On Nov. 15, 2017, one of Roswell’s favorite sons fought his last fight and was counted out. Former Golden Gloves boxing champion Raymond “The Bronze Bomber” Anaya lost to an opponent every person born will lose to: father time and death: two things an athlete cannot train for.
In his boxing life, Anaya would exude the discipline it took to become a nine-time Golden Gloves champion, often rising at 4 a.m. to log miles on the road for a fight, and to train. Training, fighting, and discipline would be a way of life for him inside the ring and out.
His brother John, won five Golden Gloves, and brothers Rennie, Ralph and Troy won three apiece. Brothers Carlos and William won two each to form the most lethal brother boxing combination ever in New Mexico as they were dubbed as the “Magnificent Seven.” The Anaya brothers won 27 Golden Gloves championships.
“Raymond loved sports,” said his wife, Lynda Anaya. “To him, it taught discipline and to be good in sports and life, an athlete had to give up some things and be dedicated. That was something he prided himself on, being good at everything he did, and he wanted his sons to be good at whatever they did.”
Raymond Anaya and his brothers were named to the Roswell Boxing Hall of Fame and the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame. What makes Raymond Anaya’s accomplishment more incredible was he and his six brothers were trained by their father, Raymond Anaya Sr., and the legendary Willie Hall.
At the time of his passing, the Bronze Bomber went out the way he lived, in the arms of his beloved wife and their five sons at 5:35 p.m. What is symbolic of his passing at that time was Raymond Anaya had been married for 35 years and had five sons around him when he took his last breath.
“His death was a shock,” Lynda Anaya said. “I’m devastated. Writing his obituary was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. After being married for 35 years, you’re used to going to bed with your lover and spouse, and getting up in the morning to make coffee, all of the sudden it’s gone. You go into a whole new life without him.”
Raymond Anaya leaves a legacy of faith, which he displayed to his wife, children and community. The thing Lynda feels her husband’s legacy is, is how he conducted his life and raised his children, and the things he imparted to them, that he made a difference in Roswell.
Not only was Raymond Anaya disciplined as an athlete, but he used that same effort and energy as a student and businessman to make his dreams come true. He graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a business degree in accounting and bookkeeping. After leaving Safeway Grocery Stores after 25 years, and having another career with the state of New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department, Raymond Anaya felt a burning desire to own something for himself and family.
“That was his dream, owning his own business,” Lynda Anaya said.
Raymond and Lynda were partners in everything they did in life, from raising their children together to working at their own business, “Anaya Gross Receipts Consulting and Tax Service.” Their business acumen won them the Hispano Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award in 2010. Proud of his ethnicity, Raymond Anaya was president of League of United Latin American Citizens.
“When we got married in Hawaii in 1982, we were so in love,” Lynda Anaya said. “Raymond had his goals and knew what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to help people, and lived by discipline that boxing taught him. We knew we were going to raise our boys that way, with discipline and sports.”
There were many days that strangers would walk into his business and sit and talk to him about life, problems or just to enjoy his company. Raymond Anaya’s heart was so big that he would give money to beggars who would come to his business, and even feed them. Often, he would sit on his favorite sofa at home and pray for those less fortunate than him and the homeless. Raymond Anaya felt it a duty to help all people, but especially the Hispanic people.
One of the things Raymond Anaya was most proud of was his five sons he left behind: Isaac Raymond, eldest, Desmond Martin, David Frederick, Raymond Mark, John John, he raised them the right way. In the Anaya house, there was no room or time for his boys to be bad. Discipline was the most important thing, and he made sure they earned good grades and played sports. In his eyes, sports was discipline.
“He was the best father,” his wife said. “He didn’t drink, or smoke, and he was here all the time for me and the boys. He lived for us and the Roswell community. He was the sweetest man. He’d often tell me that they didn’t get into the tax business to make a million dollars, but to help people.”
Raymond Anaya had such a big heart that for some of his patrons who could not afford to pay him for doing their taxes, he would often do them for them for free or for meals.
Lynda Anaya recounted that Raymond’s best memories of his life are the births of all his sons. She remembered him crying at all their births.
Their business will be closed for a little bit, and Lynda Anaya hopes to reopen it one day.
“The Roswell community has responded tearfully,” she said. “Everybody that has called me, or come over has been in tears. Nobody can believe he’s gone, because he was always there sitting behind his desk at the office. No matter how bad he was feeling, soon as he walked through that door, it was like he was a different person. He was in his element at work. The community is heartbroken.”