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Generations of Memories

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More than 50 members of three generations of the Merced and Francisca González family gathered Tuesday night at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, coming from cities in New Mexico, Texas, Virginia and Colorado, to be honored at the 37th Annual Heritage Award Dinner. The event is a major fundraiser for the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico and recognizes people or organizations that have made significant contributions to the area. The González family traces its history in this area to 1954, when Merced and Francisca and their five children immigrated from Mexico. As chronicled in a recent family history, “Never Forget Where You Came From,” designed by Danielle González when she was attending Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell and compiling histories provided by her uncle and other relatives, the Merced and Francisca Gonzáles family became a deep part of the local community, as it grew to have 12 children. Seven of the 10 surviving siblings attended the event. The family was known for fielding its own softball team that competed fiercely in the local church league as many family members have played football, baseball, volleyball and many other sports with many local schools. They also have educated an estimated 7,000 area school children as teachers as well as served as nurses, lawyers, architects, librarians, photographers, U.S. Army personnel, mechanics, city staff, news directors and landscapers, to name just some of their professions. The tribute dinner brought out about 200 people to support the Historical Society and salute one of the area’s prominent families. “From a humble immigrant farmer and the love of his life, we have grown to become a solid force in this community,” said Angelica Rodriquez, a granddaughter of Merced and Francisca. “The essence of who we are as a family is why we are being honored today.” (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.