Deaths and funerals (05/01/14)

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John S. Aragon
1917-2014

On the morning of Monday, April 28, John S. Aragon passed away peacefully in the arms of his daughter, Karen, and entered into the arms of his beloved wife, Rose, in the presence of heaven.
John grew up in Belen, where he married Rose Jaramillo. They had three children, Roselyn, Karen and Annette. John proudly served in the United States Air Force during WWII from 1939 to 1945.
John went on to obtain a master’s degree in education from UNM. He worked in Belen as a teacher, a principle at Gil Sanchez Elementary School and as superintendent of Belen Public Schools.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Telesford and Leduvina Sanchez  Aragon; his beloved wife of 67 years, Rose Jaramillo Aragon; sister, Josie Archuleta; brothers, Florendo and Joseph S. Aragon; and son-in-law, Robert Chavez.
John is survived by his loving daughters, Rosalyn Chavez, Karen Aragon and husband, Dick Coffman, and Annette Benavidez and husband, Carlos; grandchildren, Judith Ann Chavez, Cheryl Martinez, Judge John Chavez, Melissa Rose Marks, Celeste Grobowski and Tawnya Archuleta; 14 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren.
All services will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, beginning with a viewing at 5 p.m., Monday, May 5, with a Rosary to be recited at 6 p.m. A final visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 6, with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10 a.m. with Father Stephen Schultz presiding. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.
Sign John’s online tribute at www.romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Juan C. Baca Sr.
1928-2014

Juan C. Baca Sr., age 86, passed away surrounded by his family after waiting 16 long years to join his beloved wife in Heaven.
Juan was an active, instrumental and respected resident of Casa Colorada from his birth on Jan. 27, 1928, until his death on Wednesday, April 23. He attended school at the Casa Colorada School House.
Juan worked tirelessly to get the school house restored and an addition built so there would be a kitchen and bathrooms. The Casa Colorada Community Center was something he knew the community needed for events.
Juan was also a lifelong member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Casa Colorada and Tomé. When the original church fell, he helped build the current church. He cared for the church his whole life and maintained the cemetery, cutting the weeds with a shovel and hoe until it got to be too much for an aging man.
Juan proudly retired from the Santa Fe Railroad in 1988 after 38 years of outstanding service. Juan loved his family and friends. He enjoyed dancing, telling the history of Casa Colorada and cheering against the Dallas Cowboys.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 48 years, Elena Torres Baca; children, Bernice and Luciano Baca; parents, Ramon and Dolores Serna Baca; father and mother-in-law, Escolastico and Noberta Lovato Torres; daughters-in-law, Christine and Shirley; and son-in-law, Larry Lucero.
Juan is survived by his loving and caring children, Juan Jr. and wife, Maria, Ramon and wife, Marilyn, Estefana Montoya and husband, Gary, Robert and wife, Rosanne, Josefita Sandoval and husband, Ron, Phillip and partner, Lilia, Lori Martinez and husband, Richard, Angela Lucero, Paul, Joe and partner, Melissa, Carmelita, Brenda and Damacia; special niece, Lisa Sanchez Garcia and husband, Romaldo, 32 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren; sister, Ernestina Montoya; sisters-in-law, Selina Sanchez and Dora Baca; and brother-in-law, Jose Rey Torres and wife, Lucy. He is also survived by countless nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A viewing and Rosary were held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel on Sunday, April 27. A Funeral Mass was held at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Tomé on Monday, April 28, with Father Jose Hernandez presiding. Interment followed at Casa Colorada Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Juan Jr., Ramon, Robert, Phillip, Paul and Joe Baca. Honorary pallbearers were his daughters.
Sign Juan’s online tribute at www.romerofuneralhomenm.com Romero. Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Anselmo Cordova
1931-2014

Anselmo Cordova, age 83, a resident of Bosque Farms, was called to be with our Lord on Sunday, April 27.
Anselmo proudly served in the United States Army for three years. He worked for the civil service and later retired from the United States Post Office. He was a very active member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.
He joined the Corrcio and served as a Eucharist Minister for 20 years. Anselmo was also a member of the Legion of Mary and a Servite member.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jose and Seferina Esquivel Cordova; brothers, Pablo and Eluvelio; and son, Anthony.
Anselmo is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Rebecca Molina Cordova; daughters, Theresa Sangre, Clara Baca and husband, Greg, and Eleanor Cordova; sons, John and wife, Nora, Andrew and wife, Teresa, Rufino and wife, Giesla, and Richard; 15 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Gloria Archuleta and husband, Albert, and Donna Cordova; and brother, Leo and wife, Lola. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
All services will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Peralta on Thursday, May 1, beginning with a viewing at 9:30 a.m., with Rosary to be recited 10 a.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. with Father Hoi Tran presiding. Interment will follow at Valencia Catholic Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Anthony, Mathew and Jason Baca, Jonathan, James and Ron Cordova and Daniel Moreno. Honorary pallbearers will be Dianna Lucero, Maria Daniels, Joanna Gawrada, Corinia Sefe and Rachel Baca.
The family would like to give a special thank you to Father Hoi Tran, Knights of Columbus, Legion of Mary, Servite Third Order members, his neighbor, Robert Lamont and to all the family and friends praying for us.
Sign Anselmo’s online tribute at www.romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Mary “Yoli” Gallegos
1937-2014

Mary “Yoli” Gallegos, age 76, a resident of Belen, was escorted by God’s hand into the gates of heaven on Monday, April 28.
She lived 76 wonderful years, and 45 of those were spent with Cruz Gallegos. Cruz was a devoted husband, who cared for Mary even in their roughest times battling the cancer. He was a compassionate, loving husband who treated Mary as if she was his whole world. Cruz was the man every woman would have wanted.
Mary and Cruz have six children, Joey, Johnny, Henry, DeAnna Castillo and husband, Charles, Eric and Romalo. Mary was blessed to have her family and her goddaughter, Eva Chavez, near her when she went to our Lord.
Mary had 24 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She loved them all as if they were her own.
Services will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church on Friday, May 2, beginning with a visitation at 9 a.m., followed by the Rosary at 9:30 a.m. The Funeral Mass will follow at 10 a.m. The family would like to thank family and friends for all the support and love on behalf of Mary. Thank you all, and God bless.
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 www.noblinfuneralservice.com.

Teofilo Garcia
1931-2014

Teofilo Garcia, age 82, passed away on Thursday, April 24.
“Toby” is survived by his wife, Mary Jane; daughters, Diane Narvaez (husband, Henry) and L.A Garcia; grandsons, Chris Rose and Evan Narvaez; his brother, Diego; and many step children and grandchildren.
Services were held on Tuesday, April 29, at San Clemente Catholic Church in Los Lunas.
Arrangements are being handled by Noblin Funeral Service Los Lunas Chapel, where an online guest register is available at www.noblinfuneralservice.com.

Mary Hawkes
1994-2014

Mary Scarlett Hawkes was born on Oct. 24, 1994. When she came into this world, she was a true gift. Her life was full of twists and turns which led her to the Hawkes family, who loved her unconditionally and made her their daughter.
Mary touched so many hearts with her infectious smile, huge heart, and willingness to help those in need. There was not a single person or animal that she overlooked.
Mary loved horses and loved working with them; to her this was an escape, a passion, she always said that she loved horses because they were free spirits just like her. This artistic, creative, young lady held the tools within herself to become something remarkable, and we are saddened that her life ended too soon, and went to be with our Lord on Monday, April 21.
When you touch someone’s life, it’s a privilege. When you touch someone’s heart, it’s a blessing. When you touch someone’s mind, it’s an honor. When you touch someone’s soul, it is a triumph. When you touch someone’s spirit, it is a miracle.
Mary did this with every person she met, through troubles and struggles at times, she always looked for the good in people. She believed that she could make a difference in people and helped most to find their way. Mary could not change the past nor control the future, but she could change the mood of each day by touching people’s hearts with her smile, love and compassion.
As per her sister’s request, Mary’s life was celebrated with a quiet viewing held on Thursday, April 24, at Romero Funeral Home in Belen, along with a memorial service on Friday, April 25.
Thank you to all of our family and friends who attended the services and helped during this difficult time.

Donald Edward Kelly
1939-2014

Dr. Donald Edward Kelly, 74, a small-town boy who became a nationally-known education consultant, has died. Don died in Albuquerque after a 1 1/2-year battle with multiple myeloma and kidney failure.
He had been treated at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver last June with stem cell replacement therapy and appeared to be improving. However, eight months after his return home to New Mexico, the cancer recurred. He died Feb. 28 with his wife and son by his side while in hospice care.
Friends commented on his warmth, optimism and life-long sense of humor, joking with his nurses and doctors, even through his final illness.
Don was born in Greeley, Colo., on June 18, 1939, and grew up in the town of LaSalle and graduated from College High School in Greeley, where he played on the state championship baseball team.
He spent summers working as a carpenter with his father, Edward Kelly. He held degrees in education and psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, and received his doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University in 1970.
In 1983, Don married Diane Telep in Los Lunas, and they settled comfortably into a life crowded with cats, dogs and horses. In the fall evenings, he enjoyed watching the sandhill cranes, which returned to the pastures every November to feed before moving north in March.
Don’s 49 years as an educator included work as a classroom teacher, a principal and 27 years as a teacher educator in New Mexico. He was best known professionally for his nationwide work with at-risk middle schools and adolescents.
He was consultant to the state Department of Education and advised schools and educational organizations from Alaska to Florida, including many Navajo Nation schools. He was director of the New Mexico Middle Grade School Initiative,“Turning Points” Carnegie Corporation of N.Y. Policy Initiative, and consultant/site coordinator to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Successful Schools Program.
Don is survived by his wife, Diane; sister, Mardelle Ewing, of LaSalle, Colo.; his only son, Kristofor; and grandson, Griffin, both of Austin, Texas.
The Kelly family expresses great appreciation for the dedicated care provided by Dr. Kenneth Smith, the entire oncology team at the Cancer Center at Presbyterian, and the compassionate hospice caregivers.
Cremation has taken place. Don requested no formal memorial service be held. A celebration of his life will be held later this summer with close friends and family. With this in mind, reserve a moment of reflection and strive to be happy.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Los Lunas Chapel, 2211-D Main St., 866-9992, where an online guest register is available at www.noblinfuneralservice.com.

Salomon “Salo” Maestas
1921-2014

Salomon “Salo” Maestas, age 93, a resident of Belen, passed away on Tuesday, April 29. He was a lifetime member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church.
In 1990, Salo and Lucy Maestas were the Padrinos for Our Lady of Belen Fiestas. Salo was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and on May 22, 2004, he was awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Knights of Columbus.
Salo was a founding member of the Valencia Sheriff’s Posse and an active member for 35 years. He was also a member of the Elks and Moose lodges. Salo was an entrepreneur with many successful businesses and was known to help many people in the community.
Salo and his wife Lucy, who he lost on Feb. 15, 2014, were married 72 years. Salo was one of the real last cowboys. Ride into the sunset, Salo!
He was preceded in death by his parents, Manuel Isidora Sanchez Maestas; daughter, Katherine; an infant brother, Albaro; brothers, Alvaro and Raynaldo; and sisters, Theresa and Odelia Sanchez.
Salo is survived by his son, Joe and wife, Flora; daughters, Joyce Ashner and husband, Ken, and Jane Tafoya and husband, Gilbert; sisters, Dominique Moya, Erlinda Maestas and Carmen Sanchez; eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
All services will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, beginning with a visitation at noon on Friday, May 2, with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 1 p.m. with Father Stephen Schultz presiding. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be Dwayne and Lori Tafoya. Honorary pallbearers will be Natalie Armstrong, Todd Maestas, Kelly Trujillo, Gilbert Tafoya, Tammy Aragon, Julie Apodaca and Adriana Sanchez.
Sign Salo’s online tribute at www.romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Larry Edward Ridenour
1938-2014

Larry Edward Ridenour, age 76, born in Howard County, Ind., and a resident of Los Lunas, passed away after a long illness surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, April 23.
Larry’s first love was his family. His other loves were the Blue Star Mother’s and the troops.
Larry is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Hiltrud Schafer Ridenour; daughter, Heidi and husband, Neel Holcombe; son, Robert and wife, Tammy Ridenour; grandchildren, Robert and wife, Kandy Ridenour, Maggie Ridenour, Cameron and Carleigh Ridenour; great-grandchildren, Keith, Korin, Kloe, Ember, Kadence, Kaiden and Kyle.
All services were held at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Los Lunas, on Tuesday, April 29. Interment will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to the Blue Star Mother’s, P.O. Box 9176, Albuquerque, NM, 87119.
Sign Larry’s online tribute at www.romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Maria Odelia Maestas Sanchez
1940-2014

Maria Odelia Maestas Sanchez, age 73, a resident of Belen, was called home to our Lord on Saturday, April 26.
She was born on July 24, 1940, to the late Manuel and Isidora Sanchez Maestas in Los Trujillos. Maria was the youngest of eight children.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bobby Martinez; daughter, Angela Lopez; parents, Manuel and Isidora Sanchez Maestas; brothers, Albaro, Ray and Alvaro Maestas; and sister, Theresa Sanchez.
Maria is survived by her loving son, Anthony Martinez; grandchildren, Andrea and Manuel Lopez and soon-to-be-born, Jaxson Garrison; brother, Salomon Maestas; and sisters, Dominica “Domi” Moya and Erlinda Maestas. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, who love her dearly.
All services were held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church. A Rosary was held Monday, April 28, and a Funeral Mass was held Tuesday, April 29, with Father Stephen Schultz presiding. Interment followed at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers were Joe Maestas, Diego Garcia, Michael Moya, Robert Sanchez, Ray Maestas Jr. and William Garrison.
Sign Maria’s online tribute at www.romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Valerie Dianne D’Spain Waller
Died 2014

Valerie Dianne D’Spain Waller, age 50, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Tuesday, April 22.
Valerie grew up in Los Lunas, graduated from Los Lunas High School and helped with all the family contributions to the community. While in high school, she was an excellent student and especially enjoyed being a part of the volleyball team.
After graduation, she moved to California and began working for Burger King, where she quickly moved up to manager of the restaurant. She continued her career in several states, Korea and Germany, where she opened and established new restaurants.  In this process she traveled to many adjoining countries.
While a military wife for more than 10 years, Valerie managed several businesses. As an officer’s wife, she learned to be an accomplished hostess, enjoyed assisting with records as the soldiers deployed to Kuwait for Desert Storm, and loved working with and helping the military families where many lifelong friends were made.
After the military years, Valerie returned to Los Lunas and her management at Burger King until she took time off to be a caregiver for Jack Duncan for several years.  During this time, Valerie became an excellent musician, playing the bass fiddle and piano.
She learned to drive and maintain Jack’s motor home, in which they and friends traveled to many music competitions and functions in several states, including the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest in Idaho.
After Jack’s death, Valerie took up the fiddle and became an excellent talent. She bought her own motor home and continued traveling to various festivities, making many new friends and keeping in touch with old friends.
Valerie gave up her motor home and enrolled in Carrington College, where she earned an Associate of Science degree in health care administration and was on the president’s list. She planned to continue further with a scholarship when diagnosed with cancer.
Valerie was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Howard C. and Edna E. Simpson; paternal grandparents, Charles D. and Ada S. D’Spain.
She is survived by her parents, C. David D’Spain and Barbara A. Simpson D’Spain; brother, Bob D. D’Spain; niece, Angela D’Spain Ogletree and husband, Omar; nephew, Kyle G. D’Spain and wife, Ashlyn; four great-nieces, Tamara Ogletree, Kyleigh D’Spain, Karli D’Spain and Kallee D’Spain; uncle, Howard D. Simpson and wife, Dianne; many friends and other family.
Valerie will be missed by all her family and friends who have enjoyed her personally and musically. Heaven will welcome her talents and God has called her home to enjoy His Grace.
Services for Valerie will be private.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Los Lunas Chapel, 2211-D Main St., 866-9992, where an online guest register is available at www.noblinfuneralservice.com.

Thomas M. Wosick
Died 2014

Thomas M. Wosick, age 29, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Friday, April 25.
He was born in Sioux Falls, S.D., attended Valencia Middle School and Sandia High School. His former employer was Nunn Co. of Texas.
Thomas was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Henry and Angie Wosick; maternal grandparents, Charlene Spicer and John Schellenberg.
He is survived by his parents, Michael Wosick, of Los Lunas, and Nancy A. Leonard, of Los Lunas; sister, Rebecca Brady and her husband, Ignacio; niece,  Ambrosia, of Albuquerque; and multiple aunts, uncles and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at Noblin Funeral Service Los Lunas Chapel at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 3.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Los Lunas Chapel, 2211-D Main St., 866-9992, where an online guest register is available at www.noblinfuneralservice.com.