Deaths and funerals (05/29/14)


Ben Joe Baca
Ben Joe Baca was born and raised in Adelino, and a resident of Whittier, Calif.
He was a Vietnam vet who loved riding his motorcycle and building hot rods.
Baca was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret H. Baca; brothers, Joe and Louie Baca; mother- and father-in-law, Mariano and Lilly Chavez; and brother-in-law, Richard Chavez.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Glenda Baca; daughter, Yvonne and husband, David Hardy; son, Mario Baca, and grandchildren, Zackary and wife, Ellie, Andrew, Jessica and Victoria.
Baca is also survived by his father, Antonio M. Baca; brothers, Cris and wife, Susan, Ray and wife, Agnes, Anthony and wife, Delfine, and sisters-in-law, Patty, Maryann, Jane, Regina and Brenda; and many nieces and nephews.
He will be missed by his family and friends. A memorial was held in Whittier, Calif., on May 27.

Gene L. Chavez
Gene L. Chavez, an active member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, passed away at the age of 80 on May 25, at his family home in Jarales, surrounded by his loving family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jose and Ramona Lopez Chavez of Barriales, NM; and his siblings, Juan Chavez, Victoria Barela, Emilio Chavez, Nestor Chavez, Greg Chavez, and Frank Chavez.
Gene is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Virginia Trujillo Chavez; three children, Sam Chavez and wife, Anna Tabet-Chavez, Ray Chavez and wife, Anna Castillo-Chavez, and Paula Sedillo and husband, Antonio Sedillo; he was the proud grandfather of Kenny Chavez, Dora Ann Chavez-Delgado husband, Mark Delgado, Joseph Chavez and wife, Catherine Baca-Chavez, Allen Chavez, Emily Sedillo and Juan Sedillo; his great-grandchildren are Christopher Loera, Halie Ann Delgado, Leia Ann Delgado, and Mark Delgado and there is another baby boy on the way.
He is also survived by his two sisters, Martina Brown and husband, Charles Brown and Ramona Jacks, in addition to many loving nieces and nephews.
All services were held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church. A final viewing will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 29, at Our Lady of Belen 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. Gene and Virginia’s six grandchildren will serve as his pallbearers. The family would like to express their gratitude towards Ambercare Hospice for their wonderful care and thank all family and friends who have provided their support and love during this time.
Sign Gene’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Tommy Lynn Downing
Tommy went to be with the Lord on Saturday, May 24.
He lived in the Los Lunas and Belen area for 55 years. He went to school in Belen and was very active in the FFA.
He is preceded in death by his father, Lloyd Isaham Downing; two sons, Davis Roy Downing and Christopher Lloyd Downing; son-in law-Scott Vestal; grandparents John and Mertil Downing; many loving aunts and uncles.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Lilla Downing; two daughters, Tammy Vestal of Los Lunas, Angelica Grantland and husband Travis of Los Lunas; three grandchildren, Sheldon Downing 16, Deric Grantland 14, Cayden Grantland 7 of Los Lunas; his mother, Sarah A. Jones of Belen; three brothers, Larry Downing and wife Betty of Milan, Johnny Downing and wife Johanna of Aztec, Billy Downing and wife Lorrie of Denver, Colo.; two sisters, Jackie Box and husband Radell of Nogal, Sally Whitham of Belen. One uncle Joe Dowing and wife Elsie of Sanama, Texas; many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Tommy was a loving husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law, brother and uncle. Everyone loved him; he was dedicated to family and friends. He served his country for nine years in the United States Army. After he served his time in the Army, he worked for the office of personal management for 23 years and retired in 2001. He then worked for Keynote Express for 13 years where he worked until his death.
He loved his animals and raised cattle for many years. He also worked the flea market and tinkered with things to fix and sell.
Services will be held at 9 a.m., starting with a public viewing and cervices at 10 a.m., Monday, June 2, at Riverside Funeral Home, 820 Main St. NE, Los Lunas. A dinner at the family home will follow at 11 a.m. Internment will be at 3 p.m. at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
His last request was that no cut flowers be sent. He loved the beauty of them in their natural state.

Pauline A. Padilla
Pauline A. Padilla, age 64, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Tuesday, May 27.
Services are pending at this time.
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

Hubert H. “Pat” Patterson Jr.
Hubert H. “Pat” Patterson Jr. died peacefully in his home on May 15, surrounded by his many books and near his cherished airplanes.
He was born to Pearl D. and Hubert H. Patterson Sr. in a hospital in Nashville, Tenn. on Jan. 16, 1921, because there was no doctor in the small town of Davidson, where his family was living.
From a young age, Pat demonstrated his talents with all things mechanical. As a teenager, he purchased a Model T for $5. It was in pieces in a farmer’s field, so Pat reassembled it and he had his first car.
He received a degree in physics from Tennessee Polytechnic Institute and then joined the Navy, where, because of his skill and interest with radios, he was chosen to work as a radio and radar man. After the war, he went to China Lake, Calif., to work at the Naval Ordinance Test Station. It was there that Pat met and fell in love with the beautiful and intelligent Hilda G. Spivey.
He dated her for two weeks, before deciding that she was the woman of his dreams, so he proposed and they married four months later. The following year, Pat accepted a job at Sandia Labs, so the newlyweds moved to Albuquerque in 1948.
Pat worked for Sandia Labs for 28 years, managing various departments including electronic systems, field test projects, strategic systems and nuclear testing. One of his fondest memories from his time at Sandia Labs was when he went to the White House and met with Sherman Adams, the chief of staff for President Eisenhower, to show him the microphone and detection device that Pat had developed with his team to reproduce the spy microphone that the Russians had placed in the Great Seal of the United States in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
Work was interesting, but hobbies were more fun, so during those years, Pat was a ham-radio operator, a white-water rafter and in 1959, he realized his dream of becoming a pilot. Flying became and remained Pat’s passion (second only to his love for Hilda). In 1965, he became a flight instructor and thereafter was better able to share the joy of flying with others.
After retirement, Pat and Hilda spent the next 15 years dividing their time between travel to Mexico and Oregon and homes in Cedar Key, Fla., Livingston, Tenn. and Albuquerque. They returned full time to New Mexico in 1991, when they moved to Mid-Valley Air Park.
This community was a dream come true for Pat and Hilda. Pat delighted in being surrounded by airplanes and the people who loved them, and he and Hilda quickly became active and much loved members of the community. Pat was very active in the EAA Young Eagles Program with its goal of introducing young people to aviation, and he flew over 300 missions in the program.
At age 80, Pat qualified for the UFO’s (United Flying Octogenarians) and he continued flying and working on his planes until very recently. As one friend said, “He certainly used the whole runway!”
Everywhere Pat lived, he touched people. He was generous with his time and with his numerous talents. He was frequently quiet, but he could also be incredibly humorous, with his dry and intelligent wit. He was charming, and he was a gentleman. He will be greatly missed.
Pat is survived by his sons, Robert Alan and Thomas Reed Patterson, of Albuquerque; his daughter, Dana Patterson Roth and son-in-law, John Roth, of Placitas; and his grandchildren, Kyndra Anne Patterson Roth and Micah Reed Patterson Roth, of St. Paul, Minn.
He was preceded in death by his father, Hubert Sr. in 1975; his mother, Pearl, in 1978; his beloved wife Hilda, in 1999; and his sister, Gloria Lakin in 2002.
The family wishes to thank the many wonderful friends Pat has, especially those in Mid-Valley, who have been like part of the family. We will forever be grateful for the love and kindness you have shown our father and grandfather.
A gathering for friends and family will be held at 4601 B South Elaine Drive in Los Lunas on Saturday, May 31, starting with a “missing-man formation” at 8:15 a.m. and ceremony to follow. For more information email
If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Mid-Valley Air Park/EAA Building Fund, through which the joy of aviation will continue to be shared with future generations. Write checks to: MVAP Building Fund, 11 East-West Drive, Los Lunas, NM, 87031. Please specify that it is in memoriam of HH Patterson.

Hazel M. Roberts
Hazel M. Roberts, age 82, longtime resident of Belen, passed away on Tuesday, May 27. Mrs. Roberts was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jimmie, in 2005 and is survived by her three children, Keith of Bethesda, Md., Bruce of Anchorage, Alaska and Kathryn of Albuquerque; brother, Larry Murry of Kent, Wash. and four grandchildren.
Please contact the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel for further service information, 864-4448,

Boleslo M. Romero
Boleslo M. Romero, “Lolo”, age 96, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away in an auto accident near Los Lunas on Wednesday morning, May 21. Boleslo was born in 1917 and raised in Los Lunas. Boleslo attended school in Los Lunas and later served in the Civilian Conservation Corps (the CCC camps) at the end of the Depression.
After leaving the CCC Camps, he enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. Soon after his enlistment, he transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps, which later became the U.S. Air Force. He flew in the U.S. Fifteenth Air Force as a flight engineer out of North Africa and later in Italy.
His bomber group, the 454th Bombardment Group, was involved in a number of dangerous missions which included the bombing of the Ploesti Oil Fields in Romania and the German aircraft factories in Austria. He received the rare Distinguished Unit Citation from the President of the United States for the B-24 raid over the German Messerschmitt factory at Bad Vaslau, Austria, in April 1944, which greatly contributed to the fall of the Third Reich. The DUC is only awarded to a handful of combat units for rare gallantry in the face of enemy fire.
Boleslo was only required to fly 24 missions but flew 28 instead. He was on his way back to the front for a second tour of duty when the war ended in Europe. He was a highly decorated airman who served his country like so many others of his generation. He was very proud to be a veteran, and he was wearing his favorite Fifteenth Air Force baseball cap when he died.
It was a remarkable generation that survived the Great Depression and the World War. This generation valued honesty, hard work, and being responsible, helpful, and fair. They learned to give so very much at an early age, and they learned the joys of service to others and to a grateful nation. They risked their very lives that we may now all live and breathe in a free country. We will sorely miss them.
After the war, Boleslo married Dora M. Debaca from Jemez, who was in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps during the war, and later, a school teacher first in Jemez then Corrales for Sandoval County and then in Albuquerque. She retired in 1976 after 36 years of service. They were married 68 years until her death in the fall of 2013 at the age of almost 96.
They lived in the North Valley of Albuquerque and were active members of Guadalupe Parish until 1965. Boleslo served with the U.S. Post Office as a mail carrier until 1976, when he retired after 27 years of service. Boleslo and Dora moved to Los Lunas in 1967 and later to Abeytas in the 1970’s. They moved back to Los Lunas in 1986 and lived there for the rest of their lives.
They were always active in their local churches and were mayordomos of the little church in Abeytas. They were also members of numerous charitable organizations too numerous to mention.
He was preceded in death by his father, Andres A. Romero III and his mother, Emilia “Perla” Romero, who were both residents of Los Lunas; paternal grandparents, Andres A. Romero II and Rosita Baca, daughter of the distinguished Roman Baca family, who were both residents of Los Lunas; maternal grandfather, Boleslo Romero, member of the First New Mexico State Senate and prominent businessman of Los Lunas; maternal grandmother, Refugia Chavez, also of Los Lunas and Tome; and his brother Andy, a veteran of WWII.
Boleslo is survived by his two sons, both engineers, Boleslo Romero and his wife, Katherine Manuelito-Romero, and Albert Romero and his wife, Anne Padgett; three grandsons, Boleslo Romero of Santa Barbara, Calif. and his partner, Tamara Bray, Lt. Matthew Romero and his wife, Sarah of Colorado Springs, Colo. and TSgt Ross Romero and his fiancée, Sarah Plunk, both of Stillwater, Okla.; great-grandson, Landon, son of Matthew and Sarah Romero; two sisters, Minerva Romero and Soveida Gonzales.
He is also survived by numerous nephews, nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces of the Romero, Gonzales, Gallegos, Debaca, and Cuellar families; cousins, Connie, Don and Fred Romero of Albuquerque; and devoted friends included, Cecilia Castillo, Charles and Lorraine Chavez, and many others.
All services will be held at the San Clemente Catholic Church in Los Lunas, on Friday, May 30 beginning with a viewing at 9 a.m., with a rosary to be recited at 10 a.m.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Burial with military honors follows the service at the San Clemente Catholic Cemetery just south of Main Street on Chavez Lane. A reception for the public will be held at the San Clemente Parish Hall immediately after the burial services are concluded.
Sign Boleslo’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

Robert Howard Walker Jr.
On Thursday, May 22, Robert Howard Walker Jr., a resident of Los Lunas, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones at the age of 43.
Robert’s many joys in life were spending time helping coach his son’s football team, watching his daughter play the many sports she’s involved in and visiting with his family at church.
Robert is preceded in death by his young son, Marcos Walker Lopez; and sister, Margaret Ann Walker. Robert will be adoringly remembered by his wife and best friend, Susan Lopez Walker; their two precious children, Anaylssa and Nicholas; his parents, Anna Torres, Leo and Rosa Torres, Albert and Martha Lopez; sister, Claudia Torres; brother, Vincent Torres; his brother-in-laws, Albert Jr. and Gabriel Lopez, Jeremy and Angelic Shaw.
Robert will be profoundly missed by his numerous nieces and nephews, Ashley, Mikayla, Leah, Alicia, Marisa, Andrea, Monique, Christopher and Dominic; his “brothers” Josh Chavez and Ray Pinon.
A prayer service was held Wednesday, May 28, at Romero’s Funeral Home in Belen. A mass of Christian burial to honor Robert’s life will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 29, at Calvary Chapel New Harvest in Los Lunas with Pastor David Maestas presiding.
Special thanks to the nursing staff and physicians of Presbyterian Hospital and Kindred Hospital for their exceptional care and dedication. Sign Robert’s online tribute at, Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.

George W. Wiede
George W. Wiede, age 83, a resident of Peralta, passed away on Friday, May 23.
He proudly served his country in the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict. George enjoyed being a cowboy out on the ranch with his pack mules and also worked for the FFA.
He loved spending time with his family. George was a great father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 56 years, Wanda Davis Wiede; and daughter, Patricia June Aldregde.
George is survived by his beloved daughter, Debbie A. Wiede; grandchildren, Priscilla “Brittney” Padilla and husband, Manuel, Gabriel Wiede, Kellee Wiede, Stacie Neffendorf and husband, Lance, David, Kurt and Troy Aldregde; and great-granddaughter, Catalina “Kat” Padilla.
All services will be held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, May 31, beginning with a viewing at 9:30 a.m. and a funeral service to be celebrated at 10 a.m. Interment will be held at the Santa Fe National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m., Monday, June 2.
Sign George’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen.