Ms. Esther Helmstetler of Roswell NM passed away on August 14, 2017 at the age of 84. Esther was born to Charles Looney and Inez Clinton on February 11, 1933 in Big Springs TX. Both of her parents have preceded her in death.
Born in Texas her family left for New Mexico when she was still a child. Her father was a farm worker and traveled to where the work was. Often times the whole family would help dad by picking cotton in the fields or doing whatever was necessary in order to support the family. Esther saw the example of her parents and their work ethic was ingrained into her nature at a very young age.
In 1950 Esther met and married the love of her life Otis Helmstetler in Roswell NM. Their life together was tragically cut short in 1954 when Otis passed suddenly and Ester found herself a single mom raising two daughters. She worked countless hours to make sure her family would be provided for, with food on the table and a roof over their heads, Esther embodied a strong will of character by always placing her baby’s first. She could easily outwork most men by cutting firewood, raising pigs or working on cars. She wasn’t afraid to get dirty and her own brothers had learned the hard way not to mess with her.
Esther loved to be outdoors and spent some of her free time camping at Baca Camp Grounds or in her garden growing tomatoes and green chiles. She was an amazing cook and was personally responsible for fattening up many guest, friends and family who came over to eat. She was known as Aunt Esther but to her son-in-law she was a second mother. She could be tough as a rattlesnake, she ate like a bird, but her heart was as calm and gentle as a lamb. She was a bible quoting believer who loved the Lord and put her faith in Him.
Ms. Esther Helmstetler is survived by her daughter Dorthy Mulvihill of Roswell NM; sister Arvella Helmstetler of Carlsbad NM; son-in-law Kenneth Beavers of Roswell NM. She is preceded in death by her husband Otis Helmstetler; daughter Alice Beavers; and numerous brothers and sisters.
A graveside service was held at South Park Cemetery on Monday August 21, 2017 at 2 p.m. Chaplain Tim Arlet of Kindred Hospice Care will be officiating the service.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory.
Ms. Esther Helmstetler of Roswell NM passed away on August 14, 2017 at the age of 84. Esther was born to Charles Looney and Inez Clinton on February 11, 1933 in Big Springs TX. Both of her parents have preceded her in death.
It has been 3 years since you entered into rest.
You left me beautiful memories,
Your love is still my guide,
And though I cannot see you,
You’re always at my side.
— Your loving wife “Eva”
The project exists to honor and empower Wounded Warriors from New Mexico who incur service-connected injuries.
The organization is still looking for veterans who may qualify.
“Since we started the New Mexico Elks Wounded Warriors Charity Golf tournaments, we have assisted more than 185 local veterans and their families with over $146,000 in assistance,” organizer Ralph Brown said. “Some of the local veterans’ needs were temporary housing, a new hot water heater, repairing a swamp cooler, groceries, prescription medicine and emergency utilities payments. Many, if not all, of these veterans had exhausted all other means of assistance.”
A complete list of assistance is available at the Roswell Elks Lodge.
“We have a goal of raising $30,000 for the Roswell Elks Supporting New Mexico Wounded Warriors Charity Golf project. This will be obtained by the local community support responding to thank our veterans,” Brown said. He is still looking for sponsors.
“One hundred percent of your donation will help individuals in our local community. Due to the recent negative national news report of the National Wounded Warrior project, I want to clarify that the local Roswell Elks Lodge No. 969 Charity Golf, which I am involved with, is not affiliated with this national program,” Brown said.
The sixth annual Roswell Elks New Mexico Wounded Warriors Charity Golf Tournament kicks off Sept. 9 at 8:15 a.m. with a shotgun start at the New Mexico Military Institute Golf Course, 201 W. 19th St.
The entry fee is $75 per person and $300 per four-person team. Only the first 24 paid team entries will be accepted. Only one single-digit handicap per team is permitted with a minimum team handicap of at least 40.
Sponsorships start at $100 and include a sign, a hat and two tickets for refreshments and lunch.
Breakfast, lunch, range balls and green fees are included in the fee. The tournament will conclude with a gathering at the Elks Lodge, 1720 N. Montana Ave., for lunch, refreshments and scoring.
For more information about sponsorships, contact Magil Duran at 575-626-7311 or the Elks Lodge at 575-622-1560.
For more information, call chairperson Ralph Brown at 575-627-9255.
Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A step out of the real world; Little-known ‘princess and the pea’ story to be performed at the Roswell Community Little Theatre
The Roswell Community Little Theatre presents the musical comedy “Once Upon A Mattress” under guidance of RCLT’s director Lynetta Zuber, who is in charge of lighting and also plays the role of Lady Larken.
Music of the 1959 musical is by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer.
The kingdom is an unhappy one. King Sextimus has been struck dumb by a witch’s curse and is condemned not to speak again until “the mouse devours the hawk!” Queen Agravia has assumed power and she talks enough for the whole royal household. She has decreed that no one in the kingdom may wed until her son Prince Dauntless is married to a true princess of royal blood. So far, the queen has tested the eligibility of 11 applicants and each has failed the almost impossible tests the queen has devised.
The knights and ladies of the court are most distressed by the situation, but the most concerned are Lady Larken and her handsome lover, Sir Harry. Lady Larken has informed Sir Harry that he is to be a father, so the situation is quite desperate. Sir Harry, determined to find a true princess, sets off for unexplored parts and returns with Princess Winnifred. Prince Dauntless is very impressed by the new princess and is soon obviously in love with her — to the consternation of the angry queen, who decides to give her an impossible test.
Will Dauntless finally find a bride who is a true princess, or will the entire kingdom be doomed to live out their lives as singles? Join the RCLT cast for a hilarious ‘Princess and the Pea’ story, “Once Upon A Mattress.”
The RCLT’s team includes Don James as assistant director, Kathy Cook as music director, costume designer and in the role of Queen Aggravain, Jennifer Wolfe and Denise Koerber are in charge of choreography, Koerber also plays a knight. Producer of the musical is Alethea Hartwell, Nate Banks is stage manager, Tony Simoes is part of the set crew and plays the king’s jester. Ty Whatley is part of the set crew and plays King Sextimus. Berkeley Dittman is cast as Prince Dauntless the drab; the royal wizard will be performed by Randy Nolen, Rena Fierro is Princess Winnifred, Derek Palacios is the minstrel and William Atkinson is Sir Harry.
The chorus includes Donna Paul, Candience Runquist, Jeorganna Simoes, Zelia Santos, Deona Santos, Bruce Herren, Jimmy Fuller and Ivory Brown.
“I picked the musical because I absolutely love the story,” Zuber said. “It is a different kind of ‘Princess And The Pea’ you would normally think of. That was basically why I chose it. I fell in love with the story even before I heard the music for it.
“I really love the cast that I have,” Zuber said. “The challenge has really been the stage that we have. It’s not the best stage in town and it was really tough trying to get creative with the space that we have. I am working with levels. I am trying different things that we haven’t had before. I love the idea of making magic happen. Magic is what I like to do,” she said.
“Come and step out of the real world for a couple of hours and enjoy a show and people making fools out of themselves on stage,” Zuber said.
Paul has a background role in the musical. “I didn’t want to perform because I can’t sing, but Kathy Cook had me singing soprano after 45 minutes,” Paul said. Her biggest challenge is to sing and follow the choreography at the same time. This performance is her third at RCLT.
Koerber is a dancer at Studio+ and helped with the choreography. “I used to love being in the theater, but with dancing it conflicts, unfortunately.”
Koerber’s future plans are bright, “Me and my friend are hoping to open a dance studio one day,” she said. “I am a part of the Department of Labor enrollment program at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. I have been in college since I was 15 years old.”
Quite a sight to see is Berkeley Dittmann in the role of the lovesick Prince Dauntless the drab.
“I’ve been on stage since I was in the womb,” he said. “As far as me actually acting myself, that started when I was 8 years old.”
Dittmann enjoys the comedic aspects of this musical.
“There is not a single moment in the musical that you don’t want to at least chuckle,” he said. “It’s so fun.”
The audience can see the musical the next two weekends with evening performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and matinees on Sundays at 2 p.m.
RCLT is located at 1717 S. Union Ave. For more information and ticket reservations, visit roswelltheatre.com or call 575-622-1982.
Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at email@example.com.
Don’t you just love history and the surprises it holds? Read the following article written Thursday, March 30, 1939, by Amelia Church. It was published in the Roswell Dispatch on the same date.
El Torreon was built between 1840 and 1850, according to all the native people who were there at the time I came to Lincoln to live which was in 1873. Andricus Trujillo, the man who built it, died in 1870, according to the best information. He built El Torreon for protection against the Indians, as he was the only settler of the town of what is now Lincoln. He cultivated the fields that are just beyond the river north of Lincoln.
The story of El Torreon and Andricus Trujillo was frequently discussed by the Spanish people. While I was just a child when we came to Lincoln, I remember it very well and as I grew to womanhood the subject was still a favorite topic among the native people, so that I am quite familiar with the history.
The thing that impressed me most about Trujillo was his deathbed request to have the big boulder that stood near the old cemetery south of town — not the new one on the road — dragged by yokes of oxen after he was buried, and placed over his grave. This was done, and it still remains there. He was a strong Penitente, and at the end of Holy Week every year, when the Penitente’s season was over they finished their ceremonial always at his grave and left the big pine cross leaning against this boulder. Many of the native people will vouch for what I have said about the boulder and about Trujillo being a Penitente.
Don Saturnino Baca was the first owner of the premises on which the old tower stands, after the Trujillo family. Don Saturnino moved from his place on the Bonita to the Trujillo property about 1875, and remained until 1879, when it was transferred to Mrs. A.A. McSween. We have with us today a daughter of Don Saturnino Baca, who I am quite sure was born here on the grounds. The McSweens and Bacas lived in the house built by Trujillo after the Torreon had served its purpose. Following Mrs. McSween, Major Howell, who will be remembered by many of the old-timers, lived in the house, and as I remember it, he and his family were the last tenants in the old house, where they lived before moving to Roswell.
Regardless of what people say, that the Torreon was never plastered, I will have to correct that — the Torreon was kept plastered by all owners until it came into the possession of Mrs. McSween, and if there were any arrow marks or bullet holes they were in plaster surrounding the port holes, and not in the rock.
Had the Dolan men not been cut off from El Torreon on the day that Major Brady and his deputy were killed by the Kid and his men in a surprise attack, the Kid would never have been able to cross the field yonder and reach the hills, and make his escape.
And if the Kid had been killed that day a good many lives might have been saved, but they were shooting at him from too long a range, and though they shot volleys, he was too far away and moving too fast.
The only time we took refuge in El Torreon was when I was quite a small child, during the Horrell War, in the winter of 1874-75.
Twenty seven women and children spent a night in it then, but there was no attack that night because one of the Horrell Brothers, the older one, was a high-degree Mason and so was Major Murphy, and the people appealed to Major Murphy, for protection. The Horrells were scheduled to come across the mountain from their home on the Ruidoso, and it was rumored they were going to annihilate the town and kill everyone. We heard afterwards that Major Murphy wrote a letter and sent it with his Masonic ring to the hill to intercept the Horrells and ask them to spare innocent people and not attack the town.”
Among her many works, Mrs. Church was attributed with saving the Torreon, and it’s important history in this part of our Old West!
Janice Dunnahoo is a volunteer archivist at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico.
Lady Coyotes top Goddard 2-0; Roswell takes 3rd place at Alien City Invite; rival Artesia wins title
The Roswell Lady Coyotes and Goddard Lady Rockets met on the pitch for the first time in the young season, but it wasn’t where either team wanted to be.
After losing their semifinal matchups Saturday morning, the crosstown rivals met in the third-place game of the Alien City Invite soccer tourney at Cielo Grande, where the Lady Coyotes came out on top, scoring a goal in each half to win 2-0.
Senior Danielle Banda scored her third goal of the season with her first half make and then set teammate Mari Meraz up for a second half score with a great pass. Despite giving up the two goals, Emily Mathison played a fearless game against the high-powered Lady Coyote offense.
The Lady Rockets never gave up, but they were definitely tired after a long semifinal matchup which featured a long injury timeout, two overtime periods and penalty kicks. Goddard was up 1-0 on a Montana Miranda goal, but after a Valencia player was taken off the field by ambulance, the Lady Jags rallied to tie it.
It looked like Goddard would take a late lead with about five minutes left in regulation, but an offsides call negated a goal, much to the displeasure of the Lady Rockets’ coaches and fans.
The Lady Coyotes fell to Artesia 1-0 in the other semifinal and the Lady Dogs went on to beat Valencia 3-0 in the final.
Three games into the season and the Hobbs boys’ soccer team has already played three double overtime games. The last came Saturday afternoon as the Eagles beat visiting Roswell 1-0 at Watson Memorial Stadium.
“It is a little crazy. We have been able to go, defensively speaking and play it. Offensively, I think we need a little work,” Hobbs coach Jose Mares said. “But we are not getting scored on. The three games have been low scores. Today was 1-0, Thursday was the same and Tuesday was 2-1 (a loss). It is a low scoring game, but we are able to keep that intensity up for almost 100 minutes.”
Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the Eagles played at Roswell in their season opener. The Eagles lost that game 2-1 in double overtime. Two days later the Eagles hosted Clovis in their home opener and won 1-0, in double overtime.
“If you lose to a team you always want to win the second time,” Hobbs’ Dominic Ocon said. “It was more of battle for the better team, the better school.
“There are many disadvantages to that,” Ocon said of playing Roswell twice in the same week. “You are tired and you play more games, but it is also good because they don’t have time to practice any new strategies, so you know what they are going to do and you are able to cover that more effectively.”
Saturday afternoon it was more of the same. Neither team was able to score a goal during regulation. The Eagles had 10 shots during regulation, four in the first half and six in the second half. Roswell had only two shots during regulation, both coming in the second half.
“They are quality,” Roswell head coach James Vernon said of the Eagles’ soccer team. “They work the ball well. We are a young team. We lost 13 seniors from last year and we are trying to regroup and kind of get something going.”
With 2:20 left in the second overtime period, Zaid Avila took a pass from Ocon and shot the ball past the Coyotes’ goalkeeper to win the game.
“It was a team effort,” Avila said of his game-winning goal. “I was nervous. I didn’t know if I was going to make it when I took the shot. … It felt great. It got the win for our team.”
While Ocon didn’t score the game-winner, he did take pride in setting up the play that allowed Hobbs to score.
“I saw the defender out of position and I knew that I could take him,” Ocon said. “I just ran it and I was able to see Zaid open. I got the ball to him so he could take that shot. It felt good to set him up and help my team out for the win.”
Vernon said the Coyotes made a change late in the second overtime that led to his team’s loss.
“The last three minutes, we shifted a formation and put three defenders in the back and that kind of bit us in the rear end on that one,” Vernon said. “That was my mistake. That was my call. … Right when we shifted, (Hobbs) just came right down and scored.”
The Eagles had two free kicks during the first half, but failed to get the ball close to the net either time. Hobbs had plenty of chances to score in regulation, but factors outside of their control got in the way. The Eagles were flagged nine times for being offside, three times in the first half, four in the second half and twice during the first overtime period. Coincidently enough, the only period the Eagles did not get flagged for being offsides was the period in which they scored.
Roswell’s best chance at scoring came with 30:30 left in the second half. The Coyotes took a shot that bounced off the crossbar of the goal and ricocheted back to a Coyote who attempted another, but Eagles’ goalkeeper, Tristan Zambrano, came up with the save.
Back on the field for the first time this season, Zambrano got the win and the shutout. Zambrano was out the first two games with a knee injury. The senior goalie recorded three saves against the Roswell offense.
“You see and hear Tristan on the field and I think that is what the guys needed, is somebody with a little bit of guidance out there,” Mares said. “He is a captain. He has been starting and seated three seniors since nine, 10, and 11th grades. He his big on the field.”
With the loss, Roswell falls to 1-1 on the season with both games being played against Hobbs. The Coyotes will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Carlsbad in the Cavemen’s season-opener.
“They don’t like to lose,” Vernon said. “But hey, you have to get it sometime. It is all just experience and work from there.”
Toney Reynolds likes Roswell so much, he moved here twice.
“I came here in ’56 as a pilot on the B36,” Reynolds said. “Then we moved back in 1962. I came directly out of school and I built the first new (animal) hospital here. It was (for) small and large animals, I treated all of them.”
That animal hospital was on the southeast part of town, a booming area while the base thrived.
“When I came here Roswell was a boom town,” Reynolds said. “They were building 12 missile sites all around the area. They said there were 50 new families moving here every week.”
Business was so good, he expanded.
“Dr. Webster had an office on Hobbs,” Reynolds said. “I eventually bought that and we ran two hospitals. A new residential development was going up behind my hospital.”
Roswell’s economy shifted after Reynolds got established.
“When they closed the base I had 12 horses in my hospital,” he said. “A week later I had none. There was a traffic jam of moving vans leaving town. The houses behind my hospital were empty.”
Reynolds was born and raised in Arkansas. He took his education there, too.
“I went to the University of Arkansas,” he said. “Then, I went to the University of Missouri and I graduated from there in ’62. The day I got to Missouri, I had no idea what an overcoat was, it was knee-deep in snow. Until I bought my overcoat I ran from building to building and went directly to the radiators.”
Reynolds’ wife, Sybil, remembered the early years.
“We graduated high school together and married four years later,” she said. “He had to pay the government back for allowing him to finish ROTC, so he did three years in the Air Force. Then we owned a motel and lived in it with our two girls. When we moved back here our oldest daughter kept wandering around our backyard. She said, ‘Mom, this is really our yard, right?’”
The Reynolds’ raised three children in Roswell.
“When our eldest daughter entered school her study was in the back of the house,” he said. “She said, ‘I’m going to be class valedictorian.’ She was. She’s been a principal and superintendent in Arizona. Right now she is training principals.
“Our second daughter is in Dallas and is an interior designer. She’s designed hotels in Austin, Texas, Albuquerque and I don’t know where all. Our son lives in town and works as the refrigeration man for all the dairies in the area.”
Retired now, Reynolds hasn’t slowed down for anyone.
“I practiced veterinary medicine 30 plus years,” he said. “Then some gentlemen bought me out. Then I worked as relief veterinarian all over the state. I’d go and work for two weeks or whatever was needed. Then I worked for the USDA as a food inspector for five years. Then I worked at the race track.”
Reynolds said race track people are a unique group.
“That is a different breed of people,” he said. “I’m the one that says that horse can run, I’m the last one. If I pulled a horse out of a million-dollar race I heard some adjectives that I hadn’t heard and some of them questioned my birthright. It was interesting, anyway.”
He also worked as part of the governance of the Western Veterinary Conference.
“I was president of the Western Veterinary Conference,” Reynolds said. “We have ten thousand members with headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
The purpose of the organization is education.
“You’ve got to have so many hours of continuing education hours to continue working as a professional,” Reynolds said. “That’s the primary purpose of this organization. I was on that board of directors for 15 years.”
He’s also traveled to developing countries to help where he could.
“I volunteered with VOCA, Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance,” Reynolds said. “I went to help them learn about veterinary medicine. I went a number of places including Ethiopia. I was trying to show ’em now to take better care of dairy cattle and hogs and sheep.”
Work is a friend to Reynolds. It keeps him alive and it keeps him alert. He wishes more people understood the value of work.
“I hate seeing people who dread Monday morning,” he said. “I’ve always loved my work and looked forward to it. For me, it wasn’t a question of if I was going to get a phone call at night. It was a question of how many. I raise quail and I have a garden. I do it because I enjoy it. There’s no profit in any of it. I took a bushel basket of squash to the community kitchen the other day. A few days before that I took bell peppers.”
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The man suspected of killing his girlfriend more than two weeks ago in a north Roswell hotel has been arrested.
Jeremy Hawkins, 35, was arrested either Friday night or early Saturday morning in Albuquerque without incident by the U.S. Marshals Service, according to information released shortly before noon Saturday by Roswell Police Department spokesman Todd Wildermuth.
On Friday, Roswell police announced that they had obtained an arrest warrant for Hawkins in connection with the Aug. 4 shooting death of 31-year-old Ashley Sena of Roswell, believed to have been the girlfriend of Hawkins. Her body had been found in a room at Comfort Suites in the 3600 block of North Main Street. She had been shot once in the face, according to police, who say that Hawkins and Sena had been arguing before the shooting.
Hawkins has been charged with murder, tampering with evidence, two counts of intimidation of a witness and possession of a firearm as a felon.
Roswell police officers allege that Hawkins discarded the gun used to kill Sena and later intimidated two people about the incident. They also say he previously was convicted of a felony child abuse charge.
On Thursday, a news release issued by the Roswell Police Department stated that police wanted to talk with three people about the murder, including Hawkins. Police later indicated that they had identified Hawkins as the suspect.
Sena, who moved to Roswell in 1990 with family, has been described by family and friends as someone who had a keen interest in history and politics. She was the mother of a young son who lives in Albuquerque.
Wildermuth said that Hawkins will be returned to Roswell to face the charges against him.
The organizers of the first reunion of people who have served in Roswell with the New Mexico Army National Guard felt the time had come to greet old friends and remember their experiences.
“One day I was sitting down and I was thinking about the people who were in the Guard,” said Frank Sosa, who first joined the New Mexico National Guard in 1963, retiring as a first sergeant 25 years later. “There had been about 15 people who passed away, so I thought it was time for us to get together.”
The all-day event Saturday at the American Legion Hall on North Montana Avenue reunited the men and women who have served with the 1st Battalion, 200th Air Defense Artillery and the 320th Ordnance Detachment, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery. The reunion was expected to draw about 200 people as well as two special guests. Recently named Adjutant General of the New Mexico National Guard Brig. Gen. Kenneth A. Nava stopped by for about an hour in the morning to meet with friends, while New Mexico Department of Veterans Services Secretary Jack Fox was expected to attend the evening banquet and dance.
Nava, a native of Santa Fe, lived in Roswell from 2003 to 2005 while serving with 1st Battalion. He now commands all of the New Mexico Air and Army National Guard and serves as chief military adviser for Gov. Susana Martinez.
“There are very few people who join the military. It is less than 1 percent,” Nava said, “so I welcomed a chance to be here and see a few of them come together. It is nice to reminisce about our experiences. I don’t remember the painful times, the bad times. Now not everyone is wired like that, but I remember the funny things, the good times.”
The family-oriented reunion also included a World War II historical display, an inflatable climbing structure and a couple of jump houses.
The United States is in for a treat on Monday.
Everyone that lives in the contiguous United States will see either a total or partial solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth blocking the sun’s light either partially or totally.
The Roswell Astronomy Club and the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium will be holding a Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing event on the sidewalk between the Civic Center and the Roswell Museum and Art Center on Monday from 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Roswell will not have a total solar eclipse, only partial with 67 percent of the sun’s light being blocked by the moon. Although Roswell will only experience a partial solar eclipse, the viewing should still be great.
At the viewing, there will be telescopes with solar filters and a sun spotter. Solar glasses will also be available for purchase from the Roswell Astronomy Club and in the museum gift shop. It is never recommended to look directly at the sun even during an eclipse.
Solar eclipses occur often, but normally in areas that are densely populated. The solar eclipse Monday is unique since it is traversing across the contiguous United States from Oregon to South Carolina passing through 14 states. The length of time for the total solar eclipse will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last time that a solar eclipse occurred in the contiguous United States was in 1979.
Roswell City Council Infrastructure Committee, 4 p.m., Roswell City Hall conference room, 425 N. Richardson Ave.
City of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission, 6 p.m., Bassett Auditorium, Roswell Museum and Art Center, 100 W. 11th St.
Artesia City Council, 6 p.m, Artesia City Hall, 511 W. Texas Ave.
Roswell City Council General Services Committee, 3:30 p.m., Roswell City Hall conference room, 425 N. Richardson Ave.
Roswell City Council special meeting (concerning award of Convention Center construction bid), 5 p.m., Roswell City Hall conference room, 425 N. Richardson Ave.
City of Roswell Public Forum on Homelessness, 6 p.m., Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Main St.
Ramon (Ray) Claire Farley, age 82, passed away on August 4, 2017 at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll, Iowa. He was attending a celebration of his hometown of Glidden, Iowa’s 150 year anniversary. He was born on May 3, 1935 in Carroll County, Iowa to Chester (Chet) and Doris (Luke) Farley.
He grew up in Glidden, Iowa, graduating form Glidden High School in 1953. After high school he attended college at Barrington College in Providence, Rhode Island, Taylor University in Upland, Indiana where he received a degree in secondary education.
Ray married Frances (Fran) Ritchel in 1956 in Fairfield, Connecticut after meeting in the summer of 1955 while working at Word of Life Summer Camp in Schroon Lake, New York. They were happily married for 61 years.
He began teaching, administration and coaching career in Marion and Peru, Indiana where he worked for 20 years. During that time he received a master’s degree in education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and pursued doctoral studies in education.
Ray and Fran then moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where he taught and served as the head of the Science Department at Roswell High School for another 20 years. He retired in 1997 after 40 years of teaching and coaching.
He enjoyed more than anything else spending time with his four grandsons every summer as they grew up. Between Family Camp at Bonita Park and summer road trips in the RV they all developed a bond with each other that remains unbroken.
Kevin Farley is his first grandson. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he played lacrosse and was Captain of a champion Navy Cycling Team. He is a Navy Fighter Pilot. He and Grandpa Ray shared love for all things mechanical, hard work, and ice cream. Their work and witness trip to Peru together was a highlight of their lives.
Brian Farley is Ray’s second grandson and is a graduate of the University of California, where he was a three-year letterman and staring offensive lineman for the Golden Bears, he also played lacrosse at Cal. He and his grandpa shared a deep appreciation of football and lacrosse, the outdoors, history, and good food. Brian loved his summers with his Grandpa.
Mitchell McCleery is the third grandson. Mitchell is a graduate of Full Sail University with a degree in computer animation. Mitchell loved taking trips with his grandparents in their RV. Grandpa loved to see all of Mitchell’s computer projects and was amazed by his talent. Mitchell recently taught Grandpa how to play Virtual Reality (VR) video games.
Lucas (Luke) McCleery is No. 4. Being the youngest grandson his Grandpa held on to him even tighter than the rest. Grandpa traveled from Roswell to Fort Worth last fall to all but two of Luke’s football games – including his State Championship victory. Luke enjoyed summer trips with his grandparents and loved attending Family Camp. Luke is attending and playing football at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Ray was a member of the First Church of Nazarene in Roswell, New Mexico. Ray was exceptionally active in his church. He taught Sunday School, served in various church leadership positions, and became the primary facility maintenance expert for the church. In addition, Ray was faithfully active in the missions aspect of the Church of the Nazarene. Over the course of his life he organized and participated in over 20 work and witness trips to help build facilities for missionaries on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. His last trip was in 2016. He also was extraordinarily active as a participant, and leader in the Roswell Camp of The Gideon’s International organization; placing and distributing thousands of Bibles to hotels, high school students, service members and New Mexicans from all walks of life.
Ray is survived by his spouse Fran of Roswell, New Mexico; his son CAPT Randal (Tania) Farley, USN (Ret) of San Diego, California; daughters Rhonda Farley of Watauga, Texas, Robyn (Greg) McCleery of Keller, Texas; sisters Barbara (Aaron) Carlson of Lake City, Iowa and Marcia (Paul) Wentworth of Loup City, Nebraska; his grandchildren LT Kevin Farley, USN of Hanford, California, Brian Farley of Lafayette, California, Mitchell McCleery of Keller, Texas, and Cadet Lucas McCleery, USMA West Point.
A memorial service will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene (501 N. Sycamore Ave.) in Roswell, New Mexico, at 10:30 a.m. on the 9th of September 2017. Friends are encouraged to bring pictures of Ray to add to a display of remembrance.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations to be made to The Gideons International, Roswell Gideon Camp, P.O. Box 777 Roswell, New Mexico, 88202. Condolences may be left on Ray’s online guest book at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/ramon-farley-obituary.
‘Jesus put a yodel in her soul.’ Dorothy “Marie” Rodgers, 85, saw her Savior face to face on August 9, 2017. There will be no service at this time at the request of the family. A tribute of Marie’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for her family.
Marie was born on December 26, 1931, in Clarinda, Iowa, to Arthur and Gladys Freemyer. In 1951, she married the love of her life, David ‘Terry’ Rodgers, who preceded her in death. If Marie was involved in something, it was with great passion. Her dedication to her Heavenly Father was known by all who knew her, first and foremost. A very close second was her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Marie was a tireless homemaker, even being awarded by the Home Extension Agency as a Master Cook. She spent countless hours volunteering for her church and Cowboy Camp Meetings. Marie will long be remembered for her ‘Yodel.’ She loved to sing, sew, read and feed wild birds.
A small bundle of a woman with so much love to give – whether in her mountain home, to the people of Weed and her church family, or to the many people whose lives she touched over the 85 years she lived on this earth. She was a true reflection of God’s love.
Surviving to cherish and honor Marie’s memory are sons: Layne Rodgers and wife, Ellen, David Rodgers and wife, Vickie; daughter, Jerusha Tucker and husband, Kevin; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Dennis B. Mahaffey of Lubbock, formerly of Roswell, New Mexico, passed away surrounded by family on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at the age of 88. He was born August 26, 1928 in Braxton, Mississippi to Davis Buford and Nanabel (Caraway) Mahaffey. He worked as an engineer for Southwestern Public Service in Artesia for 17 years and served in the National Guard. In 1957, he formed a partnership and lifelong friendship with Don Bartlett. Together they acquired the A & W Root Beer in Roswell and later the Tastee Freez franchise in New Mexico and West Texas. Their partnership lasted 50 years. Dennis was also a real estate broker and contractor for many years.
Dennis married Betty Haney on December 21, 1950 in Roswell. He was a member of Country Club Road Church of Christ where he was baptized at the age of 72. In 2014, the couple moved to Lubbock to be closer to their children, where he was a member of King’s Ridge Church of Christ.
Dennis is survived by his wife of more than 66 years, Betty; daughters, Denise Pernell and husband Randy of Dougherty and Kathy Dawson of Lubbock; siblings, Joann Stanley of Lubbock and Dee Mahaffey of Braxton; five grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; twin sons, Dennis and David in 1952; brother, George David Mahaffey; and son-in-law, Gary Dawson in 2013.
The family will receive friends from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at Combest Family Funeral Homes. Graveside services will follow at 2 p.m. (MST) at South Park Cemetery in Roswell, New Mexico.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, 1356 NM 236, Portales, NM 88130; Assurance Home, 1000 E. 18th St., Roswell, NM 88201; or Hospice of Lubbock, 3702 21st Street, Lubbock, TX 79410.
Please celebrate the life of Dennis by visiting combestfamilyfuneralhomes.com.
Martha Louise Hutsen, 98.5, died August 15, 2017, at her home in Roswell, New Mexico.
She was born in Jonesville, Indiana, January 10, 1919, to Bertha Kruse Hill and Harry Gore Hill. She was one of five children, Laverne Artz, Kenneth Hill, Maurice Hill and Audrey Johnson. They were all raised in Columbus, Indiana.
Louise was married to Sidney Earl Hutsen August 23, 1941. Sidney preceded her in death in 2005.
They lived in Columbus, Indiana, where they raised five children. Survivors include her children, Karen Jean Remmele of Roswell, New Mexico, Sidney Randolph “Randy” (Carolyn) Hutsen of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Suzanne Laverne (Larry) Gaye of Portland, Oregon, Jane Ellen (James) Plank of Jacksonville, Florida, and Katherine Louise Hutsen (Rex) Baumgart of Columbus, Indiana. Louise had seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, Sean (Stephanie) Edward Schooley, Courtney Hutsen, Brandon (Valerie) Hutsen, Christopher Gaye, James V. Plank, Katherine “Katie” Jane Plank and William Gabriel “Gabe” Hilt.
Louise graduated from Columbus High School in 1936. She received her teaching degree with a minor in music from Hanover College, where she was a member of the Phi Mu sorority. Upon graduation she taught in a one room school house, which is now a church across from Southside Middle School. Louise taught in the Bartholomew County School system full-time upon graduation and substitute taught while raising her children.
She worked at her husband’s company, Insurance and Management, serving on the board and was secretary / treasurer. Louise was active in the First Christian Church, was a member of Grandview Yacht Club and Grandview Garden Club, a former Bartholomew County President of the Republican Party Workshop, past-president of Delta Theta Tau, and past president of Zonta International in Columbus, Indiana.
Louise and Sidney moved to Jacksonville, Florida, in 1997. They were members of the Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church and lived at the Carriage Club of Jacksonville, Florida, where they enjoyed ballroom dancing. They were active and loyal fans of their grandchildren’s interests attending all their activities; golf, swimming, baseball, softball, and music performances.
In 2013, Louise moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where she lived independently until her death. She was an avid New Mexico Military Institute basketball fan and enjoyed her grandson’s and great-grandchildren’s basketball, baseball, volleyball and music pursuits.
A graveside service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Thursday, August 24, 2017, at Columbus City Cemetery in Columbus, Indiana with Rev. David Burnett officiating. Calling will be prior to the service from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Heritage Fund-The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, 538 Franklin St., Columbus, IN 47201.
You are invited to send a message to the family via the internet.
Local arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
Jon Scott Bliss of Mesa, AZ, passed away on August 5, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Scott was born in Roswell on October 28, 1956, to Alice Hyatt Bliss and Jon Peter Bliss. He attended Goddard High School before enlisting in the U.S. Army. He served in South Korea before returning to Roswell where he worked for Ginsberg Music Company for many years.
He married Melinda Rodgers of Alamogordo on December 30, 1978. They moved to Mesa, AZ in 1987.
Scott was preceded in death by his mother, Alice Bliss, and his aunt, Rosemary Stephenson, both of Roswell, and his uncle and aunt, Evan Howard and Lorene Hyatt of Albuquerque.
He is survived by his wife Melinda Bliss of Mesa, AZ, and his cousins Sandra Stephenson Pearsall and her husband Ken, of El Paso, their daughters Amy of New York City and Nancy of Austin, TX, Nancy Hyatt Rankin, Carol Hyatt Hawk and her husband James and their daughter Jadyn Hawk Walker and her husband Shane, all of Midland, TX.
Per Scott’s wishes, he has been cremated, and no formal services will be held.
Delfina Elisa (Reyes) Franco, 70, passed away on August 3, 2017, her birthday, in Riverside, CA.
She was born August 3, 1947 in Roswell, NM, to Elisa Flores Reyes and Fernando Reyes.
She is a longtime resident of Riverside and Corona, CA. Delfina grew up in Roswell, NM and graduated from Roswell High School in 1965. She married Pedro Franco and eventually they moved their family to Corona, CA.
She attended Riverside Community College where she received her AA degree in 1982. She completed her BA degree in education at Cal State San Bernardino, graduating with honors in 1989.
Delfina had a long and fulfilling profession career. First with the Riverside County Registrar where she served as the County Registrar. Then after retirement from the county, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher and served as a second-grade teacher at Edgemont Elementary School, Moreno Valley for the last 17 years.
Delfina was very dedicated and creative in her work and transferred those values to her employees and students. Her students were very special to her. She instilled in them an awareness and appreciation of the world around them and strived to give them skills to succeed in life.
She also nurtured this same education in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren by having mini classes for them in her home during the summer breaks and taking every opportunity to encourage them to grow and learn new things.
Delfina is survived by her son Raymond Franco and daughter Deirdra (Armando) Rocha, grandchildren Stephen Franco, Miranda Rodriguez (Daniel), A.J. Rocha, Marcus Rocha, Monica Rocha, Jimmy Rocha, and Cruz Rocha. Also her great-grandchildren Desiree Rodriguez, Andrea Rodriguez, Eva Rodriguez, and Daniel Rodriguez Jr. In addition, Delifina is survived by her brother Fred (Gloria) Reyes of Roswell, NM and sisters Rita (Ernest) Montoya of Roswell, NM; Corina (Frank) Gallegos of Glendale, AZ; and Mary Ann Jojola of Albuquerque, NM.
She is pre-deceased by her Daughter Jeanine Franco, and her parents. Pallbearers were Ray Franco, Stephen Franco, A.J. Rocha, Marcus Rocha, Mary Ann Jojola, and Fred Ray Reyes.