Billy Joe Brady was born in Claunch, N.M., on December 31, 1931, to Rosarita and William E. Brady. He was the last remaining sibling, being preceded in death by 5 brothers, 3 sisters, 2 grandsons, 1 great grandson and a son-in-law. Billy Joe died peacefully at his home on May 8, 2022.
At 16 he left school in Hondo and went to work breaking horses at the Slaughter Ranch near Picacho. He loved ranch work and was only able to go home once a month. This allowed him to save his money to buy his first truck, a blue Chevy ’43, allowing him to visit home more often. He worked at the ranch until he was drafted in 1952 to the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Once completing his 3-month basic training in El Paso, Texas he returned to Hondo and married Patricia Salcido. He was stationed in New Jersey where he spent his tenure of service. He often commented about the cold, snowy winters. One activity he especially enjoyed in the Army was boxing, a sport at which he excelled.
After being discharged, he moved to California and worked at North American Aviation, as a sheet metal worker. After a year in California, he enrolled to West Texas Barber College in Amarillo, Texas. Billy Joe said that graduating and getting his license was one of his lifelong proudest moments. He barbered in Roswell and Ruidoso; but eventually settled his family in Alamogordo, where he owned and operated the Sanitary Barber Shop for many years.
Billy Joe was active in the Jaycees, the Loyal Order of the Moose, Otero County Barber’s Association, and the U.S. Jr. Member of Commerce. He also ran for Sheriff in the Otero County elections.
Later in life he married Laura Rodriguez and moved back to Hondo. He worked for the Hondo Valley Public Schools until his retirement and then served as a school board member. Billy Joe continued barbering, riding horses, roping, ranching, and farming work into his 80’s.
One of his favorite pastimes was watching his grandsons play Hondo basketball. He said, “Es la cosa mas linda que he visto en mi vida, que barbaro!” He left his family with many memories. Among them were his jokes, singing in the car, playing guitar, telling spooky stories (including his signature, scary whistle), and the nicknames he had for everyone.
He is survived by his wife, Laura, five daughters, Lynda (Bobby Chavez), Frieda, Naomi, Donna, Rosey (Philbert Candelaria), three sons, Billy (Carol), Scott, Joseph (Marisa), and stepson, John (Gail), as well as 26 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild and another on the way.
His belief in God and praying the rosary for his family was unwavering, as was his love and pride for his family.
Per his request, a rosary will be recited in his memory. It will be held at the Hondo Cemetery on August 6, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Please join us.