Candelaria “Kandy” Sanchez Cordova


Candelaria “Kandy” Sanchez Cordova

Candelaria “Kandy” Sanchez Cordova, age 86, a resident of Belen, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her earthly and ethereal family on April 21, 2023.

A visitation was held Wednesday, April 26, at Romero Funeral Home Chapel, followed by a Rosary. A final visitation will take place at 9 a.m., Thursday, April 27, at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, followed by a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.

Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church has been central to the Sanchez Cordova family for more than 100 years. She was born on Aug. 13, 1936, in Belen.

Kandy is preceded in death by her husband, Ismael “Smiley” Cordova; parents, Luciano and Maria Padilla Sanchez; son, Joseph “Joey” Cordova; siblings, Leo and Tony Sanchez, Sally Datello, Mary Jane Luna and Rosie Baca; and sister-in-law, Nila Romero.

She is survived by her daughter, Pam Cordova and son-in-law, Michael Melendez; daughter, Sharon Cordova; son, Christopher J. Cordova; and daughter-in-law, Bernadine Cordova; brothers, Alex and Luciano “LA” Sanchez; sister-in-law, Pauline Sanchez; grandchildren, Marysa and Nicolas Baca, Christopher J. Cordova Jr., Maria Tyree and husband Wyatt, and Noah Molina Cordova; great-grandchild, Joey Lynn Baca; and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and good friends.

In 1956, Kandy married Smiley and started a family. She was a devoted wife and mother and had a great love for life, her family and her friends.

Kandy had a passion for community service and was a memorable and well-accomplished public servant. Helping others came naturally to her, but it was in 1988 when Kandy found her strong leadership skills and strong desire for public service.

She proudly served as the Catholic Daughters of America’s state grand regent, and president of the Rotary Club and the Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce as well.

She served as the Valencia County clerk, New Mexico State representative District 7, and shared her know-how by serving on boards of several nonprofit organizations.

In recognition of her contributions to enhancing the quality of life for all New Mexicans, Kandy received numerous honors and awards throughout her lifetime. Her dedication as a legislator and her commitment to education and the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area have also been well acknowledged.

For those of us who had the privilege of knowing and being part of her family, her friend, her acquaintance or just an admirer, we know she is leaving us a legacy of her big-heartedness, kindness, compassion and the responsibility to make our community a better place. Kandy is a shining example to follow.

Pallbearers will be Paul Baca, Carlos Cordova, Rance Hall, Luis Ledezma, Leo Sanchez and Michael Sanchez. Honorary pallbearers will be Ita Archibeque, Miguel Garcia, Dorothy Johnston, Larry Sanchez and Eloisa Tabet. The Rosary to be recited by Josefina Dozal.

Kandy’s family asks that donations be considered to the New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association. To donate online, or mail a check to: Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter 6731 Academy Rd., NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.

Please sign Kandy’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.

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