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Stephen Stanley Santheson


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Stephen Stanley Santheson

Stephen Stanley Santheson passed away on January 30, 2020 with family beside him. He was born at the family home at 509 North Atkinson Avenue on September 12, 1926 to Stig S. and Jessie Mapes Santheson.

Even as a toddler automobiles fascinated him and when he was 13 years old he began talking about needing a car the next year when he would attend junior high school. Finally, his dad told him to start looking for a car and Stanley found a 1929 Ford Model A that he liked, but which needed a lot of restoration. He couldn’t have a driver’s license until he was 14 years old, so he had plenty of time to tinker and learn what makes a car run. This was the first of many cars that needed some TLC and in 1952 he found a 1929 Ford Model T that needed it badly. In the next years more Model T’s came along needing restoration and eventually he turned to Ford Model A’s to restore. He drove his cars in the fair parade, took them to car meets and ending up with many trophies. After retirement he enrolled at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas and studied the fine art of antique car restoration.

Stanley graduated from Roswell High School in 1944 and immediately joined the U. S. Navy. After basic training in San Diego, California he was assigned to post office duty in the San Francisco area.

He didn’t care for that duty and was happy to be transferred to the United States Naval Base at Agana, Guam. Upon discharge in 1946 he came home and worked with his father in the family business, Roswell Floral Company. In 1947 he enrolled at New Mexico A. & M. (now New Mexico State University) where he met his future wife, Nancy Jane Whitman. They were married in St Charles, Missouri on September 22, 1949. They went to Denver, Colorado and both enrolled in the Colorado School of Floral Design. After graduation they returned to Roswell and Stanley became a partner with his father.

Stanley was a charter member of the first Optimist Club in Roswell and served as assistant Scoutmaster for the Boy Scout troop the dub sponsored. He was very involved in the Soap Box Derby and go cart races that the dub sponsored. Later he was a member of the Roswell Rotary Club where he was a Paul Harris fellow and served as scholarship chairman for several years. He was the last surviving charter member of the Valley Vintage Motor Car Club and was active until recent years. He was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church where he served as president of his Sunday School class and on numerous committees through the years.

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Searching out ghost towns and sites of old forts became a family hobby and involved traveling throughout the western states and having some unusual adventures as they bumped over almost nonexistent roads or hiking over areas where no car could go. Some ghost towns have a few remaining remnants of buildings like a house built of bottles and old fort sites usually have the remains of a very secure jail. From Acme, a ghost town site northeast of Roswell, to Bodie, California, the “queen” of ghost towns, the adventures continued for many years.

Stanley was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Bernice Santheson D* Abadie and his nephew, Jon Robert D’Abadie. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Nancy; his daughters, Stephana Thornton and her husband Clay of Cincinnati, OH, and Ciri Santheson Enoch of Las Cruces, NM; niece, Nancy Lenton of Midway, GA; nephew, Alan D’Abadie and his wife, Sandra of Roswell, NM; cousins, Nancy Mapes Nash of Maryland, Melvin Mapes of Clovis, NM and Ingrid Santheson Stauffer-Bryson of El Paso, TX; brother-in-law, Robert Whitman of Wentzville, MI and sister-in-law, Carol Whitman of St. Charles, MO. Also his grandchildren, Rent Thornton of Canton, OH, Tracy Thornton Bulharowski and husband Thomas, of Wamer-Robbins, GA, Trevor Enoch and his wife Crystal, of Las Cruces, NM, Tiffany Enoch Flora and her husband, Jeremy, of Edgewood, New Mexico, Travis Enoch and his wife, Rebecca of Las Cruces, NM and his great-grandchildren Ryan, Ethan, Garrett, and Jason Bulharowski, Emma and Andrew Enoch, Cody and Lily Flora, and Scarlett Enoch. And two very special “daughters” Sandra Wiekel and Jan Barnett.

Serving as pallbearers are Alan D’Abadie, Trevor Enoch, Travis Enoch, Jeremy Flora, Clay Thornton, and Trent Thornton.

Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, February 7 at Ballard Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 8, at 10 a.m. at Ballard Funeral Home with John Fuss officiating. Burial will follow at South Park Cemetery. Flowers will be welcome.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com


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