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Ronnie Perea and his wife, Annette, will be enjoying retirement by traveling across the country.

LOS LUNAS — Ronnie Perea entered into a “semi-retirement” after working with Mountain States Wrecker Services for the last 41 years, a business he has owned since the early 2000s.

“My favorite time on the job was being able to be with my family here at Mountain States,” Perea said. “We raised all my grandkids, even our kids here.”

Mountain States Wrecker Services, a family-owned business, is the only semi-wrecker company in Valencia County and only towing operation in Los Lunas.

Perea said he had always planned to retire at age 60, but will still work at the shop during the day. An expansion to the scope of services offered at Mountain States may also be in his future, since he said he plans to add an RV storage unit.

Perea began working at Mountain States in 1980, then owned by his wife Annette’s parents, Felix and Polly Baca. They opened the business in 1956.

“When I started working for him, he was doing mechanic work and towing also,” Perea said. “He taught me all the ropes of mechanics, and he taught me all the ropes of towing in 1980.”

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Previous Mountain States owners, Felix and Polly Baca, holding current owners’ Ronnie Perea’s daughters, Erica Garcia and Veronia Olguin. The Bacas transferred ownership to Perea, their son-in law, in 2006 following Felix’s death. After 41 years with the business, Ronnie is entering into a semi-retirement.

Perea has two daughters and seven grandchildren. His daughter, Veronica Olguin, said she has fond memories of growing up with Mountain States as the family business.

“It’s pretty cool because I was raised with my grandparents, my parents,” Olguin said. “I was able to see all the different things, like how they would flip semis and all the different ways they had to work was very cool.”

Now that he is retired and no longer has to work occasional night shifts, Perea said that he plans to travel with his wife.

“We do a lot of RVing and we do a lot of motorcycle riding, trail riding and that’s just what we enjoy doing,” he said. “We’re into classic cars. We have a few classic cars here and that’s just a thing that we like to do.”

Perea and his wife have already taken their RV through most of Texas, as far south as Corpus Christi to visit family, but their favorite place to take a road trip is Pagosa Springs RV in Colorado.

Perea said he wants to thank the village of Los Lunas and Valencia County for using their services for the past 65 years and to the New Mexico State Police, since they often service their vehicles as well.

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Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.