NMMI Staff and Faculty
Joe “RASCO” B. Aguilar, 89, from Capitan, NM, coming out of Chute #2, riding Twiste, passed away on Friday, December 28, 2018, from natural causes, at Mission Arch in Roswell, NM. On September 18, 1929, Joe was born to Cruz and Martina Aguilar in Capitan, Lincoln County, New Mexico. Prior to retirement, he worked at New Mexico Military Institute as a groundskeeper. Joe was a longtime member of Assumption Church, where he served as an usher. He loved going to the Joy Center to play pool. Joe liked playing his guitar and singing to his family and friends. He enjoyed going to the casinos and deer hunting. Joe was deeply loved and will be profoundly missed, not only by his family and friends but by all those fortunate enough to have known him. Survivors: Those left to treasure and cherish memories of Joe are his children: Vernon Aguilar of Roswell, NM, Joann Ortega and husband, Joe of Albuquerque, NM, Ervin Aguilar and wife Nancy of Roswell, NM, Joe Aguilar and wife Liz of Roswell, NM, Betty Grado of Roswell, NM, Barbara Aguilar of Roswell, NM, Becky Aguilar of Roswell, NM, grandchildren: Stephen Aguilar, Edie Daz, David and Stacy Ortega, Michelle Aguilar, Barbie Lucero, Melanie Juarez, Ashley Quintana, Ervin Jr., Anthony, Catherine Aguilar, Lillie Grado and Donna Gomez, Lil Joseph and Robert Aguilar, Anthony and Brian Mays, Jessica Ruiz, Samantha and Jonathan Flores; two special grandsons-in-law, Adrian Gomez and German Martinez; forty-seven great-grandchildren; ten great-great-grandchildren; brothers, Nick Aguilar of Roswell, NM, and Max Aguilar of California; sister, Cruzita Pina; and many nieces and nephews. Preceded: Joe was preceded in death by his beloved wife of thirty-three years, Lillie H. Aguilar; granddaughter, April Ortega Santillan; siblings: Eddie Aguilar, Lionel Aguilar, Ernesto Aguilar, Dorthy Aguilar, and Jimmy Aguilar.
Garcia, Fred Castillo, Jr., – Fred passed away Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at home surrounded by family. Fred was born May 5, 1936 to Fred Garcia, Sr. and Aveillna Castillo in Balmorhea, TX. Fred was a grounds keeper for the New Mexico Military Institute Golf Course and also the Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River. Fred is survived by his wife, Alejandra Garcia of the home; children, Daniel Garcia and wife, Elisa of Roswell, NM; Maria Watts and husband Charles III of Pflugerville, TX; Moises Garcia of Roswell, NM; Bernardita Herrera and husband Billy of Lubbock, TX; brother, Jose Garcia of Albuquerque, NM; sisters, Mary Natividad and husband Pedro of El Paso, TX; Natalia Martinez of Chandler, AZ; and Heliosa Aguilar and husband Tommy of Midland, TX. Fred was blessed with 7 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Fred will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Fred Garcia, Sr. and Aveillna Garcia; 2 brothers, Cedric Garcia, Ramon Garcia and 1 sister, Lupe Armendarez. Pallbearers will be Joe Herrera, Pillip Watts, Pierre Alonso, Abel Sanchez, Anthony Garcia and Isaiah Sanchez.
Norma S. Cockrum was born on August 1, 1956 in Roswell, NM, to Paul Eugene and Margie Pearl (Long) Patterson and died on October 29, 2018 in Lubbock, TX. She grew up in the Dexter/Roswell area and attended school at Dexter. During the years she worked, she had been employed by an insurance company, NMMI and school system but mainly her job was being a homemaker for her family. She enjoyed cooking and baking for her family and grandchildren, and letting the grandchildren help with the cooking. Norma had a passion for gardening and flowers, puzzles and painting and loved being outdoors. She also liked to go hunting and take road trips. She loved church and church activities and attended First Baptist Church when she was able. She was a giver and loved her family very much. Preceding her in death were her parents, her husband, John Cockrum and a step-son: James Clinton Cockrum. Surviving her are two sons: Robert Morris of Lovington, NM and Michael Morris of Roswell, NM; two brothers: Johnny R. Patterson of Pontotoc, MS and Paul Eugene Patterson of Roswell; one sister: Letha Mae Judkins of Nettleton, MS and her first husband and her sons’ father: Robert “Robbie” Morris of Roswell; also her cousin who was very close to her: Diana Burns of Oklahoma and three precious granddaughters: Madelyn, Hailey and Gracie Morris and many friends.
IDA “Frances” FOWLER DOWNES (NMMI employee) passed away on 20 March 2013. Downes was at New Mexico Military Institute as a librarian. She was the Great Great-Grand daughter of New Mexico pioneer Charles Beaubian who settled in New Mexico in 1826. She is survived by son John; her brother Bill; two granddaughters, one grandson; ten great-grandchildren; and two great-great- grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.
Jeff Grimwood born August 22nd, 1968 in Albuquerque, New Mexico to his mother’s Linda Walker and Patricia Cook, Father Morris Eugene Grimwood. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of May 3rd 2018. Jeff graduated from the police academy in 1989 and served as a distinguished sheriff’s deputy and detective for over 20 years. Jeff was the senior team leader of Douglas County SWAT and taught the SWAT Operations Immersion Course at the United States Airforce Academy in Colorado Springs. Jeff was a FBI Arrest Control instructor and member of the 18th Judicial Districts Critical Incident Team. Jeff’s call sign as a police officer was “Grimmy” and from there on it become his nickname. Jeff lived by the saying *Vadis-Vado “Where you go I go”. Jeff aspired to return to school and pursue a Criminal Justice degree, and while in pursuit of furthering his education Jeff worked at the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) where he was loved by all, from cadets to officers and civilians, with whom he interacted daily. Jeff viewed his service to our country as “Proctor of the innocent, Defender of the weak”. “Grimmy” is preceded in death by his father Morris Eugene Grimwood and his sister Traci Ann Gillespie. He is survived by his daughter, the love of his life; Samantha Page Grimwood, and his birth mother Linda Walker, adoptive mother Patricia Cook (Curtis Cook), brother Justin Grimwood (Kara Grimwood, niece Ariana Grimwood and nephews Brandon Grimwood, & Lane Grimwood,). *Vadis-Vado
Alberto F. Gurrola (Employee) Alberto passed away on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. He worked for New Mexico Military Institute for several years. He enjoyed hunting and being outdoors, being with his family and walking around visiting his neighbors. He is survived by his wife Elvira; his sons, Ricardo and Javier; his brother Abdon; his five grandchildren; his first wife Amelia Enriquez and her five children, Malena, Antonio, Linda, Consuelo and Bertha.
James Barney Harding, 86, a resident of Abilene Texas, died March 2, 2018. James grew up on the Texas/New Mexico Border near the town of Texico, NM. His family farmed in that area for 100 years. James served in the Navy during the Korean War. He graduated from NM State with degrees in Soils Science and Psychology. He worked as a counselor in schools around NM. He taught at NMMI. He married Carol Windham in 1995 and they ranched in Callahan County for 20 years. He was preceded in death by his daughter Tana of Las Cruces, NM. He is survived by his wife Carol of Abilene, TX. His sons Kent Harding of Smithville, TX, Eric Harding of Phoenix, AZ, Wade Champion of Austin, TX, and his daughter Amy Windham of Seattle, WA. His grand children Lexi and Brittany Shula of Phoenix, AZ, Henry, Hamish, and Ginger Harding, of Brisbane Australia, Veronica Harding of Smithville, TX. Austin, Samantha, Allyson, Amanda, Sydney and Sabrina Harding, of Phoenix, AZ. Kyle Champion of Austin TX, Blaen and Straley Windham of Seattle, WA.
Santiago Esteban “Steve” Hidalgo, 54, passed away Wednesday, February 21, 2018, in Roswell, NM. On August 7, 1963, Steve was born to Albert Hidalgo, Sr. and Mary Montes in Roswell, NM. He was a great chef and started cooking at an early age. Throughout Steve’s life, he worked for Sally Port Inn, NMMI, and Tinnie Mercantile and Deli. He was overwhelmed with joy when he learned about his new grandson, baby Maddux. Steve’s greatest joy in life was to be with his family, he loved them more than anything. Some of Steve’s favorite things to do were to watch his nephews, Frank and Cristian De La O, play basketball for the RHS Coyotes. He loved joking around and listening to music with his niece, Bianca De La O. His most treasured memories were playing lotería with his mom, sister, Tina, Rita, Ricky, Rosie and whoever else wanted to join. There was never a dull moment when Steve was around. He had a great love for his dear friend (family), Cathy Burch. Steve loved the paintings she would do for him on his windows during Christmas. He and his best friend, Daniel Ramirez, were always there to help each other out. Steve will be greatly missed by everyone he knew. Those left to eternally cherish memories of Steve are his son, Steve Hidalgo Jr. and Kaytlyn; daughter, Olympia Martinez; mother, Maria Hidalgo; grandchildren: baby Maddux Hidalgo, Benjamin Marquez, Asayca Romero; brothers: Julian Hidalgo, Henry (Ricky) Hidalgo and wife, Rosie, Albert Hidalgo Jr. and wife, Nancy; sisters: Rita De La O and husband, Frank, Maria Christina Hidalgo, Anita Malacara and husband, Daniel; and numerous nephews and nieces. Preceding Steve in death were his father, Albert Hidalgo, Sr; grandparents: Marcelina Reyes, Annie Molina; and sister, Maria Amparo Sanchez. My Big Brother “You showed me a lot of things, I learned a lot I didn’t know. But you forgot to teach me one last thing, how to let you go. I know you didn’t mean to leave me, sometimes we have no choice. I miss being your little sister, Hearing your name called by your voice I wish I got to say “I Love You” before you were given to the sky. You always meant so much to me I could never love you less. I know it’s true when they say He only takes the best. “RIP brother. I Love You.” Your baby sister, Rita Steve’s family lovingly wrote this tribute in his honor.
JOHN L. HIGDON was a physical education teacher and football coach from 1968 to 1971. He passed away 19 November 2012. He graduated from Sul Ross State University after serving in the U. S. Navy for three and a half years during WWII. Higdon is survived by his sons, David, Danny and Russell; daughters, Carol and Kathleen; 11 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; and 5 step-children.
GARY HILL (NMMI Employee) passed away on 17 June 2013. Hill loved the Houston Astros, and was a very loving son and brother. He is survived by his parents, Claude and Mary; his brother, Larry; his sisters, Sharla and Debra; and his nieces and nephews.
Renee James-Bresson (Staff) Beloved wife, daughter and sister, Renee James-Bresson, 55, passed away in her sleep on Thursday, March 29, 2018, in Roswell, New Mexico. On August 1, 1962, Renee was born to David James and Elizabeth (Betty) R. Shelhorse in Taipei, Taiwan. She graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in Portland, Oregon. Prior to retirement, Renee worked as a Sales Associate for a Floor Covering Business. Her favorite pastimes include reading and playing with her precious dogs. Renee will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Those left to eternally treasure and cherish Renee’s memory are her husband, Kenneth Bresson; daughter, Rachel Bresson-Kreiger; son Troy Bresson; parents: David James and Elizabeth (Betty) R. Shelhorse; and sister, Cindy James.
Coach George Wilson Knapp, 89, passed away October 25, 2017 in Lubbock, Texas. Wilson, as he was known to all of his family and friends, was born August 12, 1928 in Toyah, Texas, to Bleeker and Willa Dean Knapp. They would later move to Carlsbad, New Mexico where Wilson met the love of his life, Jean Walton. They were married December 11, 1948 in Carlsbad. This coming December, Wilson and Jean would have celebrated 69 years together. While in high school, Wilson discovered the second love of his life: football. He was named to the all-state team twice before graduating from Carlsbad High School. He then attended the University of New Mexico on a football scholarship where he made the all-conference team two years. Wilson went on to coach high school football at Belen, Carlsbad, Lovington, and the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. After leading teams to multiple state championships, he joined the coaching staff at the University of Texas at El Paso where he served as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. In 20 years of coaching, Wilson had 5 first-team All-Americans and 39 who were drafted into pro football. Wilson left coaching in 1971 and spent the rest of his career in education. He served at the Region XIX Service Center for 13 years before moving into administration with the Canutillo Independent School District. He retired in 1993 after serving 6 years as the superintendent of the Canutillo school system. The lives of many young people were dramatically impacted by Wilson’s 4 decades of service in education. Wilson was a man of incredible strength, character, and integrity. He loved the Lord and faithfully served in many capacities at Trinity-First United Methodist Church in El Paso. He is survived by his wife Jean of Lubbock, Texas; daughter Sherry Thom and husband Brian of Harker Heights, Texas; son Dennis Knapp of Harker Heights, Texas; daughter Susie Driscoll and husband Rick of Ransom Canyon, Texas; and daughter Sandy Schafer and husband Mike of Plainview, Texas. Wilson also left a powerful legacy through his 8 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He will be greatly missed!
LTG RICHARD T. KNOWLES, USA (Ret) HONORARY LIFE MEMBER passed away on 18 September 2013. Knowles was born in 1916 in Chicago, IL. Knowles left the University of Illinois to join the Army in 1942. His military career spanned more than three decades. He retired in 1974 as a Lieutenant General, having served in three wars. After his retirement, Knowles moved to Roswell, NM, opened an antique store, and ultimately served for 16 years as State Representative for District 57. His life spanned nearly a century of remarkable experiences, ranging from remembering the first time he saw an automobile, seeing Frank Capone’s funeral parade in Chicago in 1924, training as a young officer candidate in the ROTC on horses, captaining the fencing team for the University of Illinois that contended for a national championship, and witnessing an atomic bomb test in Nevada. He was known for his open mind, quick wit, and outgoing personality. While his military and civilian accomplishments are too numerous to mention in detail, he was awarded the Silver Star for Valor during the Korean Conflict and Congressional Medal of Honor Society Distinguished Citizen Award in 1994. He is survived by his daughters, Diane Buchwald, Katherine Buck, Rebecca Crosby and her sweetheart, Gregg Brown: his son, Richard J. Knowles and his wife, Sandra Clinton; his stepsons Stanley Warfield Crosby, III 1968 HS and Steven Wood Chaney and his wife Laurie; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
MAPLES, CMDR ROBERT E. – CMDR Robert E. Maples, age 81, passed away on Tuesday, Dec 4th, 2018 at his home in Roswell, NM. On Dec 16th, 1936 Robert was born to Dr. Lewis E. Maples and Mildred Couch Maples in Kansas City, MO. Ordained on May 20th, 1956, he became the fourth generation of ministers in the Houser/Maples family. He served churches in Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Washington, and New Mexico over a ministerial calling spanning 62 years. He chose to serve his country by enlisting in the US Army in 1959 and served in Korea. After being discharged in 1962 he furthered his education, completing a Bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee OK; Bachelors of Divinity and Masters of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Seminary, Ft Worth, TX and a Masters of Education, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY. In 1967, he received a commission in the U.S. Army, serving in Vietnam, Guam and Okinawa as a Chaplain. After pastoring a church in Ohio, he resumed his military career in 1980, as a Chaplain in the US Navy, serving at Paris Island, SC, Camp Pendleton, CA, and on the USS Constellation, Bremerton, WA. He retired as a Chaplain in the U.S. Navy, at the rank of Commander in August, 1987. After retirement, he served as Chaplain to the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM until 1998. Robert ministered and served his community in many capacities including President, New Mexico Alumni Association for Southwestern Baptist Seminary; Member, Board of Directors, Oklahoma Baptist University Alumni Association; Co-hosted weekly a television program, Journey Through the Bible; Member, Board of Directors, American Cancer Society; Chairman, Salvation Army Board of Advisors, Roswell, NM; weekly columnist, Artesia Daily Press; Member, New Mexico Singing Churchman; Vice President, Pecos Valley Ministerial Alliance; Past President, Roswell Rotary Club; Member, Joy Centers of Chaves County Board of Directors; Member, Roswell Symphony Orchestra; New Mexico State Adult Parole Board; Past President, Roswell Ministers’ Association; Counselor, Roswell City Council 1992-1999; Instructor, Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell; Chaplain, Boy Scouts of America. Robert was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Guyla Cozort Maples, Children: Paul Maples(Maria), Roswell NM; Nancy Cordova (Dennis) and Martha Davis (Matthew) both of Columbia, SC; Jeremy Compton (Sarah) Round Rock, TX; Matthew Compton, Denver CO; Elizabeth Weeaks (Justin), Roswell NM; Sisters: Margaret Jones (Myron) Arlington, TX; Barbara Maples, Atlanta, GA; Sarita Maples, Ft Worth, TX; former spouse, Mary Cole Maples, and 14 grandchildren. Robert’s passion for his call to the ministry continued until his death. He was a prolific writer and speaker, loving nothing more than sharing the Word of God to anyone who would listen.
Edward “Ed” Hinkle Mason, was born August 22, 1911, in Philadelphia, PA, to Harry “Henry” and Florence Cotton; died August 27, 2007, at the age of 96. Jacob Edward married Edith Hoover Fry on May 18, 1931. A son, Walter C. Hinkle; son-in-law, Stewart Miller; grandson, Scott Miller; and brother, Walter A. Hinkle; predeceased him. He is survived by his wife of 76 years, Edith; daughter, Elizabeth Miller; daughter-in-law, Nancy Hinkle; son, Russell C. (Ruth) Hinkle; grandchildren, David (Sheryl) Miller, Bruce (Lisa) Miller, Dawn (Wade) Parker, Charlene Ortega, James Edward (Donna) Hinkle, Russell W. (Julie) Hinkle, Cynthia (David) Diekema, and Catherine (Robert) Best; 22 great-grand-children; and 4 great-great-grandchildren. Ed and Edith moved to Mason in 1939 when Wyeth Pharmaceutical Company transferred Ed. He retired from Wyeth as a plant supervisor in 1977. Ed was an active member of the Mason Fire Department for 32 years, a life member of Mason Lodge #70 F & AM of Michigan, Mason Chapter #150 O.E.S. and the Capitol Caravan Club. He was a member and Deacon of the First Presbyterian Church of Holt. Ed played Santa Claus too many children in the 50’s and 60’s and in later years was known as “The Candy Man” as he passed out butterscotch to all.
William C. “Bill” Moss, 74, passed away on Saturday, October 27, 2018, in Roswell, NM. Please take a moment and share a fond memory or kind expression of sympathy for Bill’s family at andersonbethany.com. Viewing: There will be a viewing at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home on Monday, November 5, 2018, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Celebration of Life: A Celebration of Life will be held at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home Chapel on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, at 10:00 AM. On May 16, 1944, Bill was born to John and Irma Johnson Moss in Phillips, Hutchinson Co, Texas. In 1947, he was baptized at First Presbyterian Church. Bill graduated from Roswell High School in 1962. He attended New Mexico State University (NMSU) from 1962 to 1964, and was on the rodeo team. After working in his folk’s drug store, the City Drug, Bill worked at Furrs Food as a stocker, and eventually becoming a checker. Later, Bill worked at the Zia Co. in Las Cruces with cryogenic fuels. He moved back to Roswell and was with the Roswell Fire Department from 1968 to 1975. Then Bill started Moss Construction and did all phases of residential and commercial construction & remodeling. He was also a master cabinet builder. In 1987, due to the economic slowdown, Bill went to work for the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). Twenty-two years later, he retired as the Facilities Operations Manager. Bill taught Hunter Safety for the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish for 17 years. He was a member of NRA and Roswell Gun Club. Survivors: sister, Dorinne Lykins; and son, Bill Dan Moss. Preceded: parents, John, and Irma Johnson Moss.
Cathy Enright Murray passed on January 24, 2013. She grew up in Tulsa, OK and graduated from Monte Casino High School. She attended Georgetown University Nursing School and graduated from Loretta Heights College with a degree in Special Education. Soon after, she married BG Douglas J. Murray, USAF (Ret) in 1967. Cathy was a devoted wife, mother and friend to all. Though she had many roles, her true profession was love! For over 40 years, she was committed to supporting her husband throughout his Air Force career in assignments all over the world. Upon his retiring from the US Air Force Academy in 2007, the Murray’s moved to Roswell, NM and welcomed their new role as Chief Academic Officer and Dean of Academics at New Mexico Military Institute. The family has established an NMMI Cadet Scholarship Endowment in memory of Cathy, at the NMMI Foundation.
She is survived by her husband, Doug; three children; and six grandchildren
Michele Joan Nacy (Harju), a resident of Gig Harbor, went to be with our Heavenly Father after a courageous battle with cancer at the youthful age of 70, on Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Michele was born July 3, 1947 at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City, New York to parents John Andrew Harju and Bernice Chafetz-Harju. A graduate of Golden High School class of 1965, and proud varsity cheerleader, Michele attended the University of Colorado where she received her bachelor’s degree. Michele continued her education at Troy State University receiving her Master’s degree in International Studies and continuing to receive a Ph.D. in American History from Kansas State University. Michele made a difference in the lives of her children, students and friends always encouraging them to invest in their education, at very stage of their lives. Michele believed that learning should be fun and it was essential for everyone to know their history to ensure better decisions in the future. During her career Michele taught many courses, including American History, International Affairs, Women’s Studies, Native American Studies, and English at many universities including Kansas State University, Pierce College (Outreach Joint mcchord and Pierce County Fire Continuing Education), Pacific Lutheran University, New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI), Oakland University and finally, the University of Washington Tacoma Campus. Michele was also a published author, when her dissertation was published, “Members of the Regiment: Army Officers’ Wives on the Western Frontier, 1865-1890.” A loving and dedicated mother, Michele’s greatest joy and passion were indeed her four children and ten grandchildren. Michele is survived by her four children: son, Loren Traugutt (44), his wife, Elisa, and their four children Tanner, Anneliese, Evelyn and Brogan; daughter, Amy Traugutt Allan (41) and her three children Emily, Caedon and Jonathan; son, Michael ‘Mickey” Traugutt (38), his wife, Stephanie and their two children Tyler and Tessa; son, John ‘Jack’ Nacy (31), his wife Lauren and their daughter Aria. Michelle enjoyed spending time with family, traveling, various hobbies and she loved talking politics! Her favorite passion, later in life, was her absolute love for all animals, especially her yorkie, Maggie, and cats Zoey and Snickers.
John Hayes Nicely, 76, passed away Tuesday January 31, 2017 at the Bay Tree Rehabilitation Center after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was a longtime resident of Clearwater, FL and Blairsville, GA, at the time of his death. He is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn T. Nicely, his 3 children Jonna Nicely Chizik, John S. Nicely, and Julie Nicely Farley, and his 8 grandchildren Landry, Kennedy, Cally, Sarah Hayes, Anna, Paul, Olivia, and Tessa. John was born September 22, 1940 in Daytona Beach, Florida to John & Ann Nicely. He was raised in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Trauchold (Nicely) January 18, 1964. John was a man who lived his life with honor. He was a man of impeccable integrity and a man who honored God with every breath he took. John received his college degree at the University of Delaware where he played football on the 1963 National Championship team for the Fighting Blue Hens. After college he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army and served as a First Lieutenant in the Vietnam War where he received a Bronze Star for his outstanding leadership, integrity, character, and exemplary performance. After serving in the military, he went on to be a counselor, educator, and college/high school football coach at the New Mexico Military Institute, Vidor High School in Texas, and Clearwater High School in Florida. In the early 1980’s, John decided to leave coaching so he could pursue a career in high school administration. He became an Assistant Principal at Clearwater High and Dunedin High before becoming the Principal at Tarpon Springs High. Throughout his Administration career, John interacted with hundreds of teachers and thousands of students and challenged each one to give their best each and every day so they could achieve their best in life. With all John’s successes over his distinguished educational leadership career, his crown and glory was the creation and buildup of a nationally recognized band and music program at Tarpon Springs High alongside their Music Director Kevin Ford. Since his retirement from the Pinellas County School system he has enjoyed traveling many places around the United States and throughout the world with his wife Marilyn and old friends, watching his 8 grandchildren grow up, and traveling to many college football games to watch Gene, his Son-in-Law coach.
COL Harold E. O’Neil, NMMI (Ret) Faculty member departed Roswell, New Mexico, on Saturday, February 10, 2018, to be with his Father in Heaven. According to official records Harold was born at Moundsville, in West Virginia, (Moundsville is downstream on the Ohio River, approximately twelve miles to the south of Wheeling, WV.) He was the third child and only son born to Clifford Earl O’Neil and Pauline Virginia “White” O’Neil. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters: Helen “Peggy,” Evelyn “Corky”; his one and only daughter, Shari; and one of the seven grandchildren, Samuel “Sam” O’Neil. Surviving family members are two sons: Rory “Stacy” and Michael (Mike) “Loretta”; grandchildren: Patrick, Catherine, Christine, Tracey, Ashley and Kyle. August 2, 1950, Harold married the love and grand prize of his life, Clara Mary Kotson. They were married at the Methodist Church in Bellaire, Ohio. They moved into their first set of living quarters at Fort Campbell on the Tennessee and Kentucky border. Clara proved to be an outstanding army wife, and a blessing until his last ship-out date. Harold retired from the United States Army on the Stapp reviewing stand at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, 1968. Twenty-four years later, he would be at the same location retiring from the New Mexico Military Institute. Harold always smiled and said he came to Roswell, in 1955, by mistake and was informed that the position he was to fill no longer existed and Army would reassign him to another senior college probably in Texas. Fate stepped in and an instructor had to be evacuated to the Army hospital in El Paso and Harold was temporarily assigned to fill that position with the understanding his service would be needed only until that ill instructor returned. Many events took place and Harold spent many years here in Roswell at New Mexico Military Institute. After retiring from the United States Army, Harold was employed as a faculty member at NMMI and retired at that age of sixty-six while serving as a tenured professor. Of all the assignments, Harold confronted in his life he cherished and honored was a two-year assignment after World War II. He was assigned as an honor escort responsible for individually escorting WWII Fallen Heroes, after their arrival from overseas, to their loved ones in the United States. Harold developed a keen interest in genealogy and had learned the difficulty of gaining information. This tribute was lovingly written by Harold Early O’Neil.
Piney E. Thurmond Radulski (employee) Passed away on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Married to Sigmund (Ski) Radulski they made their home in Roswell, NM. While there, Ski taught ROTC at the New Mexico Military Institute. Their only child, Veronica (Ronnie) was born on February 24, 1945 in Roswell. Piney and Sigmund later moved to the Sullivan, MO area where she was employed several years as a cutter at the former International Shoe Factory. Several years after Ronnie and her husband, Leeman Burch, Jr. moved to Garland, TX, Piney also moved there to be close to them. Piney is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Veronica (Ronnie) and Leeman Burch, of Garland, TX; two grandchildren; six great-gradnchildren; other relatives and friends.
George B. “Robbie” Robbins, retired Colonel, U.S. Army, died on Tuesday morning Aug 28. 2018 at his home in Oak Harbor. He was born Oct. 20, 1923 in Lankershum, CA. He graduated from Point Loma High School in San Diego in January 1942, and afterward he was a junior college cadet at Brown Military Academy in Pacific Beach, CA. He later received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and a Master of Business administration from George Washington University. Robbie served 30 years in the U.S. Army. He served as an Infantry platoon leader with the 29th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II. During the Korea conflict, he served as a rifle company commander in the 2nd Infantry Division. He then served as Senior Advisor to the 25th ARVN Division in Vietnam. He was a Master Parachutist who saw service with the 11th, 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and the XVIII Airborne Corps. His military education included graduation from the Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (War College level) and the U.S. Army Language School (Spanish). He retired from the Army in 1973 at the age of 49. Subsequently, he was hired by the State of New Mexico to serve as the Commandant of Cadets at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. He served in that capacity for five years. For the next 15 years, he was employed by the Airstream Recreation Vehicle Company as a leader, and later, as director of its program for operating RV caravans traveling throughout Mexico, Central America, Canada and Alaska. Over the years, Robbie enjoyed membership in the Lions, Elks, Rotary and WBCCI. He is survived by his wife of 68 years Betty Ann; daughter Joy Pearson; grandson Scott Pearson; granddaughter Diana (Matt) Eberhardt; and great grandsons Luke & James Eberhardt.
John C. Robbins, SFC, U.S. Army Retired, age 74, a resident of Los Lunas for 14 years, passed away on Friday, December 9, 2005. John was born in DuBois, PA on January 30 to Elva Lee Ann Robbins. He served 23 years as an Infantryman and was a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1969. He then became a Military Science Instructor at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM and retired from there in 1989 after 17 years of service. He is preceded in death by his wife Nellie May and son Tim both in 1990. He is survived by his son John C. Robbins with daughter Amber Rose of Arvada, CO; son Steven Guy Robbins and wife Alana and their children Jared James, Jacob Colby, and Joelle BriAnne of Bosque Farms, NM; daughter Carrie Lynn and husband Jeff Hull and their children Courtney Lynn, Chelsey Lauren and Caleb Lawrence of Scottsdale, AZ; son Eric Hunter Robbins and his girlfriend Denise Sandy of Albuquerque, NM. John is also survived by his brothers Leroy H. Kurten and wife Joanne of Ransonville, NY; James Kurten and wife Donna of Rochester, NY; and sisters Janet Crosswaite and her husband Jack of Enfield, NC; Dorothy (Dottie) Wilt of Erie, PA; and many nieces and nephews. John was very proud of his family and loved to laugh with his grandchildren. John was a proud born-again Christian and longed for the day when he could fly to his Savior, Jesus Christ and dance with his beloved wife, Nellie, whom he loved and missed immensely these last 15 years. John was always encouraging, never complained, and ever-ready with advice. He always greeted everyone with a smile and a warm handshake, and in parting always said, “Take care of each other.” His family now assures him, “We will, Dad. We will”. John’s generosity, warmth, and encouragement will be dearly missed. He was our Knight in Shining Armor.
Pablo S. “Paul” Rodriguez went to be with the Lord on Saturday, October 14th. He was born in Cotulla, Texas on September 5, 1931, to Pedro and Eufemia Rodriguez, Sr. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather who will be deeply missed. He was married to his wife, Mary for 67 years. He devoted himself to not only his family but his career with ARA Food Service Company from 1950-1998. He retired as the Food Service Director for the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico. Paul was an Honorary Lifetime Member of the New Mexico Military Alumni Association and a Trail Rider. Paul was preceded in death by his parents; seven of his siblings; his son, Paul Rodriguez, Jr.; and his grandson, Frankie Hidalgo, Jr. He is survived by his wife, Maria (Mary) Luisa Rodriguez; his children, Hilda (Frankie) Hidalgo of Cypress, Texas; Roy Rodriguez (Claudia) Rodriguez of San Antonio; Grace (Gary) Holmes of Chilhowie, Virginia; grandchildren, Joe Rodela, Gia (Alajandro) Ramirez, Mark Rodriguez, Javier (Tiffany) Hidalgo, Ashley Rivas, Laura Rodriguez, Leah Neaves Lopez, Jonathan S. Neaves, and Michael A. Rivas; and great grandchildren, Angelina Garcia, Miguel Garcia, Jr., Kayden Garcia, Grayson Hidalgo, and Sawyer Hidalgo.
JOHN L. “Jack” RUST, Honorary Life Member passed away on 8 July 2012. Graduating in 1943 from Bloomington High School, he enlisted in the Army and later received his West Point appointment. At West Point, Rust became a Cadet Captain and company commander. He played football, lacrosse and was named the All-American lacrosse team in 1947, 1948 and 1949. Rust was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. After graduating 1949, he served in the 6th Armored Cavalry in Europe. He resigned his commission to go into business while continuing to serve in the United States Army Reserve and retired as a colonel in 1985. Rust’s love affair with New Mexico began in 1960 with an offer from Caterpillar Tractor to take over the dealership from R. L. Harrison. For over 42 years, he successfully led Rust Tractor Company. The generous spirit of “Happy Jack,” as he is affectionately known to his family has been exemplified by his many charitable contributions. In 1965, he led the first one million dollar campaign for the United Way. Rust and his wife Donna have been leading philanthropists in this community, making a variety of carefully considered gifts to such key New Mexico institutions as Presbyterian Hospital, Albuquerque Community Foundation, UNM, CNM and NDI-NM. A central theme of many of these gifts has been to enhance the education, health and ethical climate of our state. He was a world-class fly fisherman, a strong soldier, an old school business man and a collector of abandoned golf balls. He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Donna; children, Julia, Jane, Amy, Kevin and John; ten grandchildren; also, brother-in-law Ron and wife, Nancy.
Saul G. Sanchez (employee) Saul passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. Saul was born in Roswell, March 7, 1973. He worked at Spring River, New Mexico Military Institute and the Roswell Country Club golf courses. He was the head golf professional at the Yoakum County Golf Course. He loved golf and he was an avid hunter, a not-so-good dancer and a diehard Denver Bronco fan. He had a wide array of friends and lifelong friendships and touched the lives of many. His is survived by his wife Betty; his three daughters, Seairra, Byanka and Eko; his father Bonifacio; his siblings, Bonifacio, Vonnie, Mike, Sonya Israel, Sergio, Nancy and Marisa; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mary F. Sharp staff member, 91, of Roswell, NM, passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 10, 2018, with her family by her side. To honor Mary’s request, no services will be held. Burial will be at Hagerman Cemetery. Celebrate Mary’s life by visiting www.andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for her family. On November 21, 1926, Mary was born to Gladys Gayer and Albert Zentko in Libertyville, Indiana. Her first job was at Eli Lily Pharmaceuticals during World War II. Mary met and married Erminio Gonzales while he was stationed in Indiana. They had five children and celebrated sixty years of marriage. Erminio preceded her in death. After raising a family, Mary went back to work as a secretary at New Mexico Military Institute and then at Transportation Manufacturing Company until she retired in 1991. She was a secretary for the Fambrough Water Co-Op of Hagerman for twelve years. Mary was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone that needed it. After retirement, Mary handmade almost two hundred quilts that she gifted to family and friends. She was a huge baseball fan of the Diamondbacks. She was loved by many and will be greatly missed. At age eighty, Mary met and married George Sharp. They celebrated ten years of marriage. She shared his hobby by becoming a licensed amateur radio operator. George preceded her in death. Preceding Mary in death were both her parents: Gladys Gayer and Albert Zentko; son, David Gonzales; daughter, Helen Dobbs; brother, James Zentko; and sister, Elizabeth Simmons. Those left to eternally treasure and cherish Mary’s memory are her daughters: Marjie Sanders and husband, Tommy of Roswell, NM, Verlena Mercer of Roswell, NM, Eileen Mcalhany and husband, Roy of Irving, TX; brother, Albert Zentko of Crawfordsville, IN; and sister, Theresa Newport of Wallace, CA. Also left to cherish Mary’s memory are grandchildren: Ron Sanders of Albuquerque, Scott Arthur and Shayne Arthur both of Albuquerque, Karen Sanders of Roswell, and Monica Patterson of Roswell, Kelley Mcalhany of Georgia; seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
THOMAS A. SOUTER (NMMI Employee) passed away on 6 May 2013. Souter graduated from Taylor County High School in 1947. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida State University in 1951. During the Korean War Souter served in the U.S. Army, 1st Calvary Division, 7th Cavalry Regiment, from 1951-1954, with the rank of Sergeant. Following his military service he attended graduate school at Florida State University and received a master’s degree in library science in 1957. Souter then worked for four years at Florida State University Library. From 1960-1962 he was head librarian at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM. For fourteen years he worked at the Indiana University Libraries in Bloomington, IN, first as Head of the Circulation Department and then as Assistant Director for General Services, Associate Director of Libraries for Virginia Tech, Dean of Libraries for Troy State University, where he retired in 1995. Souter served as a Boy Scout leader and was selected for membership in the Order of the Arrow. He is survived by his wife, Jean; his son, Charles; four grandsons; and a granddaughter; four great- grandchildren.
Ernest J. Tricarico Sr, 77, passed away on Saturday, December 23, 2017. On August 6, 1940, Ernest was born to Richard Tricarico and Rose Tricarico in Brooklyn, NY. Upon graduating from High School, Ernest continued his education and received a Bachelor’s Degree. He worked at New Mexico Military Institute and later moved on to work as a teacher. In retirement, Ernest started going to the Joy Center and Senior Circle, where he enjoyed playing dominoes and cards. His engaging personality and jokes always kept his family and friends laughing. His favorite things to do were watching TV and eating out. As a family oriented man, Ernest loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ernest’s spirit, smile, and presence will be dearly missed by his friends and loved ones. Those left to cherish Ernest’s memory are his daughters: Corina and husband, Randy, Candy and husband, Orvel Burch, Angie and husband, Nick Whited; sons: Dean and wife, Rhonda Wilson, Chris and wife, Teri Tricarico; daughter-in-law, Melissa Tricarico; and numerous grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. Preceding Ernest in death were his wife, Betty Tricarico; son, Rod Tricarico; parents: Lawrence Tricarico and Rose Tricarico; sisters: Mary Ann, Marjorie, Carol; and great-grandson, Casey Delay.
Dennis Dewey Vaughn, former NMMI staff member, 66, passed away with his family in Dexter as he went to his heavenly home on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018. Dennis was born June 2, 1951 in Hemet, CA, to Lee and Lucille Vaughn. He grew up in California and attended Santa Monica Community College. He went on to spend much of his life as an electrician and retired from New Mexico Military Institute. On Valentine’s Day 1980 he married Jeanie (Burns) Vaughn in Roswell, NM. They raised their girls in Dexter and his wife remains at the family home. Dennis loved to fish, often seen with a fishing pole in one hand and a diet Pepsi in the other. If he wasn’t fishing, he was chasing kids or grandkids around the state to practices, performances, games, or other youth events. He loved his family and dogs Max and Woofie. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lee and Lucille Vaughn and his father-in-law Jim L Burns. Dennis was: Loving husband to Jeanie (Burns) Vaughn of Dexter; Brother to Judy Varela and husband David of Moreno Valley, CA; Lloyd Vaughn of Wendell, NC; Edward Vaughn and wife Karen of Garner, NC; Dad to Tammie Boyer (The 1st) and husband Paul of Las Vegas, NV; Dad to Kelli Loudermilk (The Favorite) and husband Jessie of Dexter, NM; Dad to Wendi Blake (no, I’m The Favorite) and husband DJ of Dexter, NM; Daddy to Vicki Vaughn (too bad I’m the Baby) and fiancé Gunnar Webb of Golden, TX; he loves us all equally, in four different ways. Granddaddy to Karina Boyer of Las Vegas, NV; Gran-Dad to Jessie Colton, Jimmy and Maggi Loudermilk, and Dan Dad to Molli Loudermilk of Dexter, NM; Granddaddy to Alyla, Kaylia, James, Haley, Graci, and Lillee Blake of Dexter, NM; Granddaddy to one on-the-way, Cayden Webb of Golden, TX; Uncle to many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews; Son-in-law to Barbara Burns Stinsen and husband Bob of Dexter, NM; Nephew to Aunt Veta Vaughn of Dexter whom he had a special place for in his heart.
James W. Waldrip, age 89, passed peacefully at his home on November 20, 2018. He was born to Guilbert M. Waldrip and Helen Schmitz Waldrip in Healdton, Oklahoma on November 28, 1928, the youngest of three children. After graduating Healdton High School, Jim attended the University of Oklahoma where he lettered in track and baseball. Jim pitched for the 1951 College World Series championship team under the coaching of Jack Baer. Jim graduated OU in 1951 with a BS in Geology. He earned a master’s degree in Science Education from New Mexico State University and an Ed Specialist degree in School Administration from Eastern New Mexico University. He also completed graduate work in Physics at San Diego State and the University of New Mexico. Jim was offered a contract to play baseball for the NY Giants, but turned down the offer to enlist in the US Air Force in 1951. He served active duty during the Korean War. He completed Officer’s Candidate School and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in December 1952. He transferred to the US Air Force Reserves and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Jim married Joanne Kruse on December 20, 1952. Together they had four children. They came to Roswell in 1955 and began teaching with the Roswell Independent School District. Jim spent summers and weekends pitching in the Longhorn League alongside good friend Joe Bauman. Jim enjoyed time with friends, playing cards on Saturday evenings, golfing and taking road trips to visit his treasured grandchildren. Teaching and coaching kept Jim young, sharp and engaged. Jim spent 44 years teaching high school General Science, Biology and Astronomy for both Roswell and Goddard High Schools. He was the founding director of the Robert H. Goddard planetarium which opened in 1969. In the early 1970s, he was the Athletic Director and High School Principal for the New Mexico Military Institute. He taught astronomy at Eastern New Mexico University Roswell and Ruidoso campuses until retiring at 86 years old. He was a respected coach, leading 9 high school teams to State Championship victories. Two for Roswell High baseball in the 1960s and 7 state Championships for Goddard High golf in the 70s and 80s. Jim started the girl’s golf program at Goddard High in the 1980s. Through coaching and teaching, Jim mentored and touched the lives of many generations of students. Service to the Roswell community was a priority for Jim. He was a decades long member of the Roswell Rotary Club and recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow recognition. Only in his last two years did his perfect attendance wane. Through Rotary, he forged strong bonds in the community. Jim served on the Roswell Independent School Board from 2003-2016. He served on the ENMU-R Foundation Board from 2012 until his death. He was an unfailing advocate for strong public education and students. Jim’s life provided an example of how deep and personal and social fulfillment can come from commitment to service, high standards and strong ethics. Jim is predeceased by his parents, beloved wife JoAnne, brother Guilbert M. Waldrip, Jr, and his cherished sister Helen Waldrip Hunt. Survivors include daughters Suzie Waldrip of Roswell, NM; Deborah Teeter (Mike) of West Hills, CA; and Beth Waldrip of Albuquerque, NM; and his son Ted Waldrip (Myungsuk) of Grapevine, TX. He is also survived by six grandchildren Miren Urrea and Helena Urrea of Albuquerque, NM; Elizabeth Teeter and Michael Teeter of West Hills, CA; Wylie Waldrip and Mina Waldrip of Grapevine, TX as well as numerous nieces and friends.
LTC THOMAS “Tom” Y. WOODS, USA (Ret) HONORARY LIFE MEMBER passed away on 8 July 2013. Woods was inducted into the Army at age 18 years and served until retirement in 1973. While serving in the Army in Bamberg, Germany near Nurnberg, he met and married Marion Kelsch on 3 November 1950. They had three children, Linda, Nancy and MAJ Tyrone Y. Woods, TXARNG (Ret) 1976 JC; and two grandsons, David and Jesse. Woods Served in three Wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam during his military career. Having traveled all over the world including a two year assignment in Taipei, Taiwan and one year assignment in Vietnam at the height of the war, he spent most of the U.S. assignments in New Mexico. Upon retirement from the Army he was employed by New Mexico Military Institute as a training and control officer. After two years at this position he was promoted to the position of Adjutant (Assistant to the Commandant) and remained in that position until retirement in 1982 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Since then he spent the rest of his life with beloved wife Marion dividing their time at their home in Clovis, NM and their lake house at Conchas Dam, NM. He is survived by his son MAJ Tyrone Y. Woods, TXARNG (Ret) 1976 JC.