Deaths and funerals (02/06/14)


Leonard Ray Covey

Leonard Ray Covey, age 83, a resident of Albuquerque, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Leonard is survived by his son, David Covey and his wife, Wendy; daughter, Rose Haack and husband, Karl; and their two children, Ryan and Michelle; brother, Henry Covey and his wife, Sarah; and sister, Marjorie Cole and her husband, Don.
A graveside service was held at Terrace Grove Cemetery, on Wednesday, Feb. 5, with Pastor Len Ridley officiating.
Sign Leonard’s online register book at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Clara Lee Castro Downing

Clara Lee Castro Downing, age 90, a resident of Belen, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 2.
She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. Clara was an avid gardener and loved spending time at the casino.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John Isadore and Clara DeMonte Castro; her beloved husband of 56 years, Donald Ned Downing; and 11 brothers and sisters.
Clara is survived by her children, Donna Barton and husband, Dale Barton, Ronald Downing and wife, Flora Downing, Susan Lawson and husband, Randall Lawson; and brother, Wilbert Castro. She is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
A viewing will be held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel at 10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 7, with a funeral service to be held at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be Randall Lawson, Wayne Lawson and Samuel Glodt.
Sign Clara’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Joseph Richard “Dick” Doyle

Joseph Richard “Dick” Doyle, age 82, a resident of Belen, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, Jan. 23.
Dick was preceded in death by Bernie, his wife of 54 years.
He is survived by daughter, Sheila Buckler and her husband, Ozzie; daughter, Bonnie Downey; sister, Joanne Wright and her husband, Tom; as well as grandchildren, Jeremy Buckler, Kelley Buckler and Thomas Rolison.
Interment will be at 11 a.m.,  Saturday, Feb. 8, at Sunset Memorial Park, followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Belen.
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

Carmel Garcia
Died 2014

Carmel Garcia, age 50, passed away on Monday, Feb. 3.
She was born in Montana, but grew up in Belen and graduated from Belen High School. Carmel married David Garcia on Sept. 15, 1984, and shared more than 29  years together.
She was a dedicated homemaker and loved taking care of her family and others. She enjoyed yard work and helping with the family’s R.V. park in Jewett, Texas. Carmel also loved to travel, especially going on ocean cruises. She was a Catholic and attended Blessed Kateria Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo, Texas.
She is survived by her husband, David Garcia, of Jewett; one daughter, Tamara Ahearn and husband, Jeff, of Jewett; two sons, Brian Garcia and fiancé, Megan Wood, of Santa Fe, and Austin Garcia, of Jewett; three grandchildren, Ryan, Riley and Reagan Ahearn, and a fourth grandchild on the way; three sisters, Michelle Baca, Tonia Pena and Mara Segal; one brother, Damian Gardner; her father and stepmother, John and Ida Gardner; one step-sister, Patricia Gardner; her mother-in-law, Frances Garcia, all of New Mexico; other relatives and friends.
Mrs. Garcia was precede in death by her mother, Teresa Gardner; and her father-in-law, David Garcia Sr.
A visitation and Rosary were held on Wednesday at Ricks-Bowers Funeral Home in Jewett, Texas. A Funeral Mass for Carmel Garcia will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 6, at Blessed Kateri Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo, Texas, with MSGR. Ted Rydelek will officiating.
Please visit our website,, to sign the memorial guestbook or leave a message for the family.

Jessie “Gerry” Lowrance

Gerry Lowrance, age 85, a resident of Belen, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 1.
She was born on Nov. 29, 1928, in Sayre, Okla. She worked for New Mexico Boys Ranch for 32 years.
In 1964, she moved from Albuquerque to Portales, and served as a house mother to the older girl’s dorm at Baptist Children’s Home. She, at that time, worked with Walker Hubbard, who was superintendent of Baptist Children’s Home and New Mexico Boys Ranch. She did booking keeping for N.M. Boys Ranch while being house parent for the girls.
When Mr. Hubbard retired in 1970, she elected to move to N.M. Boys Ranch to continue working for them.  She also did missionary work in Mexico. She loved the Lord, the Dallas Cowboys and Dr. Pepper!
Gerry was a loving mother, hardworking and held however many jobs needed to support her two boys. Family was important to her. She kept in touch with cousins, nephews, nieces and friends as long as she was able. She was known by many as “Granny G” or “Aunt Gerry.”
In her last days, she loved to be entertained by guitar and worship music.
She was preceded in death by her son, William Duane Lowrance (deceased Oct. 27, 2007).
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Pam Lowrance, of Belen; grandsons, Terry Lowrance Jr. “TJ” and wife, Marie, and great-granddaughter, Hanna, William Duane Lowrance Jr., and his wife, Kristyn, and great-granddaughter, Jordyn, Jeffrey Lowrance and his wife, Janelle, and great-grandson, Dylan, and great-granddaughter, Zoe.
Services will be held at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel on Saturday, Feb. 8, beginning with a visitation at 1:30 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m.
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

Willie M. Orona
Died 2014

Willie M. Orona passed away Tuesday, Feb. 4.
Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Tomé. Friends may visit beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Please visit our online guestbook for Willie at; French, 7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE, 823-9400.

Gordon E. Rex

Gordon E. Rex passed away on Friday, Jan. 31, at his home in Los Lunas. He was born on March 30, 1934, in Orefield, Penn.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer Henry and Grace Alice Rex; as well as eight brothers, David, Kermit, John, Ruben, Herbert, Carlton, Wilmer and Luther Rex.
He is survived by his loving partner, Marilyn Stokes; sisters, Arlene Marsteller and Betty Brunner; children, Gordon Rex and wife, Lynn, Sandra Masters, Linda Fenstermaker, Gary Rex, Terry Rex and wife, Lisa, Jeff Zellner and wife, Shelly, Michele Swartz and husband, John, Allison Kim and husband, Billy, Brad Zellner, Preston Rex and wife, Michele, Shirley Gomez and husband, Adam, and Mike Dicus and wife, Sarah; as well as 40 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Gordon was born, raised and lived in Pennsylvania until he moved to Albuquerque in 1970. He eventually moved to Valencia County in 1985, where he resided until the time of his passing.
When he wasn’t enjoying his large family, Gordon spent much of his time fixing cars, diesel trucks, farm and construction equipment, pretty much anything on wheels. He was a mechanic by trade and owned many of his own  businesses, one of them being Rex Automotive.
With his vast knowledge of mechanics and great patience, he also taught many others the trade he loved so much. Fittingly, Gordon’s greatest love, besides his family, was being involved with car racing at local dirt tracks. He raced cars himself, sponsored other racers and was willing to help in any way; if it had to do with dirt racing Gordon was involved.
As well as dirt racing, he also took on the task of collecting, rebuilding, then selling classic cars. His passion for all things automotive was only one of the things Gordon enjoyed. He also spent his time playing guitar with friends and family, a love he passed on to some of his sons.
Gordon was greatly loved and will be missed immensely.
Services will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Duncan Memorial Building 8 La Ladera, Los Lunas.
Arrangements entrusted to Riverside Funeral Home of Los Lunas.

Jay Alan Sefton

Jay Alan Sefton’s spirit was freed on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 25.
Jay was born Feb. 13, 1952, in Albuquerque, to Ira (Sonny) and JoAnn Sefton.
Jay was preceded in death by his father. Jay is survived by his true love, best friend and wife of 40 years, Cynthia Sefton; three children, Melanie (Eli) Ludwig, Melissa (Vincent) Chavez and Sonny Jay Sefton; grandchildren Evan, Dominik, Lillian, Brighton and Beckham Jay; mother, JoAnn Sefton; sister, Johnni Van Tol; uncle, CL Maddon and many other loved family members.
Jay grew up in the Rio Grande Valley and graduated from Los Lunas High School. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy for four years. He was presented with the Academic Award in 1973 while attending the U.S. Naval Training Center in San Diego, Calif.
Jay was employed by Wagner Equipment, formerly Rust Tractor, for 26 years. Prior to that, he was self-employed as an oil field welder in Oklahoma. Jay lived in Belen the last 26 years. While there, he served as Belen Little League’s president,  earned his brown belt in Goju Ryu karate. Jay was a member of Skydive New Mexico and the United State Parachute Association for the past six years and had earned his license, No. C-39685.
He loved his family, the ranch, cacti gardening, skydiving, good coffee, baseball, his catahoula hounds, visiting around a kitchen table, firearms and all things sharp! Jay also loved inspirational wisdom of any kind.
We are asking any attending his celebration to bring an inspirational message that means something to them. There will be a message board for anyone wanting to post their message or memory about Jay.
A celebration of life will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, at Old Town Farm, 949 Montoya Street NW, Albuquerque.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Firefighter’s Survivor Fund, P.O. Box 1697, Belen, N.M., 87002.
Well done Jay Alan, our partner, father, son, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew, friend and mentor. We salute you.
Lon dubh scaoil, lon dubh scaoil
Isteach i solas dubh na hoích’
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Joe R. Torres

Joe R. Torres, age 63, resident of Peralta, a beloved son, brother, uncle and grandfather, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 1.
He is survived by his two daughters, Karen and Renay; two sons, Brandon and Kevin; parents, Jose and Elvina; two brothers, Art and Robert; two sisters, Hilda and Romie; seven grandchildren and nephews.
A Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 8.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Los Lunas Chapel, 2211-D Main St., 866-9992.