Deaths and funerals (04/10/14)


Nicolas Pedro Aragon
Nicolas Pedro Aragon, 88, of Los Lunas and a former Santa Rosa resident, passed away Saturday, April 5, at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque following an illness.
Nicolas was born June 10, 1925, in San Iganacio, N.M. He grew up in San Ignacio and Cuervo, where he attended school. Nicolas served in the U.S. Army as a private with the Supplemental Training Company, Service Command Unit 1973 at Camp Abbot, Ore. He was honorably discharged on May 24, 1944.
Nicolas married Beatrice Mercedes Salas in 1950 in Mosquero, N.M. He worked until his retirement for Southern Pacific Railroad as a laborer and machinist for more than 30 years. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division.
Nicolas made his home in Santa Rosa from 1963-1977 before moving to Los Lunas. Nicolas farmed and ranched at Los Lunas. He enjoyed the many hours he spent on his tractor, attending the Belen Livestock Auction, and his dog, Blue. Nicolas was a member of San Clemente Catholic Church in Los Lunas, and St. Rose of Lima Parish in Santa Rosa.
He is preceded in death by his mother and step-father, Miquela and Maximiliano Rael; a grandmother, who raised him, Leonor Saiz Guerrero; a son, Phillip Aragon; grandson, Matthew Baca; four sons-in-law, Gilbert Flores, William Cline, Arthur Chavez Jr. and Isidro Baca; two sisters, Antonia Urban and Rose Donaldson; and a brother, Frank Segura.
A loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, Nicolas will be missed by his wife of 64 years, Beatrice M. Aragon of Los Lunas; 10 children, Angie Baca of Amarillo, Ruth Cline of Los Lunas, Lenora Flores of Mesa, Ariz., Pauline Aragon of Los Lunas, Lucille (Victor) Baca of Santa Rosa, Nick (Priscilla) Aragon, Madeline Aragon, Ray Aragon, Fay Aragon, all of Los Lunas, and Mary Chavez of Los Chavez; a stepson, Joe Henry Trujillo of Las Vegas, N.M.; four sisters, Angelina Quintana of Puerto De Luna, Pablita (Auge) Durante of Gallup, Esmeralda (Chester) Bradford of Tucumcari and Emiliana Rael of Albuquerque; two brothers, Cecilio (Liz) Rael of Los Lunas and Carlos (Mary Lou) Perea of Tucumcari. Also surviving are 16 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren, along with a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Rosary services, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial, were held Tuesday at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Santa Rosa. Burial, with military honors, followed at San Cristobal Cemetery in Cuervo, N.M., with Father Thomas Kayammakal officiating.
Serving as pallbearers were his grandchildren, Gilbert Flores Jr., Mayo Aragon, Vicente Baca, April Baca, Nicole Gurule and Nocolas J. Aragon. Serving as honorary pallbearers were Ryan Aragon and Candace Aragon and all his grandchildren.
All arrangements are under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 923 S. Third Street, Santa Rosa, N.M., 575-472-3369. To place an online tribute or sign the guest book, go to

Concha V. Castillo Caswell
Concha V. Castillo Caswell, age 88, a resident of Belen, passed away on Saturday, April 5.
She was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church. She was robust, energetic and loved life and took great pride in raising her children. Concha enjoyed working outdoors raising animals and cared for her plants and garden. She loved to socialize over drinks with her family, friends and son-in-law, Richard.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Cosme and Rosa Rayes Valadez; her first husband and father of her children, Gregorio Castillo Sr.; son, Gregorio Castillo Jr.; and her second husband, Clyde Caswell.
Concha is survived by her loving children, Rosa Perea, Robert, Carlos, Cosme, Rita Aragon, Udell and David; grandchildren, Greg Clarke, Linda Silva, Jesse Aragon, Tracy Castillo, Alane Stanton, Yvonne Romero, Rebecca Castillo and Derek Castillo; great-grandchildren, Cevin, Justin, Christyne, Stephen, Brandon, Ariel, Nicholas, Luke, Jesse, Jordan, Jake, Frankie and Diego; and great-great-grandchildren, Colten and Landon. She is also survived by her special niece, Martha Zamora, and many nieces and nephews.
All services were held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church on Tuesday April 8, with Father Stephen Schultz presiding. Interment was held at the Santa Fe National Cemetery on Wednesday, April 9.
Pallbearers were Greg Clarke, Linda Silva, Jesse Aragon, Tracy Castillo, Alane Stanton, Rebecca Castillo, Yvonne Romero and Derek Castillo.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the family caregivers and Ambercare Hospice.
Sign Concha’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen, NM Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Samuel Gonzales
Samuel Gonzales, age 87, a resident of Belen, passed away on Tuesday, April 8.
Arrangements are pending at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 864-4448, 418 W. Reinken Ave., where an online guest register is available at

Charles Lamont McGarrah
Charles Lamont McGarrah, age 70, lifelong resident of Valencia County, passed away on April 6.
He loved farming and enjoyed helping people. He was a graduate of Los Lunas High School and NMSU, with a degree in agricultural economics with high honors. He was born at home at the end of Chughole Lane near the river. He was a long-time supervisor at the Los Lunas NMSU Agricultural Center.
He was also a self-employed farmer and had raised alfalfa, vegetables and cottonwood trees for reforestation of the bosque. His favorite day in the year was March 1, when the irrigation water was turned on. He was raised using John Deere two-cylinder tractors, and retained an interest in them always, collecting and restoring them.
Because of illness, he had moved to Las Cruces two years ago to be nearer family, but he longed to return home.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents, George and Lois McGarrah; and step-mother, Dorothy McGarrah.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Marjorie Louise French; sons, Charles McGarrah Jr. (Debbie) and Jonathon McGarrah (partner, Francis Wille); beloved grandchildren, Katrina, Logan and Shane (April); four great-grandchildren; cousin, Johnny Billings; two sisters, Annie McGarrah (partner, Debbie Andrews) and Jeanette Meadows; brother-in-law, Winston “Bill” French (Linda); nephews, Alan Meadows and Nolan Meadows (Laura); nieces, Jodi Campbell and Jaime Peterson (Jon); and special “foster” grandson, Cody Crossley.
He enjoyed Sunday visiting with the friends at McDonald’s in Bosque Farms: Fran, Jerry, Bob, Bea and Chuck. He is also survived by a farming partner and loyal friend, Tom Place.
A viewing will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday April 10, at the Noblin Funeral Service Los Lunas Chapel. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, April 11, at Peralta Memorial Methodist Church, 25 Wesley Road, Peralta, with Pastor David Madera officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Memorial Park in Albuquerque at 1:15 p.m.
Pallbearers will be Winston French, Tom Place, Logan McGarrah, Nolan Meadows, Jonathon McGarrah and Katrina McGarrah.
The family will be at home, 26 Don Jacobo, Peralta, at the home of Nolan and Laura Meadows.
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

Doris Elizabeth (Stephenson) McKenzie
Doris McKenzie, of Tomé, died peacefully on March 26 at the Montebello Health Care Facility in the company of family.
Doris, daughter of Anna Elizabeth (Martin) and William Stephenson, was born and raised with two older siblings, William and Muriel, in Brooklyn, N.Y. She attended Pratt Institute, and in 1939, earned her B.S. degree at Columbia University, where she studied to become a dietician.
She married West Point graduate, 2nd Lt.  Burton E. (Mac) McKenzie on Aug. 30, 1940, and began her career as a dedicated military wife. They started their family with the adoption of a Dalmatian puppy named, Butch, and lived briefly in North Dakota and Florida during their first year.
World War II separated Doris and Mac for most of the next five years. He was stationed in Iceland when their daughter was born in New York, seven days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1944, Mac was reported missing in action during a mission over Italy. He had bailed out of his fighter plane and was captured and interned as a POW in Germany.
During the war years, Doris and her sister, Muriel, and each of their young daughters, combined households to share work and child care as Muriel’s husband, Hans Buch, was also serving in the military overseas.
After the war, Doris and Mac’s family was re-established. Their first son was born in 1946. They had tours of duty in many states, including Iowa, Michigan (and birth of their second son in 1951), Alabama and Virginia. They were assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan (1953-55), followed by stations in Nevada, Texas (and birth of their second daughter in 1958); Washington, D.C.,  four years in Peru (1962-1966) and the last post, Langley AFB, Virginia.
Doris viewed these times as rewarding opportunities to see our country, travel around the globe and experience many cultures and reunite with military friends in different locales.
Following Mac’s retirement from the Air Force in 1968, the family settled on a small farm in Tomé. Doris allowed her roots to grow deeply. The lady from New York, called Tomé home for the rest of her life. She liked tending her many animals, gardening and playing bridge with friends. She enjoyed her rural environs, Los Lunas and everything New Mexican. They reveled in the country life, treasured the neighbors they became such good friends with and loved the community that welcomed them.
Doris was predeceased by her parents, her brother, sister and beloved husband.
She is survived by her children and their families, Sandra (Richard) Berger, Burton (Pamela) McKenzie, William (Diane) McKenzie, Bonnie McKenzie, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. They will keep Doris in their hearts.
Doris lived life to the fullest, enjoying every adventure that came her way. She was just as comfortable with Afghan royalty as she was with her 4-H sewing class — both offering her opportunities to share her life with others in different ways.
Her German Shepherd dogs were always stalwart companions, but in the twilight of her life, she came to love and share her home with a lovely feline rescue.
Doris was loved by many; she will be missed every day by her family and friends, whom she leaves bereft. Dad, however, is rejoicing at the heavenly reunion. Vaya con Dios!
According to Doris’ wishes cremation has taken place and there will be no memorial service.
For those planning an expression of sympathy, the family suggests Operation Enduring Care –Healing with Honor, The USO, PO Box 96860, Washington, D.C., 20077-7677.

Manuel Peters
Manuel Peters, age 83, a resident of Bosque, passed away on Monday, April 7.
He was born in Nogales, Ariz., and grew up in Los Angeles, Calif. At 16, he lied about his age, joined the United States Army and proudly served in World War II. At 26, he met his wife-to-be, Mary, and proposed after a two-week courtship for a marriage lasting 57 years.
Manuel excelled at many things, including carpentry, 18-wheel truck driving, mechanics, plumbing, electrical work and music. He shared these gifts with his family and community. He was always there to help when someone was in need.
He was an active member of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish. Manuel had a great sense of humor. Most will remember him as friendly, always smiling, laughing, making jokes and telling stories. He loved and was devoted to his family and children. He was known to many as Uncle Manuel.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin G. and Manuela Martinez Peters; daughter, Esther “Dee Dee” Peters Baca; brother, Benjamin Jr.; four sisters, Carmen, Josephine, Socorro and Dora.
Manuel is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Carrillo Peters; two sons, Thomas and Anthony; and brother, Ruben. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 10, with a Rosary to be recited at 6 p.m. A final visitation will be held at San Antonio Catholic Church in Sabinal at 9:30 a.m., Friday, April 11, with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Sabinal Catholic Cemetery.
Sign Manuel’s online tribute Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Tina Sishc
Died 2014
Tina Sishc, 69 a lifetime resident of New Mexico, went to be with the Lord on April 1.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Hap and Louise Tichenor; brother, James Tichenor; and her beloved husband of 47 years, Monte.
She is survived by her son, Duane; daughter, Jennifer; grandsons, Ryan, Sean and Ethan; brother, Larry Tichenor and wife, Arlene; and a number of nieces and nephews.
She graduated from Highland High School in 1962 after which she attended the University of New Mexico for a brief period. After three years with the local telephone company, she moved up to a civil service position at the Veterans Hospital.
At the VA, she advanced to a management position in the contracts division. She eventually ended up with a similar job with the Army Corp of Engineers. Due to her severe rheumatoid arthritis, she was forced to retire early in 1996.
After retirement, Tina’s passions led her to volunteer at the recently opened Care Net facility in Los Lunas. After several years of hard work, she built up the organization to where it was self-sustaining and was able to create a few salaried positions where she became the first paid director.
Tina enjoyed camping. Every summer was filled with outings to the local mountains with family and friends where the day always ended sitting around a campfire telling stories. Of course she would go to bed early leaving Monte and Ron and any other hearty souls sitting around until midnight.
In 1985, Tina and Monte decided to buy a Honda Goldwing motorcycle, which they promptly named MAC (Middle Age Crazy). They enjoyed riding together and hitting the open road.
Tina and Monte enjoyed traveling. They made several trips to Hawaii, Mexico and a number of cruises, which included one to Alaska on their 30th wedding anniversary.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to Care Net of Valencia County, 601 Main SE, Suite 26, Los Lunas, NM, 87031, or to any children’s charity.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 12, at the New Life Fellowship Church in Belen, 601 Christopher Road. For directions, go to and click on How to find NLF.

Dorothy Ann Toers-Bijns
Dorothy Ann Toers-Bijns, age 47, a resident of Los Chavez, passed away on Wednesday, April 2.
She served on active duty in the United States Army for four years, and then in the Army Reserves for 12 years. She also served as a correctional officer and a juvenile correctional officer for nine years.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her father, Robert Lee Burns; and brothers, Gary, Paul and Robert Burns.
She is survived by her sons, Justin DeLong, Kevin DeLong and Matthew Toers-Bijns; one granddaughter, Tenaya DeLong; mother, Mary Burns; sister, Shirley Stevens; brother, William Burns and his wife, Cyndi; brother, David Burns and his wife, Monica; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel on Tuesday, April 8. Interment will be held at Santa Fe National Cemetery at a later date. All are welcome to attend.
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

Nellie M. Watkins
Nellie M. Watkins, age 94, a resident of Belen, passed away on Saturday, April 5.
All services will be held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel, on Saturday, April 12, beginning with a visitation at 9:30 a.m., with a funeral service to be held at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park.
Sign Nellie’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Daniel Victor Jaramillo
Daniel Victor Jaramillo, age 57, a resident of Belen, unexpectedly passed away on Monday, April 7.
He was born on April 18, 1956. Daniel grew up on his father’s dairy farm in Tomé and worked until his retirement as a sergeant at CNM Corrections Facility.    Daniel was an outdoorsman, who enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and relaxing on his pontoon boat. He was a man of few words, but always expressed a great love and pride in his children.
He was preceded in death by his loving parents, Carlos Jaramillo and Remie Lente, of Tomé.
A loving father, grandfather, brother and friend, Daniel will be missed by his children, Rhonda Jaramillo, Jeffery Baldonado, Jeanette Jaramillo, Jonas Jaramillo and Luke Jaramillo; son-in-law, Lupe Paz; daughter-in-law, Katrina Jaramillo; his grandchildren, Isaac Lopez, Gabriella Paz, Sofia Jaramillo and Liam Jaramillo; his siblings, Kathy Moya and Anthony Jaramillo; and his nieces and nephew.
He will be missed but forever in the thoughts of all who knew him.
Services will be held at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, April 10, beginning with a visitation and followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., 64-4448, where an online guest register is available at