Fidelina Garcia Baca
Fidelina Garcia Baca, age 87, passed away at her home in Los Trujillos, N.M., with her children present on Dec. 13, 2021.
She was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church, devoted to her family and the wife of an educator/farmer. Fillie was born in Bosque, N.M., to Jacobo Garcia and Pilar Rael Garcia. She grew up in Bosque and graduated from Belen High School. After high school, Fillie worked for local Dr. Stoehr and the county treasurer’s office.
She married Bernard Baca in 1953, and they started building their home on the family farm in Los Trujillos and adding to their family. Fillie and Bernard traveled extensively with his work and after retirement they continued to travel all over the United States for the Farm Bureau and Bernard’s WWII Air Force squadron reunions.
When her sons were young and had dairy cows, she delivered milk and made cheese, which she sold to neighbors, family and local grocery stores. Fillie was a substitute teacher, and managed apartments for 15 years.
She was an accomplished baker and known for her generosity (she would literally give you the food off her table, the blouse off her back and the ring off her finger).
Fillie was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Bernard Baca in 2017; her infant son, Vincent in 1960; her parents, Jacobo and Pilar Garcia; in-laws, Jose Maria Baca and Carmen Ortiz Baca; sisters, Edna Garcia Tabet and Eloisa Garcia Barreras; brothers-in-law, Doug Eichhorn, Ross Tafoya, Orlando Barreras, Pat Baca Sr., Edwin Baca and Gilbert Baca; sister-in-law, Rosina Baca Gurule Perez.; niece and nephews, Kathleen Gabaldon, Anthony Gabaldon, Andy Gurule, Pat Baca Jr. and Joe Baca.
She is survived by her sons, Arthur Baca and wife, Carol, and Carl Baca and wife, Carole; daughter, Bernardine Baca Spiers and husband, Dave Spiers; sisters, Andrea Eichhorn and Emma Tafoya; sisters-in-law, Margaret Baca and Mary Rose Baca; grandchildren, Adian Emilio Baca, Kiri Baca, Rose Baca and Lakota (Koko) Wiede and husband, Gabriel; great-grandchildren, Tony Baca, Sonya Baca, Alina Baca and Gabriel Vincent Wiede II.
Our family would like to thank Fillie’s caregiver, Irma Sanchez, for her devoted care the last few years. She is also survived by her pets, Jazzie, the cocker spaniel, and Misty Cat.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of your choice.
Please sign Fidelina’s online tribute at romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.
Danny Thomas Baldonado
Danny Thomas Baldonado, age 72, of Los Lunas, passed away on Dec. 16, 2021.
Danny is preceded in death by his father, Frank J. Baldonado; stepmother, Lillian Baldonado; and mother, Mary Wells.
Danny is survived by his loving wife, Evelyn Baldonado; brother, Tony Baldonado; his children, son, Ruben Baldondo and his wife, Della Baldonado, son, Daniel Baldonado, and daughters, Bernadette Montoya and Lillian Baldonado; and stepson, Greg Maldonado. Danny had 11 wonderful grandchildren and 10 amazing great-grandchildren.
Flowers can be sent to San Clemente Church, 244 Luna Ave., Los Lunas.
Services will be held at 12 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 23, at San Clemente Church 244 Luna Ave., Los Lunas. Burial to follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Albuquerque. A reception will be held at 4 p.m. at Embassy Suites, Ocotillo Ball Room I & II, 1000 Woodward Place, NE, Albuquerque.
The honorary pallbearer is Tony Baldonado. Pallbearers are Ruben Baldonado, Daniel Baldonado, Andrew Baldonado, Adam Montoya, Micah Brubaker and Leroy Martinez.
Elsie Marie Benavidez
Elsie Marie Benavidez, age 77, a resident of Belen, passed away Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.
She was a member of Calvary Chapel Rio Grande Valley in Belen.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Johnnie T. Benavidez; son, Michael G. Benavidez; and daughter, Valerie D. Benavidez. Elsie and her husband are joined together.
She is survived by her daughter, Lory A. Lueras; grandchildren, Jennifer Johnson, Desirae Benavidez, Abel J. Lueras III, Bella Luces and Steven Benavidez; and nine great-grandchildren.
A public viewing will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Romero Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be Abel J. Lueras III, Steven Benavidez, Kyle Johnson, Johnny Luces, Richard Garcia and Holden Dean.
The family would like to thank Bee Hive Homes of Bosque Farms, Romero Funeral Home, Davis Floral and Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church Cemetery.
Please sign Elsie’s online tribute at romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.
Carolyn Sue Chance
Carolyn Sue Chance was born on Feb. 9, 1941, in Fort Sumner, N.M., to Willard Lloyd Cook and Jessie Margaret (Warthan) Cook.
She was the middle child, with her older sister, Connie Cherie (Cook) Truelock, and her younger sister, Patricia Lane “Patty” (Cook) Snyder. Carolyn was called home to her heavenly Father on Dec. 13, 2021.
Carolyn graduated from Clovis High School in May 1959. Carolyn and Jack L. Wilmeth were married on Sept. 6, 1959, in Fort Sumner, and together they had two children, Renee (Wilmeth) Shorter and Jack Douglas “Doug” Wilmeth. For the first 14 years of their marriage, they worked on various ranches in Texas and New Mexico. They were married for 23 years, until Jack’s death on Sept. 23, 1982.
Fortunately, Carolyn met Dick Chance, and the couple married on March 9, 1985. Carolyn and Dick called Los Lunas their home, where they lived over the course of their 36 years together.
Carolyn began her career with the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service in 1973, where she worked as an administrative assistant for multiple counties in New Mexico until she retired in 1998, after 25 years of service.
However, Carolyn’s “retirement” only lasted two years, and those close to her were not surprised. Then, from 2000 to 2007, Carolyn worked at the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association.
She was a fabulous cook and a staple of multiple organizations, including the Chuckwagon Cowbelles, the Extension Association of New Mexico and the 4-H club. Carolyn was honored in Lea County by the 4-H Youth program as an honorary member in 1985, and she was inducted into the 4-H Foundation Hall of Fame in 2004 at the New Mexico State University for her volunteer work with the 4-H program. Later, in 2017, Carolyn was awarded the New Mexico Cowbelle of the Year.
Carolyn was a devout Christian and an active member of the Valley Church of Christ. She fully accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Carolyn is preceded in death by her parents, Willard and Jessie Cook.
She is survived by her husband, Dick; and her two sisters, Connie and Patty. She is also survived by her daughter, Renee (Michael); her son, Doug; her stepsons, Russel “Rusty” Chance and Shane Chance (Jennifer); her stepdaughter, Kristi Lenard (Robin), several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and countless nieces and nephews.
Carolyn’s family held a memorial service on Friday, Dec. 17, at the Valley Church of Christ. In her honor, the family asks in lieu of flowers, direct any gift to the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch or any charity of your choice.
Orlando Gutierrez, a lifelong resident of Belen, passed away on Dec. 7, 2021.
He was one of six siblings born to Jose Antonio Gutierrez and Sara Gurule Gutierrez. After graduating from Belen High School in 1964, Orlando enlisted in the New Mexico National Guard and served his country for 19 years.
He learned the stucco trade by working as a young boy alongside his father and two older brothers. Orlando also worked for the state of New Mexico.
He had a nickname of “spider.” Orlando was also known as “chief” by his brother, Richard.
He is survived by his loving wife, of 53 year Dolores Ulibarri Gutierrez; children, Frances Gallegos and husband, Fred, Timothy and wife, Cindy, Josephine Molina, Aaron, Dorianne, Fernando, and Jordyn Martin; and sister, Patricia Ionita. Orlando is also survived by his 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren
Orlando is preceded in death by his loving daughter, Virginia Gutierrez; parents, Jose Antonio and Sara Gurule Gutierrez; brothers, Gilbert Eloy and Richard Gutierrez; sisters, Mary Gutierrez and Elizabeth Chavez; and grandchild, Antonio Gutierrez.
A celebration of life was held at First Baptist Church in Belen on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
Please sign Orlando’s online tribute at romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.
Sandy Guzman, age 41, a resident of Belen, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021.
She was a member of Calvary Chapel in Belen. Sandy worked for the Travel Lodge in Belen since 2000. She worked her way up in the company from housekeeping to desk clerk, where she was still working upon her death.
Sandy was also well-known working at Penny’s Diner and the hotel, and they all loved her very much. She was a well-known baker, baking cakes for all occasions or anytime somebody would ask her.
Sandy loved singing karaoke, her favorite song was “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder. She was a poet and her poetry was enjoyed by family and friends.
Being a single mom, with help from her loving mother, Marie, and her brother, Roberto, Sandy raised her four children to be kind, loving and hard-working. She was a selfless human being, sacrificing her own life to save the life of her youngest daughter, Haven, by shielding her in the accident that claimed her life. Sandy was always smiling and laughing and she would always light up the room.
She is survived by her four daughters, Ana, Vanessa, Miriam and Haven; her loving mother, Maria Mejia and Carlos Jaramillo; brother, Roberto Mejia; and partner, Weylin Zimmerman.
Sandy was preceded in death by her maternal grandmother, Maria Soledad Mejia; and grandfather, Alberto Mejia.
A viewing will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 23, at the Romero Funeral Home Chapel. A funeral service will follow at 12 p.m. Interment will take place at a later date.
Please sign Sandy’s online tribute at romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.
Joanne Sue Lente
Joanne Sue Lente, age 69, a resident of Los Chavez, passed away peacefully on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021.
She was a special angel to so many people. We will celebrate her life, her laugh and her beautiful smile.
Joanne was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Lilian Lente.
She is survived by her brother, Leonard and wife, Nancy; nephew, Kevin and wife, Suzie; niece, Kim and husband, Rick; and Alex, Courtney, Brannan, Daisy, Annabelle and Evelyn. Joanne is also survived by many friends too numerous to name, but you know who you all are.
The family is so grateful to all of her caregivers and send a special thank you. You all have been a true blessing.
Services will be held at Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel. A public viewing will begin at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 23, with a funeral service to be celebrated at 11 a.m. Internment will be held at Sunset Memorial in Albuquerque.
Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., 505-864-4448, where an online guest register is available at noblin.com.
Richard “Rick” P. Orlich
Richard “Rick” P. Orlich passed on to a greater life on Dec. 10, 2021.
Richard was born on Sept. 27, 1936, to Rode and Antonia Orlich in Wakefield, Mich., and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1954. He moved to Milwaukee, where he attended beauty college and opened two Franz Beauty Salons in the Fox Point area.
He and his brothers opened up the Balkan Lounge in Milwaukee and started a tamburitzza band that played for many weddings and parties. In 1973, he moved to New Mexico, where he and Tony Moya opened Casa de Pizza, the first pizza restaurant in Belen and later another in Los Lunas.
Richard did everything with a flair and he loved to cook, entertain, travel and play bingo. He brought many happy memories to family and friends with his upside down accordion playing. He will be missed by a host of many friends and family, who meant a lot to him.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Rode Orlich and Antonia Orlich; four brothers and three sisters, Mike (Flora) Orlich, George (Blanche) Orlich, Sophie (Jack) Palmer, Louie (Marvel, Maureen), Mary (Vern) Halvorson, Rudy (Bonnie) Orlich and Angeline (Ron) Zaicek.
He is survived by three brothers, Frank (Virginia) Orlich, Joe Orlich and Bob Orlich; and many nieces, nephews and their families.
A Funeral Mass will be held 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 29, at San Clemente Catholic Church in Los Lunas.
Please sign Richard Orlich’s online tribute at romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.
Dennis Gordon Prescott
Dennis Gordon Prescott, age 82, born, Aug. 24, 1939, in Ionia, Mich., on the family farm, went to be with his Lord on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021.
He was in the United States Air Force for 30 years; he retired as a colonel. Dennis lived and raised his family all around the country at USAF bases. While in the Air Force, he received numerous accolades, the Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Expeditionary Force Medal, Master Security Police Badge, and the Legion of Merit.
After retirement, Dennis settled in New Mexico. With the help of his family, he hand-built his cabin in Canada, where he would spend three summer months every year surrounded by and hosting family and friends. He loved golfing (except when he didn’t enjoy it, demonstrated by throwing and breaking his clubs), fishing (he was in such high demand that family had to make an appointment to go fishing with him) and being a valued member of First Presbyterian Church of Belen.
Dennis also enjoyed making a good martini and a Manhattan, and listening to music (he had an extremely eclectic taste). He will be remembered by his family as someone who had the highest level of integrity.
Dennis knew something about everything but willing to admit what he didn’t know, “I can tell you what I know, but there is more.” He was creative, resourceful, patient, thoughtful, intelligent and humorous. Dennis was completely invested in people (who they are and what they are doing) and was truly understanding and accepting of the differences in people.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Janice Prescott, who he met when he was 10 years old; daughter, Susan Prescott (Bruce Grossman); son, Paul Prescott; grandson, Jason; granddaughter, Anais; and sister, Paula Noe. Dennis is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws, who all adored him.
A funeral service was held at First Presbyterian Church in Rio Communities on Saturday, Dec. 18.
Arrangements weree being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., 505-864-4448, where an online guest register is available at noblin.com.
Adelina B. Rascon
With great sorrow we announce the passing of our mother, Adelina B. Rascon, age 85, a resident of Los Lunas. She passed away surrounded by family on Dec. 13, 2021.
Adelina is preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Ofelia Barela; husbands, Refugio Moya and Jesus Rascon; son, Michael Moya; brother, Eberto Barela; sister, Louisa Ormsby; and grandson, Malachi Rascon.
She was an energetic, humble, fun-loving woman. Adelina helped and loved everyone who came around her. Her smile was contagious. She could light up a room as bright as her sparkly shirts and socks. Adelina loved all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; they are what kept her going.
She looked forward to the holidays because it brought all the family together. Adelina’s favorite was the Forth of July; she loved going to the parades and celebrations to hear the music. Food and the casino were her escape, and chance to go visiting.
Adelina is survived by her six children, Betty Dumont, Ronald Moya, Patrick Moya, Andres Rascon, Lorraine Rascon and Enrique Rascon; and many grandchildren.
A viewing, Rosary and Funeral Mass were held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Wednesday, Dec. 22. Interment followed at Valencia Cemetery.
Please sign Adelina’s online tribute at romerofuneralhomenm.com. Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen.
Lillian Romero, age 86, a resident of Tomé, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at her home surrounded by her daughters, Sharon and Martha who cared for her.
Lillian devoted her life to caring for and loving her family and serving her religion. Lillian was a terrific dancer and never missed a party.
Lillian is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Juan Romero; daughter, Theresa (Char) Romero; parents, Juan and Modesta (Tita) Orona; brothers, Willie Orona, Valentine Orona and Oswald Orona; grandchildren, Jesse Romero, Michael Sanchez and Tammy Gallegos; brothers-in-law, Leslie Sanchez and Johnny Shaw.
Lillian is survived by her children, JoAnn (Ben) Baldonado, Mary Lou Sanchez, Veronica (Ramon) Gallegos, Martha Shaw, Sharon Romero and Kenny (Judy) Romero; sisters, Patricia (Ralph) Montes and Dorothy (John) Godley; 12 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
All services were held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Tuesday, Dec. 21. Interment followed at Tomé Catholic Cemetery.
Please sign Lillian’s online tribute at romerofuneralhomenm.com.
Cris R. Sanchez
Cris R. Sanchez, age 92, from Belen, passed away peacefully on Dec. 13, 2021, at her home.
Cris was born on Sept. 2, 1929, in Adelino, to Miguel Romero and Fidela Gurule.
Cris is preceded in death by her first husband, Max D Sanchez; her daughters, Connie Sanchez and Geneva Padilla; and her great-granddaughter, Angelica Flores.
Cris is survived by her companion, Audias Chaparro; her children, Virginia Dominguez, Evelyn Jaramillo (Frankie), Alice Cordova (Marty), Yolanda Moreno (Mark), Sandra Loe (Adrian), Abel and Salvador; 15 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and 13 great great-grandchildren.
She was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church and very strong in her faith. Cris’s favorite pastime was going to the casino and playing the panda slots.
She will be greatly missed by family and friends and forever remembered for her kind heart, her addictive laugh and her humor.
A visitation and public viewing was held on Dec. 21 at Noblin Funeral Service. A viewing, Rosary and Funeral Mass was held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church on Dec. 22. Interment followed at Our Lady of the Belen Memorial Gardens.
Arrangements were handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., 505-864-4448, where an online guest register is available at noblin.com.
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.