Though Mario Moreno passed away on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, his soul will continue living on through his loving family and friends.
Mario was born in Belen to Trinidad and Mary Moreno. He attended Belen schools and graduated from Belen High School in 1967. As a teenager, Mario coached Little League, and taught his younger brothers and the neighborhood boys how to master baseball and football skills. He aimed to keep them out of trouble and prepare them for high school sports, just like his former neighbor, the late John Baca, taught him.
Throughout high school, Mario lettered in football and baseball and was a loyal and true Eagle fan until the end. He was an avid fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Yankees. He was the No. 1 fan and proud supporter of his two nephews, Mikal and Reyes; and his son, Brandon, when all three played in Little League and Young American Football League.
In 1969, Mario enlisted and proudly served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, two of those years in Vietnam. Sgt. Mario Moreno’s awards included Expert Rifleman Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (2 stars), Vietnamese Campaign Medal with Device, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Medal (2 stars) and the Good Conduct Medal. Mario was a proud veteran and always said he would do it all over again.
After returning home from Vietnam, Mario studied at New Mexico State University and subsequently moved to Orlando, Fla., with his friends, Tony Encinias, Aurora and Don Rollins. After a few years of living and working in Orlando, Mario returned to his beloved Belen, where he was employed and retired after 25 years with the United States Postal Service.
Mario was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, Theresa Fajardo and Demecia Gallegos; brothers-in-law, Rey Gallegos and Phillip Peralta; niece, Jennifer Villanueva; nephews, Reyes Moreno and Gabriel Moreno; and best friend, Tony Encinias.
He is survived by his wife and soul mate, Misty, who was at his side until the end; son, Brandon Smith; granddaughter, Raeanna Ruiz; and seven great grandchildren, Dylan, Estrella, Christopher, Chrisdyana, Suli, Lala and Rayana. He is also survived by his brothers, Pete and wife, Sally, Manuel and wife, Barbara, Ruben, Michael and Jude Moreno; sisters. Rosie and James Garley, Erlinda and Freddie Villanueva, Priscilla and Jerry Barela and Angela Peralta; brother-in-law, David Fajardo; and many nieces and nephews.
He is also survived by his many friends of BHS Class of 1967-68, who stood by him until the end.
All funeral services will take place on Monday, July 18, at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church beginning with a visitation at 9 a.m., a Rosary at 9:30 a.m., and Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Inurnment will take place following mass at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens. A reception will be held from 12-3 p.m. at the Belen Eagle Park Community Center.
Pallbearers will be his brothers, Pete, Manuel, Ruben, Mike and Jude Moreno. Honorary pallbearers will be Rudy Jaramillo and Michael Sanchez.
If we ever look on Heaven’s scenes, we will find the gates are guarded by the United States Marines.
The family would like to thank his medical team at the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Hospital, and his nurse, Margaret, from Ambercare, for the special and individual care and attention given to our beloved Mario.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service in Los Lunas, 2211 D Main St. SE., Los Lunas, 505-866-9992, where an online guest register is available at noblin.com.
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