Tony G. Baca 559 


Tony G. Baca

Tony G. Baca peacefully passed away at the age of 95 at his home in Belen surrounded by his wife and children on Dec. 5, 2023.  

Services will take place on Friday, Dec. 15, at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, beginning with a public viewing at 8:30 a.m., a Rosary at 9:30 a.m. and Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.  

He is survived by his wife, Sofie Baca, who he was married to for 71 years; and 11 children and their spouses, Cathy McCartney-Sachs (Greg Sachs), Louise Britton, Tiana Kaula, Arlene Gabaldon (Pete Gabaldon), Anthony Baca (Thiel Baca), Peter Baca (Teresa Baca), Sandra Baca, Raymond Baca (Michelle Baca), Audra D’Arcangeli, Melissa Reeves, and Paulette Asplund (Mark Asplund); 25 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Margie Romero; and his brother, Eddie Baca; numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.  

He is preceded in death by his daughter, Rachael Kerby; his parents, Tranquilino and Monica Baca; his brother, Benny Baca; and his sisters, Eloisa Stephens and Elisa Montoya.  

Tony grew up in Casa Colorada and armed only with an eighth-grade education enlisted in the United States Army at age 17 in 1946. He served in the Army until 1951, and received the Overseas Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Army of Occupation Medal-Germany, the World War II Victory Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal.  

Before he left for the Army, he told his mom, “I’m going to marry her!” “Her” was Sofie Trujillo, a young lady who lived nearby. After his service, he returned to Casa Colorada and married Sofie Trujillo on Oct. 18, 1952. Tony and Sofie had a family of 12 children.  

Tony had always loved music and shortly after the first children were born, he decided to teach himself how to play music. He taught himself how to play drums, piano, guitar, trumpet, saxophone, bass guitar and the clarinet. He also taught his children to play and dance and formed The Baca Family Band — Valencia County’s version of “The Partridge Family.”  

While he was teaching music to the kids, Sofie was busy sewing the costumes for their various performances. The “Baca Family Band” sang and played at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church services, performed at orphanages, hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, fiestas and the New Mexico State Fair as well as other events around the state.  

Tony and Sofie believed in teaching their kids as many things as possible and that’s where some learned to sew, ride horses, swim, weld, tend fields and drive tractors. Tony really wanted them to know how to swim, so he built a 12-foot-deep pool so they could learn to swim and also to learn how to dive. The pool also became a popular hang out with many of their friends as well as extended family.  

Tony and Sofie’s main emphasis were about learning and they really kept an eye on their kids’ grades and how they were doing in school. Their parents taught them that life is a learning experience and that you should never stop learning.  

Tony always believed in being busy and that everyone should keep on learning whatever it is they like. Tony was always interested in helping anyone and continued to teach music and dancing into his 90s. He taught music and dancing and played regularly at the community center until his mid 80s. He was always willing to lend an ear to anyone who wanted to talk, especially about music. Tony was well loved and will be sorely missed. 

The family would like to thank the caregivers from Interim Health and from Bosque Trails but especially to Samantha Brown, who was indispensable in providing loving care for Tony’s last days. Also, to Dr. Garcia and the helpful staff at the VA hospital for being there when we needed them. A great big thank you to dad’s 24/7 care-giving crew, Louise, Arlene, Sandra, Raymond, Missy, Paulette, Marshall, Petie and Raegan. 

Thanks also to the caregiving crew spouses, Pete, Michelle and Mark; and to Tiana, who provided 24-hour care for his last week. Special thanks to Sandra for managing the care for dad amongst the family and for being there for them to lean on for the last 38 years. And most importantly, thank you to his loving wife for being at his side through thick and thin.  

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

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