of Los Lunas, who was a charter member of the First Baptist Church of Los Lunas, and was the owner of the first flower shop in Los Lunas, died on Feb. 27.

Faustino G. Molina, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, a talented guitar player and singer, and who retired from civil service, died on Feb. 28.

Daniel S. Padilla, of Belen, who retired from Belen Schools and was an active member of the senior citizen’s center, died on March 1.

Dorothy Arleen Miller, of Los Lunas, who was a member of the Los Lunas Baptist Church, died on March 3.

Larry D. Martinez, of Belen, who graduated from Belen High School in 2000 and worked for the state of New Mexico Corrections Department for 10 years, died on March 8.

Richard “Wedo” B. Perez, of Tomé, who was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, died on March 12.

Dolores P. Shannon, of Los Lunas, who was an active member of San Clemente Catholic Church, started the bereavement community and was captain of the Los Lunas Catholic Daughters, died on March 13.

Anna C. Jiron, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, and who was a professional seamstress, died on March 15.

Melissa Christine Beck, of Los Lunas, who was a member of the San Clemente Catholic Church, received her associate degree in liberal arts, and waws a cancer survivor for five years, died on March 17.

Glassgow Lynn Reynolds, of Los Lunas, who was a member of International Believers Fellowship in Albuquerque, died on March 20.

Janice Johnson, of Bosque, who was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Belen, died on March 21.

ï‚«Charles L. Becker, of Peralta, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, and retired from Sandia National Labs after 33 years of service, died on March 24.

Bernita M. Huckabee, of Belen, who was a member of the First Baptist Church of Los Chavez for more than 30 years, died on March 24.

ï‚«Harold “Hal” Edward Throm, of Belen, who was in the Army during World War II, died on March 26.

Rabul “Roy” Maldonado Sr., of Los Lunas, who was pastor of Bread of Life Ministries, died on March 27.

ï‚«Rex O. Kneedler, Sgt., USAF (ret.), of Bosque Farms, who retired as a sergeant in the United States Air Force after serving 23 years, and was superintendent for Cutter Repaving, died on April 2.

Gilbert A. Montoya, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, died on April 3.

Clara Dorothy Tafoya, of Bosque Farms, a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Peralta, died on April 5.

ï‚«Thomas C. Corpe, of Belen, who had more than 50 certifications from Sandia Labs, was a member of the Sandia Employee Pistol Team, and a U.S. Navy veteran, died on April 10.

Maurice “Bill” Nittler, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the Jaycees and the Lion’s Club, died on April 10.

ï‚«Eugene “Gene” R. Morgan, of Los Lunas, who was a charter member of the Los Lunas Rotary Club, a member of the Blue Max Aviation Society, Albuquerque, International Airport and A.O.P.A, an Air Force and Vietnam veteran, earning the Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and others, owner of Morgan Aviation in Mid-Valley Air Park, died on April 12.

ï‚«Olen Carl Chambers II, of Los Lunas, who was in the U.S. Army Air Forces and served in the Korean War, and was an electrician with the IBEW Local Union 611, a member of the Lion’s Club, Elks, Masonic Order and Moose Lodge, died on April 12.

ï‚«Wayne Robert Larson, of Tomé, who served three years in the U.S. Army, and worked at the Albuquerque Police Department before retiring in 1981, died on April 13.

Bernadina M. Otero, a member of Isleta Pueblo, who retired after 30 years as an assembler for BF Goodrich Aerospace, died on April 18.

ï‚«Ed Tays, of Bosque Farms, who served in the U.S. Navy, awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Service Medal while he served in the Navy, and worked as a meat compliance officer for the USDA until his retirement, died on April 18.

Filiberto Vallejos, of Los Chavez, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, died on April 19.

Amy Baca, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church and who worked for Belen Consolidated Schools with the Special Education Program, died on April 21.

ï‚«Michael Williams Botts, of Belen, who served his country as a Navy Seal in Vietnam, died on April 21.

ï‚«CB Lawson, of Belen, who was a member of the Belen Model Railroad Club, served his country in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, died in April 21.

Manuel J. Serna Jr., of Belen, who retired from Belen Schools after many years of service, died on April 22.

ï‚«Eloy Sanchez, of Los Lunas, who served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, died May 1.

Rachel Jaramillo, of Belen, who was a member of San Clemente Catholic Church, died on May 6.

Tommie R. Trujillo, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church and who retired from teaching at Jaramillo Elementary School after 30 years of service, died May 6.

ï‚«Louis M. Chavez, of Belen, who was a veteran of the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, died on May 8.

Helen Thompson Brown, of Los Lunas, who worked for Nabisco in Houston, Texas, and TSA, died on May 11.

Joe A. Baldonado, of Belen, who enjoyed gardening, growing green chile, the Dallas Cowboys and his job at the Walmart Distribution Center, died May 12.

Macedonia “Maisie” Lozano, of Belen, who was a member of the First Baptist Church of Belen, attended the Baptist Seminary of El Paso and was a nurses aide in Arizona, died on May 13.

Jose “Doro” Dolores Bustamante, of Belen, who worked in Los Alamos for 18 years, at the power plant in Farmington, Sisneros Bros. Manufacturing and retired from Romero Heating and Cooling, died on May 14.

Rosalie “Rosie” Tapia Garcia, of Tomé, who was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, died on May 23.

Kathleen Marretta, of Los Lunas, who was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Belen and who retired as a manager of YMCA in New York, and worked part-time for Nielsen TV ratings, died on May 23.

Richard “Ricky” N. Johnson, of Los Lunas, who was a member of the Church of Christ, died on May 24.

ï‚«Abelicio M. Baca, of Bosque, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, and who served in the U.S. Army Air Corp during WWII and retired as a civil service employee, died on May 26.

David Shannon Kibbe Jr., of Los Lunas, who was the leading scorer on State Championship U-14 Altura Eagles, died on May 26.

Jose “Tony” Antonio Gabaldon, of Los Lunas, a member of San Clemente Catholic Church, died on June 4.

ï‚«John F. Griego Sr., of Bosque Farms, who was a member of San Clemente Parish, served in Germany during World War II and later became an educator with Los Lunas Schools and served as a Torrance County commissioner, died on June 11.

ï‚«Ronald E. “Ron” Little, of Belen, served in the U.S. Air Force as a security policeman, and had a 19-year career as manager with Lockheed Martin, died on June 12.

Sara Sais-Valenzuela, of Los Lunas, who worked at the State Tuberculosis Sanitarium Hospital in Socorro, the State Hospital at Fort Stanton and the Los Lunas Hospital and Training School and was the first woman hired as a “grandmother” for residents at the training school, died on June 16.

ï‚«George C. Stanton, of Tomé, who served in the Navy during World War II and in the Army for 16 years during the Korean War, and worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, died on June 30.

Lydia Pino, of Los Lunas, who was a member of San Clemente Catholic Church, died on June 30.

Paul “Sonny” M. Hanks, who worked for Alex’s and Renezenberger Transportation, and was a member of the Valencia County senior centers, died on June 27.

Manuela M. “Mela” Blea, who worked at the Roadrunner Coin-up Laundromat and at Los Lunas Schools, died on June 29.

ï‚«Robert Edward Sanders, of Rio Communities, who served as a technical sergeant in the European Theater of Operations during World War II, and who served as president of NAMASTE, the chairman of Valencia County Senior Center Advisory Council and the guiding force in creating Valencia County Senior Support, died on July 3.

Ronnie Lee Armijo, of Belen, who played drums in a rock band and worked as a cook at Don Andres, White Way Cafe and Frances Restaurant, died on July 7.

Carlos V. Vigil, of Los Lunas, who was on the board of directors for NMX Sports/Warehouse 508 and served as the president of the Youth Creative Crew, and was freshman class president at Los Lunas High School, died on July 16.

ï‚«George Sichler, of Los Lunas, who was a World War II veteran, serving in Africa, Italy, France and Germany, a farmer and an active member of the Republican Party, died on July 19.

ï‚«Oscar L. Sloan, of Belen, who retired from the Air Force after 22 years of service, died on July 23.

ï‚«Lisa Thompson, of Belen, who graduated from Belen High School in 1983, and was awarded Military Volunteer of the Year award, and with her husband, Mike, was appointed as Hospitality House directors for the Hansen Christian Center, died on July 30.

ï‚«Sesario A. Trujillo, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, where he served as an usher and was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and served in the United States Marine Corps, died on Aug. 9.

John Larry Stephens, of Los Chavez, who was a member of the Mason Lodge in Estancia, died on Aug. 16.

K. Todd Emond, of Isleta Pueblo, who was a partner and vice president of TNC Plumbing and Utility until 2006, and a partner and CEO of II Iron Construction since 2010, an IFOC chaplain, and active member of Light of the World Christian Fellowship, a volunteer instructor at the New Mexico Men’s Recovery Academy, supporter of 4-H and FFA, died on Aug. 21.

Veronica Martinez, of Belen, who was a member of the Belen Catholic Church and the Catholic Daughters of America for 16 years, died on Aug. 25.

Philip “Mike” Thoma, of Peralta, who owned MJ Glass for more than 12 years and officiated for the New Mexico Activities Association, USSSA, ASA and PGF for 30 years, died on Sept. 3.

ï‚«Richard Lee Handley, of Las Nutrias, who graduated from Los Lunas High School and New Mexico State University and served in the Army, died on Sept. 4.

ï‚«Doroteo G. “Joty” Baca, of Tomé, who was a member of Immaculate Conception Church, served as Mayordomo, active in the fire department, the sheriff’s posse and was a fundraiser for the Boys Ranches of New Mexico, founded the Cibola County Campout, served in Korea as a staff sergeant and was a postal carrier, died on Sept. 5.

ï‚«Howard Evan Metcalf, of Belen, who served in the military for 12 years, died on Sept. 7.

Joy Laniel Rimorin, of Belen, who was a member of Calvary Chapel Rio Grande, died on Sept. 14.

ï‚«Robert Ezra Hartman, of Los Lunas, who worked for the Ford Motor Company, worked at International Business Machines in Ohio, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, worked at IBM and was a pilot with the Air Force Reserves in the Korean War, and was active in the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles Program, died Sept. 15.

ï‚«Elizabeth B. Gilbert, of Belen, who served in the U.S. Women’s Army Corps during World War II, was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, was a poet, a short story writer, newspaper editor, soprano singer and teacher, died on Sept. 18.

Joe E. Trujillo, of Jarales, who retired after 25 years of service as a correctional officer, died on Sept. 19.

Sue J. Jones, of Peralta, who retired from the U.S. Forest Service and was a member of the Church of Christ in Bosque Farms, died Oct. 1.

ï‚«Vernon Day, of Los Lunas, who served in World War II and was a survivor of Operation Crossroads, died on Oct. 5.

Joyce “Jo” Phillips, a member of the Belen Art League, Tomé Art Gallery, Fiber to Finish, died on Oct. 6.

ï‚«Manuel Duran, of Los Lunas, who served his country and fought in WWII in the Pacific, where he earned various medals, including the WWII victory medal while in the Navy, and was a state mine inspector and safety inspector with BLM, and was active in the local VFW, died on Oct. 9.

ï‚«Billy Z. Jones, who joined the Air Force and served in Germany during the Berlin Airlift, died on Oct. 10.

ï‚«Alexander “Al” Joseph Mruczek, of Belen, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and was a member of Calvary Chapel of the Rio Grande Valley, died on Oct. 10.

ï‚«Earl Hathorn, of Belen, who served in the U.S. Navy, and was a member of Rio Grande Valley Church of Christ, died on Oct. 11.

Seferino D. Zamora, of Jarales, who was a member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Jarales, died on Oct. 12.

ï‚«Patricia Moore, of Belen, who served in the U.S. Air Force, and was part of the ballooning community, died on Oct. 17.

Barbara Jean Price, of Belen, who was a member of the Belen Art League and Fiber to Finish Guild, died on Oct. 17.

ï‚«H. Kenton Berry, of Belen, who worked for AT&SF Railroad, served in the Navy during World War II and was active in the First Baptist Church, Bethlehem Lodge No. 56 and the Jessamine Chapter No. 45, died on Oct. 19.

ï‚«Bernard N. Nixon, who served in the Army during the Korean Conflict, earning two Oversea Service Bars, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Campaign Stars, was employed as a psychiatric aide at the Veterans Administration and retired as a correctional officer in 1996, died on Oct. 20.

Agneda N. Garcia, of Bosque Farms, who was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, died on Oct. 21.

MaryLou Gabaldon Cordova, who was a hairdresser, seamstress and chef, died on Oct. 26.

Roy P. Story, of Belen, who retired from a career with PNM and who was an active member of the New Mexico Jaycees, refereed football and basketball for more than 30 years with the NMAA, and was involved in Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, died on Nov. 2.

Libby M. Sanchez, of Belen, who was involved in the Homemaker’s Extension Club, earned a degree in home economics from New Mexico State University, wrote a book, “It’s Possible It Happened To Me,” died on Nov. 9.

Rosa Fishgrab, of Bosque Farms, who retired from Los Lunas Schools as a cook, died on Nov. 12.

Donicio Gabaldon Sr., of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, worked for the Santa Fe Railroad, uranium mines in Grants and Department of Corrections in Los Lunas, died on Nov. 14.

Teofila E. Griego, of Peralta, who was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Peralta, the Altar Society and a volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul, died on Nov. 14.

Patti Louise McDonald Ziegler, of Belen, who was a member of New Life Fellowship in Belen, and a member of the Praise Team, died Nov. 15.

ï‚«Pedro Candelaria, of El Cerro, a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and a Korean Conflict veteran, died on Nov. 16.

Roy Hudson, of Belen, and co-founder of Water King, died on Nov. 19.

ï‚«Marcus W. Kostolich, of Rio Communities, who was a psychiatric technician at UNM Children’s Psychiatric Hospital and served in the U.S. Army as a Green Beret medic, died on Nov. 23.

Mela Otero Perea, of Los Lunas, who was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and retired from Los Lunas Schools after 25 years as a baker, and who was a grandma with the foster grandparent program at Katherine Gallegos Elementary, died on Dec. 7.

John Lawrence Roberts, of Belen, who was an elder in the Community of Christ Church, a Valencia County Master Gardener and was a docent for the Botanical Gardens, died on Dec. 8.

Ruth Valles Olivas, of Los Lunas, who was a bilingual educator with Los Lunas Schools, and a fifth-grade teacher at Desert View Elementary School, died on Dec. 10.

Jesse Jones, of Belen, who competed in calf roping and made it to the High School National Finals, and who was a local farrier and welder, died Dec. 12.

ï‚«Jack Olver, of Belen, who served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II with the 629th Tank Destroyer Battalion, died Dec. 13.

Michael G. Benavides, of Valencia County, who was a long-time employee of Southwest Airlines, died Dec. 16.

Nina “Nan” Olguin, of Belen who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, died on Dec. 22.

Richard Lovato, of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, died Dec. 23.

Alta Lee Berry, of Belen who was a member of the First Baptist Church of Belen and a past matron Jessamine Chapter No. 45 Order of the Eastern Star, died on Dec. 24.

ï‚«Gregorio Castillo Jr., of Belen, who was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, and who served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star Medal, died on Dec. 27.

Deacon Manuel Gallegos, of Belen, who was an active member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus, died on Dec. 29.

Wanda Leola Proctor Cox, of Peralta, who was a member of the Bosque Farms Church of Christ and the Foxey Ladies Bowling League, died on Dec. 30.