Deaths and funerals (06/05/14)


Matilda “Tillie” Garcia
Tillie Garcia, deeply loved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother and friend passed gracefully from this life to everlasting life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, May 29, at the age of 82.
She was born in Willard, N.M., and lived her adult life in Valencia. She worked at the Los Lunas Hospital and Training School for many years. She was a foster grandma at Peralta Elementary, where she worked in her son’s classroom for 20 years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernesto; her very much loved and missed son, Gene; her parents, Alejandro and Emilia Campos; her brothers, Jose, David, Henry and J.D. Campos; her sister, Mary Maes; and son-in-law, Eloy Aragon.
Tillie is survived by her 14 children, MaryLou Garcia, Joe and Loretta Garcia, Frances and Michael Salazar, Esther Garcia, Rick and Anna Garcia, Frank and Frances Garcia, Catherine and Ron Silva, Emily and Dale Thul, Ernie and Vera Garcia, Jenny and Joe Laurenzano, Michael Garcia and Rob St. Onge, Patricia Delgado, James and Janelle Garcia, Pete and Patti Garcia; sisters, Priscilla Martinez and Lola Sisneros; brother, Felix and Arlene Sanchez; sisters-in-laws, Carmen and Dolores; 29 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, 11 great-great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and three special family friends, Joyce Barela, Cynthia White and Amanda Sanchez.
Services have already been held. A heartfelt appreciation is extended to AmberCare Hospice, especially Erica, Alicia, Anne, Jeanette and Dr. Joe Aragon for the wonderful care they provided.
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

Theresa J. Hofheins
Theresa Hofheins, age 70, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Monday, May 26.
Her greatest joy was spending time with family, which she loved and cared for above all else. We are very grateful for the love that she bestowed on each of us. She will always be loved and missed.
Theresa was also an avid coin and gem collector as well as an artist.
Theresa is preceded in death by her mother, Elizabeth R. Wood; brother, Thomas Higgins; grandson, Phillip M. Vigil.
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Richard; children, Sandra, Chris, Beth and husband, Joseph Sambrano, Andrew and wife, Lori; grandchildren, Lauren and husband, Joel Prieto, Carlos and fiancé, Erica, Christopher, Theresa and husband, Vigil, Jonathan Maldanado, Julia, Shianne, Joshua and Katelynn; great-grandchildren, Simara, Shayla, Aaliyah, Phillip, Aubree, Michael, Baileyann, Alyssa and Kirsten; sisters, Jean Dewalt and Elizabeth McDonald;  a special friend of the family, Marianne; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Services will held at 4 p.m., Saturday, June 7, at Valley Christian Church, 2850 Gun Club Road SW, Albuquerque. Interment will take place at Sandia Memory Gardens at a later date.
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

Eldred (Alice) Pando Martinez
Died 2014
Eldred (Alice) Pando Martinez began her journey to be with the Lord on May 28, in Las Cruces.
She is survived by all four of her children, Clara Cates (husband, David Cates), Christine Montoya, Diane Hoffman (husband, Paul Hoffman), and Mary Guthrie (husband, Jason Guthrie); and five of her siblings, Mary Pando, Dixie Martinez, Leo Medina, David Medina and Chris Medina. Eldred was blessed with five grandchildren, Jason Montoya, Alison Cates, Everett Lee, Emily Cates, Meagan Guerra (husband, Michael Guerra) and three great-grandchildren, Zoe Montoya, Tyler Montoya and Jayden Guerra, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind her dance partner and companion Manuel Gabaldon.
Eldred was preceded in death by husbands, David Pando and Marty Martinez; and her brother, Eluid Medina. Her parents were Cristobal and Amalia Medina, who also preceded her in death.
Eldred attended nursing school, worked in the health care industry, and was a wonderful homemaker. As a loving mother, Eldred was always proud of and encouraged her daughters in all their endeavors. Because of her love and support, her daughters have successful careers in government, engineering, finance and education.
Eldred will have a private graveside service with immediate family members at Fort Bayard National Cemetery, N.M. Eldred is now resting peaceably while waiting for her Lord savior Jesus Christ to return and welcome her into heaven. One of Eldred’s greatest wishes was that all of her family and those reading this will someday meet her in heaven.

Leonella Montaño
Leonella Montaño, age 73, a resident of Los Chavez, passed away on Friday, May 30.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Montaño; parents, Jose and Rafela Rael Chavez; sister, Clorinda Castillo; and brother, Joe Chavez.
Leonella is survived by her loving children, Yvonne Gabaldon, Paula Cholewa and husband, Don, Arturo, and Paul and wife, Debbie Morgan; 10 grandchildren; brothers, Fermin Chavez and wife, Emma, and Avilio Chavez and wife, Virginia; brothers-in-law, Nick Montaño and wife, Yolanda, and Livy Montaño and wife, Benita; and sisters-in-law, Alice Gabaldon and husband, Johnny, Veronica Chavez and Rosemary Marquez and husband, Isidro.
All services were held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church on Monday, June 2, with Father Stephen Schultz presiding. Interment followed at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers were Pablo, Diego, Joseph and Joseph S. Gabaldon, Jesse Morgan and Don Cholewa.
Sign Leonella’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Frank M. Otero
Frank M. Otero, age 90, a resident of Peralta, passed away on Saturday, May 31.
He was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Frank was the kind of person who made a lasting impression, probably because he loved people so much. He always had time to sit and chat with an old friend or someone he had just met.
He loved his home, his community and his family. After graduating and working in California for several years, he moved back and made Peralta his home for the rest of his life. A respected business owner in Los Lunas for the past 60 years, he slowed only when he was physically unable to do as much as he liked.
He remained busy with his big gardens, orchards and livestock. His joys were simple: watching his great-grandchildren play, traveling, often attending boxing matches in Vegas and singing and playing his guitar. Forever the most gracious host, even from his hospital bed he would ask his visitors if they would like something to drink or if they had eaten, grateful that they had taken time out of their day to visit with him. He was a good man, strong and kind.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mamie S. Otero; grandson, Vincent James Otero; and parents, Adolfo and Victoriana Marquez-Otero.
Frank is survived by his sons, Frank Jr. and wife, Evelyn, James and Edward; daughter, Brenda Otero; grandchildren, Victoria Otero, Valerie Otero, Eric Otero, Tyler Otero and Ryan Virtue; great-grandchildren, Serena Fernandez, Phillip Dibble, Aiden Lane, Gavin Lane, Daelyn Lane and Nathan Otero; and sisters, Ida Francis and Juanita Otero.
All services were held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Peralta, with a viewing and Rosary on Tuesday, and a Funeral Mass on Wednesday, with Father Hoi Tran presiding. Interment followed at Valencia Catholic Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Tyler Otero, Frank Dibble, Ryan Virtue, Dennis Salas, Phillip Dibble and Mano Otero. Honorary pallbearers were Eric Otero, Aiden Lane, Gavin Lane and Daelyn Lane.
The family would like to give a special thank you to Lovelace Medical Center, Lovelace Rehabilitation Center and Lovelace Gentiva Hospice.
Sign Frank’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Pauline A. Padilla
Pauline A. Padilla, age 64, resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Tuesday, May 27, peacefully in her home, surrounded by her loving family.
Pauline was a longtime member of San Clemente Parish. Throughout her life, she worked as a cosmetologist, a florist, as well as a foster parent along with her husband, Mike.
They provided a safe, loving home to numerous children in Valencia County spanning more than 20 years. For a few years, they also ran the concession stand at Daniel Fernandez Park during softball season. Pauline enjoyed several hobbies, which included crocheting, reading, sewing, and arts and crafts.
Preceding Pauline in death are her father, Ernest P. Gurulé; her sister, Lorraine Gurulé; and brother, Ernest Gurulé Jr.
She is survived by her loving husband of 43 years, Mike; their two daughters, Michelle Hort and husband, Cameron, and Nanette Wellens and husband, Daric; she was a proud grandmother of their four grandchildren, Tristan, Greyson, Brooke and Anthony. She is also survived by her mother; Catalina Gurulé, of Albuquerque; and six brothers and sisters.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in Pauline’s name to the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation, 4901 Lang Ave NE., Albuquerque, NM, 87109.
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

Abenicio S. Tafoya
Abenicio S. Tafoya, age 106, a life-long resident of Contreras, peacefully joined his Lord and Savior while at his home on May 31.
He was a member of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in La Joya. Abenicio and his wife served as the mayordomos (caretakers) of the San Jose Catholic Church in Contreras for many years.
Abenicio served his country during World War II as a telephone and telegraph lineman with a signal construction battalion and was honored with the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Theater Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
Abenicio shared his love of the land as a horseman, a rancher and farmer.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Tafoya, in 2006; his daughter, Emilia Tafoya in 1952; and his parents, Antonio and Sofia Salas Tafoya.
Abenicio is survived by his daughters, Antoinette Baca and her husband, Martin, of Rio Rancho, and Anna Gallegos, of Contreras; grandchildren, Antonio Baca, of Rio Rancho, Valerie and Roland Sanchez II, of Bosque, Marie Baca and Mark Guerrero, of Rio Rancho, Amelia Gallegos, of Contreras, Dean Gallegos and Stephanie Padilla, of Las Cruces, and Zach Gallegos, of Socorro; and great-grandchildren Lucia Sanchez, of Bosque, Joselyn and Lincoln Guerrero, of Rio Rancho.
A viewing will be held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 5, with a Rosary to be recited at 7 p.m. A final viewing will be held at the San Jose Catholic Church in Contreras at 9:30 a.m., Friday, June 6, with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Interment will take place at Contreras Catholic Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be his grandchildren, Dean Gallegos, Zach Gallegos, Antonio Baca, Roland Sanchez II and Mark Guerrero; cousin, Robert Tafoya; friend and neighbor, Marcel Abeyta; and God daughter, Kim Schnepper.
Sign Abenicio’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

Charles Edward Wells
Charles Edward Wells, age 95, a resident of Belen, passed away on Friday, May 30.
He was born to the late Edward and Rosa McNair Wells on Nov. 12, 1918, in Douglas, Ariz.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife of 60 years, Mary Ellen Davidson Wells, in 2000; brother, William Stone Sr.; sisters, Zora Wells, Nina Brown, Rosamae Clark and Margaret “Betty” Braly; son-in-law, Von Chesnut; niece, Darlene Cason; nephew, Richard Brown; mother-in-law, Myrtle Vezzre; brother-in-law, Warren Davidson; and sister-in-law, Marion Joyce Davidson.
Charles is survived by his son, Edward Wells and wife, Wanda; and daughters, Carolyn Chesnut and Charlene Tolzin; and grandson, Lee Charlez Tolzin. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held at Romero Funeral Home Chapel at 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 6, with a funeral service at 11 a.m. Interment will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Ambercare Hospice in Belen, 420 N. Main St., Belen, NM, 87002, or Belen Christian Church, 421 S. 11th St., Belen, NM, 87002.
Sign Charles’ online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.