Often the fruits of ones labors are left in plain sight, for all to see. Other times, they are hidden from view even if they are appreciated by many.
The efforts of the third mayor of the village of Bosque Farms, Carl Allen, fit very much in the second category.
A resident of the village since 1976, and mayor from 1984 to 2000, Allen died on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at age 97.
During his tenure, Allen obtained grants for the village’s current municipal water and wastewater systems, established solid waste services and completed the public library that had gotten under way during his predecessor Sharon Eastman’s term.
“Carl was a good mayor. Sometimes he wasn’t really popular and he had faults, like any mayor but, without him, we wouldn’t have the water or wastewater system,” said Wayne Ake, who is both a former mayor of the village and its current mayor elect.
Allen played a large role in getting the funding for the systems, Ake said, as well as the clarifier to process the wastewater.
“The water lines and both wells were drilled by Carl, and I finished the lines,” Ake said.
While there was some talk of naming the wastewater treatment plant after Allen, Ake said it was finally decided to name the multi-use path on Bosque Loop — another project spearheaded by Allen — after the former mayor.
“He went after money, and was all for taking care of village,” Ake said.
Former village attorney and long-time friend of Allen, David Chavez called him a “forward-thinking individual, always thinking about improving Bosque Farms. His passion was for Bosque Farms and the people of the village. He had the foresight to make sure the municipality had these systems, basic services, things we take for granted.”
Chavez said in addition to the wastewater system, Allen was also closely involved in the efforts to widen N.M. 47 to four lanes, as well as the construction of the village senior center, expansion of the police department, municipal offices and fire department.
“He was actively involved in regional government and statewide government affairs,” Chavez said.
While mayor of Bosque Farms, Allen spent three years as chairman of the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments.
He was also an avid New Mexico State University Aggies fan, Chavez said, a season ticket holder for both the football and basketball seasons.
Chavez said his friend was a genuine individual who cared about people and a great mentor to people.
“He was about building relationships. He could always bring people together. He was able to make people realize we were all trying — even though we had different opinions — but we were all working towards the same, common goal,” Chavez said. “He did that constantly in his role as mayor.”
Two of his daughters, Jackie Rayburn and Susan Gibson, both described Allen as a stern father, but also fun loving and supportive.
“Whatever we decided to do, he supported,” said Gibson. “We’ve seen him mad, but that’s what dads do. I wouldn’t want any other dad.
“He was a very private man, so if you know about something you were special. I will say, Mom (Darlena Mae) was the love of his life. He always took care of her.”
Allen was born in San Angelo, Texas, on July 11, 1926, and shortly after, his family moved to Hobbs — the small New Mexico town named for his great-grandmother, Fannie Hobbs — when he was 2 years old. The family then moved to Hot Springs, now Truth or Consequences, two years later.
Allen served in the Navy in World War II and later graduated from New Mexico State University in 1950 with a degree in business. He worked in insurance for two years in California, then transferred to Albuquerque, spending 17 years in the business as the co-owner of six field offices.
From 1966-72, Allen served as the Bernalillo County manager, establishing the county’s maintenance department on 18 acres on Broadway Avenue, establishing the 18 acres on Broadway for the maintenance department and obtaining two water grants from the Nixon administration for the north and south valleys of Albuquerque.
He is survived by his three daughters, Jackie (JD) Rayburn of Los Lunas, Susan (Jamie) Gibson of Ruidoso and Pamela (John) Miller of Farmington; nine grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Services were held on Wednesday, Nov. 15.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.