by Staff Reporter / Sep 06, 2017 / comments



The obituaries for Clara D. Martinez, Ronnie "Nicko" Fernandez, Melinda Eileen Gonzales, and Rosa Lee Smith have been provided by the respective funeral homes or family members. Please read on for full details.

Clara D. Martinez

Clara D. Martinez, 88 a resident of Chimayo was called to the Lord after a lengthy illness on Thursday, August 31, 2017.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Tribinio Martinez; her parents, Benito and Juanita Duran; sister, Fidelia Rodriguez; brothers, Samuel, Claudio and Manuel Duran; father-in-law, Bernabel Martinez; mother-in-law, Antonia Martinez, nephew, Manuel Martinez (raised like a son) and many other relatives and friends. 

Clara D. Martinez was born on April 17, 1929 in Pagosa Springs, Colorado and was raised in Santa Cruz, NM.  In 1945, she met the love of her life and moved to Chimayo where they raised their six children.  Clara enjoyed being outdoors, and took pride in her beautiful flower garden.  She enjoyed camping, sewing, and especially enjoyed cooking delicious meals for her family.  She loved ensuring everyone around her had a full tummy including the workers at her husband’s automotive shop. She also enjoyed spontaneous road trips with her husband and family. Clara was great at packing up at the drop of a dime.  Clara was a head cook at Chimayo Elementary where she retired after 25 years of service. She will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her children, Evie (Dennis) Chavez, Gloria Martinez, Ercilia “Ercie” (JD) Martinez, Marshall (Gloria) Martinez, Lollie (Toby) Martinez, Dennis (Loretta) Martinez; grandson, DJ (Audrey) Martinez (raised like a son), 17 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren; brother, Benji (Cynthia) Duran and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Public visitation will begin on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sangre de Cristo Chapel of DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory with a rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian burial to be celebrated on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Chimayo. Burial to follow at Nuestra Señora de Dolores Cemetery in Chimayo.

The family of Clara D. Martinez has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley. 


Ronnie "Nicko" Fernandez

Ronnie Fernandez better known by those who loved him as (Nicko) passed away in an accident on Friday September 1, 2017 in Albuquerque New Mexico. He was 33 yrs old. He was preceded in death by his older brother, Leon Fernandez; paternal grandfather, Avenicio Fernandez, maternal grandparents, Epeminio and Beverly Velarde. He is survived by his two beautiful daughters, Keanna and Anika Fernandez and their mother Veronica Rodriguez; parents Eric and Veronica Fernandez; sister whom he admired and loved with all his heart LeeAnn and boyfriend Anthony Valencia; paternal grandmother, Oralia Fernandez; uncles, Greg Velarde, Ben, Tony and Joey Fernandez, aunts Leesa Martinez, Valerie Fernandez, Datra and husband Jose Garcia; cousins, Vanessa, Jehna, Gregory, Alex and Samantha Velarde, Nina and Daylon Garcia, Avenicio Fernandez, Gilbert and Brian Martinez, Arlen Garcia. Luis Bustos who was like a brother to him and wife Melissa and children Faith and Little Lou; childhood friends, Albert Neri and Brian Fordham.

Nicko will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him. He will always be remembered by his beautiful smile, laugh and sense of humor. His heart that never held a grudge. It never mattered what people said or how he was treated he never spoke bad of anyone. People loved him wherever he went. He will be missed by many, many other friends and loved ones. We love you Nicko! See you when we get there!

A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 8, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at New Creation in Christ Ministries in Espanola. Funeral service will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. also at New Creation in Christ ministries 314 Riverside Drive.

The family of Ronnie Fernandez has entrusted the care of their beloved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory of The Beautiful Espanola Valley.


Melinda Eileen Gonzales

Melinda Eileen Gonzales, age 61, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 31st, 2017. A 1973 graduate of Espanola High School, at age 18 she received her Licensed Practical Nurse certificate from McCurdy and later a certificate in massage therapy. She was well known for her dedication and commitment to her family and the youth of La Iglesia de Santa Cruz Catholic Church.

In 1976, Melinda married the love of her life, Eloy Gonzales. They had four children; Joel, Angelo, Joey, Marcy and 6 grandchildren. Melinda was a true servant of God and her passion was working with the youth. In 1994 she founded The Oasis of Peace Youth Group at La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Cañada Catholic Church in Espanola whose main purpose is to provide opportunities for local youth to give back to their community and participate in youth ministry. To this day, hundreds of youth and their family have been a part of this group and they continue strong today. Throughout her life she received many awards recognizing her dedication and commitment to our local youth and to her catholic faith. She was a pillar in the community and was an inspiration to many. 
Melinda was preceded in death by her grandparents, Federico and Aurora Martinez; Manuel and Marcelina Maestas; father, Carlos Martinez and step-mother Sally Martinez; father-in-law, Jose Gonzales; sons, Angelo and Joel Gonzales; brothers, Johnny Sr., Cecilio Sr., and Adam Sr. Martinez; and nephew Juanito Jr. (Yvonne).

Melinda is survived by her husband, Eloy Gonzales; her son, Joey and daughter-in-law Trisha Gonzales, grandchildren, Arianna, Devina, and Joshua Gonzales of Arroyo Seco; her daughter, Marcy (Adam) Garcia and granddaughters Alex Quintana, Anjelica, and Anika Garcia of Rio Rancho; mother, Geraldine Arrebalos of Espanola; brothers, Dennis (Mary Jane) Martinez of San Pedro, Waldo (Lisa) Martinez of Espanola, sisters, Carla Leivas of Ojo Caliente, Julia (Albert) Ortiz of Espanola and Mary (Frank) Cordova of Alcalde; mother-in-law, Eliza Gonzales; sister-in-laws, Kathy Herrera of Denver, Jeanette (Jonathon) of Hernandez, Linda Maestas of Denver; and brother-in-law, Anthony Gonzales (Kathy) of Arroyo Seco. 
Public visitation was on Monday, September 4, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Cañada Catholic Church with a rosary that followed at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. also at La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Cañada Catholic Church. Graveside services took place on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Serving the family as pallbearers will be her godsons, Mario Martinez, Adrian Martinez, Faveion Martinez, and Warren Maestas, and her nephews Antonio Gonzales, Ruben Martinez, Eric Ortiz and Adam Martinez. Honorary pallbearers will be her godchildren, Alice Herrera, Crystal Salaz, JJ Garcia, and all her nieces and nephews.

The family of Melinda Gonzales has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espanola Valley.


Rosa Lee Smith

Rosa Lee Smith, 101, passed away on Monday, August 28, 2017 in Los Alamos. She was raised in Texas and graduated from Stanton High School in Stanton, Texas. She married in 1933 to J.E. Herring and they lived in Denver City, Texas, where she was the city secretary.

Rosa Lee and J.E. had one daughter, Jerry Eugenia Herring. They divorced in 1948. Rosa Lee had an insurance company in Denver City, TX. She met and married Art Smith in 1952 and they moved to Hobbs, NM. They moved to Farmington in 1958 and they loved it. She was active in the First United Methodist Church, golf, Eastern Star and the Nile. Rosa and Art took several cruises and enjoyed camping and fishing.

Rosa was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Art M. Smith; parents, Wren and Eugenia Cross; sisters, Lorene, Jean, Marie and one brother, Irvin.

She is survived by her daughter, Jerry London; granddaughter, Denise London; great-grandson, Cody Garinger; great-great-grandson, Colten Garinger all of Santa Cruz.

Services are pending at this time and will be announced as soon as they become available.

The family of Rosa Lee Smith has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley.