Frances Montoya Combest

1937-2021

Frances Montoya Combest

Frances Montoya Combest was born in Adelino to the late Maximo Montoya and Eusebia Bernal Montoya.

Frances was an avid music lover. She liked to listen to her country and Spanish music.

Frances was preceded in death by her parents, her son, John; grandson, Elijah; siblings, Tony, John, “Los Cuates” Justinano and Placido; and sister, Dolores Pilgrim.

She is survived by her son, Daniel; grandsons, Alex and Zachary Combest and Isaiah Combest; great-grandchildren, Hailey, Kendal, Rebecca, Rae Lynn, Zoey, Alexis, Ethan, Urijah and Jacob. Frances is also survived by her sister, Louisa Flaugh.

A private memorial for family members is being planned for a later date.

Ronald Steven “Steve” McDonald

1947-2021

Ronald Steven “Steve” McDonald, age 73, a resident of Belen, passed away on April 12, 2021.

He was a member of the VFW in Yuma, Ariz. Steve was a proud U.S. Marine veteran and bravely served in the Vietnam War twice and then completed two more years after the war ended.

After that, he married Barbara JoAnn Curlee and remained happily married to her for 40 years. Steve also served in multiple branches of law enforcement for 40 years.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Barbara JoAnn McDonald; and his parents, Ronald and Wilma McDonald.

Cremation will take place. No services will be held.

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

Rick McElroy

Died 2021

Rick McElroy

Rick McElroy (Damit), age 61, a resident of Los Lunas, passed away on Saturday, April 3, 2021, at home with family by his side.

Rick was a loving and caring man, with an awesome sense of humor; he was quite the jokester and sarcastic at times. He enjoyed fishing, going for a nice ride on the motorcycle and going to the casino. Rick was passionate about helping others; he always wanted to give everyone a reason to laugh and smile.

Rick was a proud father, son and friend. He was a true family man, who enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He always knew how to brighten anyone’s day. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

Rick is preceded in death by his father, Jerry Wayne McElroy; sister, Janice Treharn; and grandparents.

He is survived by his mother, Dorothy Harkleroad; daughters, Brandi, Nicole, Amber and Ashley McElroy; grandchildren, Azalea McElroy and Braedyn Moreno; brother, Jamie McElroy; sister, Kaye Rawlins; best friend, Leroy Hawk; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 17, at 421 S. 11th St., Belen.

Arrangements entrusted to Noblin Funeral Service Los Lunas, 2211-D Main St., 866-9992. An online guest register book is available at noblin.com.

Leroy Anthony “Crow” Tafoya

1957-2021

Leroy Anthony “Crow” Tafoya

Leroy Anthony “Crow” Tafoya, age 63, passed away on March 17, 2021.

He was born and raised in Los Lunas. Leroy was a member of the Rio Grande Youth Center Boxing Club (1972-1982). He also loved to play baseball on the men’s league “Six Pack.”

Leroy was a dedicated caregiver for his parents, and was employed by Tabet Lumber and TA Cole for many years. He had many friends and will be missed by all.

Leroy was preceded in death by his parents, John and Lorina Garley Tafoya; sister, Eileen Tafoya Reed; grandparents, Jennie Carbajal and Estanislado Garley and Pedro Tafoya and Evangelista Padilla.

He is survived by two sons, Gilbert John and Jason P. Tafoya; fiancé, Sandy Merrill; brothers, Raymond, John, Michael (Deb) and Stanley (Angela); and niece, Jennifer (Jimmy).

A graveside service will take place at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 24, at San Clemente Catholic Cemetery.

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

Terry Ulibarri

Died 2021

Terry Ulibarri

Via Con Dios my love, my Terry, our dearest husband, dad, grandpa and friend, Terry Ulibarri, (William Terry), was called home on Good Friday, April 2, 2021. Jesus extended his hand and Terry was ready to take it!

Terry was 71 years young! He loved life and lived it to the fullest. He especially loved family vacations. He was intelligent, loving and kind. He was most helpful to anyone who need help or guidance.

He was an extraordinary loving husband; he and Vicky had just celebrated 50 years of marriage. His two daughters, Angela and Alicia, were his true pride and joy, amazing, smart, beautiful and wonderful gifts from heaven. He loved them and was so proud of them and their accomplishments.

Upon the marriage of his girls, he gained two sons, who he loved. Now he had boys to golf with, share hunting, fishing with, share home-brewed beer and all the other “guy” stuff with. Next came the grandkids, who were the epitome of extreme love for Grandpa Terry. He loved every moment with his grandkids. You were his true joy, JonMykel, AnaGrace, Abran, Ezekiel and new baby Garcia, due in August. Oh, how happy and excited grandpa was, to have a new grandbaby on the way.

Terry was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Eustaquio Ulibarri and Trindad Cordova Ulibarri; maternal grandparents, Fernandez Olguin and Dolores Olguin; his parents, Abelicio G. Ulibarri and LeoNila Olguin Ulibarri; and his brother, Ralph J. Ulibarri. Also preceded in death by many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Terry is survived by his best friend, love of his life and partner in all his ventures and adventures, Vicky Aragon Ulibarri; two amazing daughters and exceptional sons-in-law, Angela Ulibarri Garcia (Kenny) and Alicia Ulibarri Garcia (Christopher). Next, the apples of his eyes, the grandkids, JonMykel, AnaGrace, Abran, Ezekiel and new baby Garcia, on the way.

He is also survived by his sister-in-law (sister), Maxine Gallegos Ulibarri; brother- and sister-in-law, Robert and Yvonne Aragon; sister-in-law, Gloria Aragon; special nieces and nephews, Ralph Ulibarri Jr., Mike (Erin) Ulibarri and family, Julie and Olivia, Ulibarri Kelleher, Joshua, Alexandra, Jackson, Roslyn Aragon, Jamiee Lynn (Darren) Ganzhorn, Lisa Gallegos and family and Cindy Gallegos and family.

He is also survived by his aunts and uncles, who he loved and honored, Gertrude Olguin Locey, Eva Ulibarri Carrillo, Priscilla Ulibarri Otero, Charlotte Ulibarri Torres and Richard Ulibarri. (and Marie Ulibarri Silva).

Terry was very community-oriented. He was a great student and became a talented teacher, then jumped into educational administration throughout his adult career. He was curious and ambitious. He had no fears and took risks; never foolish, yet, he knew no obstacles. The Lord and Savior was always his guide. He prayed before every decision.

His educational journey began at St. Mary’s School in Belen, then attended and graduated from Belen Junior and BHS. He started his career early, and graduated from WNMU in just three years. He acquired three educational administration degrees, BA from WNMU, MA and EDS from UNM.

Terry taught math at Daniel Fernandez Middle School in Los Lunas for just a short five years, then entered school administration and remained in that role the rest of his career. He served as principal at Dennis Chavez Elementary in Belen, Central Elementary, Rio Grande Elementary, Peralta Elementary, Bosque Farms Elementary and the “original” Valencia Elementary (now the location of Albertsons in Los Lunas).

As principal of Bosque Farms Elementary, Terry was awarded “Most Distinguished Administrator” by the NM School Principals Association. He spent six years as assistant superintendent and director of special services with Los Lunas Schools.

Upon retirement from public schools, he was recruited to Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic School. Terry loved his Annunciation Church and school family. So many remained personal friends. His love for education remained throughout his adult life.

He left the world of education and made his way into the business world. He always felt it important to “give back” to his community and served more than 25 years on the Los Lunas Planning and Zoning Commission, and enjoyed his working relationship with mayors Luis Huning, Robert Vialpando and current Mayor Charles Griego.

During his years as an educator and administrator, he had the opportunity to join an investment group that had a dream of building a community bank. Along with this group of visionaries, we became investors and built our pride and joy with the The Bank of Belen, soon changed the name to MyBank, due to the expansion of the bank to five locations. Terry thrived in the business of banking, and enjoyed his friendship with the fellow Bank of Belen directors. He was a bank director for 29 years until the sale of the bank in 2018.

Having his own vision of owning a business, with Vicky and his two girls, he built and managed AGU Investments, on the west side of Albuquerque. We continue to own a family business, 4U CARWASH.

Terry was a devout Catholic and very committed to serving his church. While attending St. Mary’s School, he was an altar server. In his teen years, he ushered with his father at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church. With his father’s influence, he became a member of the Knights of Columbus. A leader at heart, he took on the role of Grand Knight twice, and also as faithful navigator for the KC Fourth Degree. The KC project he was so proud of was the purchase of and ultra-sound imaging machine to be used by Carenet, so that pregnant women would see that there was a live human being in their womb.

A really special fundraising project he contributed to and worked was the building committee in the completion of the new San Clemente Catholic Church in Los Lunas.

Of all the titles he earned in his journey here on Earth, his most treasured titles were, husband, father, and especially grandpa and friend. We will surely miss this loving and loyal husband, father, grandfather and friend.

He touched many people in such a positive manner throughout his life and career. We are all fortunate to have known him. He left his family with a grand legacy and strong lessons, his advice to his family members was, “Always, do your best, give more than 100 percent.” Truly, he gave more than 100 percent.

He was a man of strong conviction. When he told you he’d do something, he would! Our family is broken-hearted and we miss you, Terry; however, you taught us to live life and do our best. We promise to do that and give 100 percent in your honor, William Terry Ulibarri. Our love, husband, dad, grandpa and friend. Rest in peace, oh faithful and true servant.

Our family wishes to extend special thanks to so many friends and family who walked this journey with us, especially throughout Terry’s illness. A special thanks to Terry’s friend and confessor, Father Rick Zerwas; also, our Arizona family, Maxine Ulibarri, Joshua, Alex, Jackson and Roslyn Aragon; our Los Lunas neighbors, and there are so many more, you know who you are!

We must thank all the nurses and staff at Virginia Piper Cancer and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Scottsdale, Ariz. — you were truly Terry’s life-line. Dr. Veena Fauble, Dr. Adrianne Briggs and Dr. Dulcinea Quintana, you are angels on Earth. Terry loved you all. We are also grateful to Kindred Hospice and our little family who were with him to the end.

He was surrounded by those he loved at the time of his passing. He now rests in our Lords’ Eternal Kingdom. Vaya Con Dios, our beloved Terry!

Our family asks that donations in honor of William Terry Ulibarri may be made to: Friends and alumni of Catholic Schools; for donation information please contact Angela at 505-314-6627. This is a tuition-assistance project Terry and Vicky founded in 2003, (along with two other Catholic school families) as a scholarship program to aid students at St. Mary’s School in Belen.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, at Terry’s request, a private family memorial service will be held at a later date. Peace be with you brothers and sisters in Christ.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.