Leandro “Leo” Lovato
The world has lost a good man. Leandro “Leo” Lovato, age 84, a resident of Las Nutrias, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
He born in La Joya to Donato and Ferminia (Nene) Lovato. Leo married Angie Baca on Sept. 13, 1958, and enjoyed more than 63 years of loving marriage.
From the beginning, their family centered around God and his teachings. The couple raised three children, Karen, Anthony and JoAnn. He was an extremely proud grandfather, who invested his time and poured his heart into always being there for them.
Leo enlisted in the New Mexico Air National Guard in 1954. He traveled the world with the Guard and served a tour of duty in the Vietnam War. He received numerous awards and medals during his 38 years of service and retired as chief master sergeant.
Throughout his life, Leo was always involved in community and civic activities and was a well-respected friend and neighbor. He served as president of the West Mesa Little League, president of the WMHS Booster Club, founding member of the Viva La Joya Day festivities and was bestowed the St. Francis of Assisi Award by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
After retirement, he and Angie returned home to Las Nutrias and continued serving the community. They were instrumental in getting the annual La Joya church fiestas resurrected and successful, and were the drivers behind the refurbishment of their mission church, San Isidro, where they served for several years as the mayordomos and caretakers of the cemetery.
Leo was also elected to the Socorro County Commission and was an active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
He is survived by his wife, Angie; children, Karen Lujan (Bernie), Anthony Lovato (Vanessa Velarde) and JoAnn Archuleta (James Kloeppel); grandchildren, Monica Adkins (Phillip), Martin Lujan, Matthew Archuleta, Leandro Lovato, Alisha Lujan, Deanna Lovato, and Tomas Lujan; great-grandchildren, Raelee, Auburn, Dawsyn, and Axel. He is also survived by his sister, Rosie Chavez (Gilbert); sisters-in-law, Mary Roebuck, Elsie Smith, Elaine Baca and Fina Baca; numerous nieces and nephews, and many godchildren.
The family would like to thank Liz Padilla, Aricelli Acosta, Ruby Acosta and the staff at the VA hospital for the loving care and treatment provided to him.
We will miss the twinkle in his eyes, infectious little laugh and big generous heart. We were blessed to call him husband, dad, gramps, Nano and friend.
Funeral services were held on May 11, 2022. Pallbearers were his grandchildren, with honorary pallbearers, Leo Cordova and Paul Griego.