In Memoriam ...
Jimmie Dee Fox, 44, Fort Sumner, died of a heart attack on May 14, 2013 at her home. She was born January 6, 1969 in Portales, the daughter of Jimmy H. and LaHonda (Prather) Fox. She attended Fort Sumner schools, graduating in 1987, attended South Plains Junior College in Levelland, Texas and later computer school in Albuquerque. She worked for Team Builders in Fort Sumner. She served as a 4-H leader, President of the County Fair Board, Chairman of the Old Fort Days Rodeo, and Chairman of the De Baca County Democratic Party. She was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Valley Quilting Club. She was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to the Eastern Plains Housing Authority. Jimmie Dee was a member of the Professional Bull Riders Association, she loved Professional Bull Riding. Survivors are her father Jimmy H. Fox of Fort Sumner; sister Robbie Andes, Portales; brother Rick Andes, Clovis; two aunts, Maurcenia Cross, Fort Sumner, Cloreta Hawk, Clovis; two nephews, two great-nieces, and a great nephew. Also surviving is a cousin raised in the family home, Tell Montoya, Artesia; along with several cousins, other relatives and many friends.
Jack B. Bruton, 85, passed away on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at the Bruton Ranch with his family at his side. Jack was born on April 7, 1928 in T or C to Wesley and Allene (Gauwain) Bruton. His parents were Socorro County pioneer ranchers. Five generations of the Bruton family have ranched in New Mexico. Jack’s grandparents, Charlie and Agnes Bruton, ranched for a time in Texas and began ranching in New Mexico in the 1880s. Jack married his high school sweetheart, Grace Harriet, in 1948. In 1952, Jack and Grace started ranching on the San Augustine Plains. The Bruton family has ranched on those plains ever since. Jack served on the Socorro Electric Cooperative Inc. Board for 40 years. He was on the Salado Soil Conservation Board for 15 years and on the Good Samaritan Planning Board for Socorro County. Jack was also a member in the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association and the New Mexico Farm Livestock Bureau. He enjoyed roping in the “Round Belly Roping Club,” a group of ranchers who practiced roping on weekends for fun, and the Datil-Pietown Cowboy Polo Club, friends who played polo without the standard rules. Jack was honored as Grand Marshall of Magdalena Old Timer’s Reunion in 2008 and featured in the New Mexico Magazine article and the book, Making a Hand: Growing up Cowboy in New Mexico in 2005. Jack is survived by son, Jack W. Bruton (wife, Bonnie) Datil; daughter, Doreen Threet (husband, Bill) Jonesboro, Arkansas; daughter, Sharon Bruton, Belen; brother Neil Bruton (wife, Pauline) San Antonio; sisters Marianne Porter (husband, Al) Socorro; Alice Duquet (husband, Bob) Socorro; and Sue Harriet, Datil. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, many nephews, nieces, and friends.
Grover Xavier (G.X.) McSherry, 88, Deming, passed away surrounded by family members on May 5, 2013. He started his life on November 23, 1924, in Dwyer, the son of Grover Cleveland McSherry and Mary Ellen (O’Connor) McSherry. G.X. grew up on the Mimbres River Valley during by the Great Depression and the fallout of the Dust Bowl. He was always proud of the acres of apple trees that he helped his parents plant in the valley, a traditional crop that followed both lines of his parents’ families from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. G.X. met his future bride, Clara Jo (Jody) Remondini, during World War II. They married in December 1945 and settled on Remondini the homestead east of Deming, to expand the farming and ranching operation. In the nearly 70 years that he farmed in Luna county, he increased his farming operation five-fold, moved from horse-drawn to high-tech methods, and was a constantly vigilant steward of the soil and water around his feet. G.X. was once quoted that his farm focused on producing the Three C’s: cattle, cotton and children. G.X.dedicated years to improving the marketing of crops and livestock (including serving on state and national commodity boards; being a founding member of the local cotton cooperative; and leading the New Mexico Hereford Association); he worked for 35 years on advising Luna County banks on agricultural financing; he was committed to sensible and balanced water use for agriculture and communities in the local, interstate and international arenas (serving on committees, commissions and holding national appointments to conservation bodies). He defended and expanded the rights and protection of New Mexico farmers and ranchers during his sixteen years as a State Representative, having been elected by voters from Luna, Hidalgo, Doña Ana, and Sierra counties over the course of his political career. In a fitting tribute to a man who ‘finished’ high school at the age of 14 and lacked the financial wherewithal to attend college, G.X. received an honorary doctorate from New Mexico State University in 2003. He also received the Philip J. Leyendecker Agriculturalist of Distinction Award from NMSU’s college of Agriculture in 1991. As a farmer/rancher and as a legislator, G.X. was one of the staunchest advocates of NMSU (and going back to the days of New Mexico A&M), participating in extension activities and eventually securing legislative funding for expansion of research and education facilities at the university. Another indication of his indelible support for education was his insistence that every one of his seven children received a university degree. G.X. was proud to be part of a dynamic border community and used his bilingual and bicultural abilities to strengthen relations with business, political and service organizations in Mexico. His cross-border identity made him a much sought-after advisor to Governors, Congressmen and businessmen. One of his many important contributions to bilateral relations between the U.S. and Mexico was his work on the New Mexico Border Commission, which eventually led to the development of the international port of Santa Teresa, New Mexico. G.X. was a past president of the local Rotary Club. He was baptized in San Jose Church in Faywood, but was a strong supporter of Holy Family Catholic Church since 1945. G.X. was also a Knight of Columbus and a long-time contributor of beef to barbecue and cotton to the annual Parrish Klobase.G.X. is survived by Jody, his wife of 67 years, and seven children: Paul, Patricia, Michael, Marcia, David, Keven and Rod, their spouses, plus seventeen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Two sisters, Rose and Vera Jo, also survive him.
Tommie Pauline Bennett, 91, Rogers, passed away on April 28, 2013, following a short illness. Tommie was born July 5th, 1921 on her ranch, the land which was homesteaded by her father. Tommie lived on the homestead most her life. She was a true Roosevelt County Pioneer who loved the farm and home where she was raised and in turn where she and her husband raised their family. Tommie attended NMSU until ENMU became a four-year college. She transferred and continued her education, lacking only one semester when she met Charlie Bennett and decided to leave college to marry. Tommie was an avid sports fan and watched hours of basketball, baseball, football and rodeo activities on television. She never missed an opportunity to attend many of these events that her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren participated in. Tommie was closely associated with planning the Roosevelt County Fair Old Timer’s Day visitation for many years and received the “Pioneer of the Year” award. Tommie is survived by her five children, Patricia (husband, Duwain) Bullock, Roswell; Gail (husband, Cotton) Patton, Roswell, Phyllis (husband, Allen) Ivey, Roy, Sue Nash, Lubbock, and Charles (wife, Beverly) Bennett, Portales, eleven grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, her sister-in-law, Margaret Brown, and many other close family members and friends.
Lois W. Claridge, 91, passed away quietly on May 4, 2013 at her home in Safford, Arizona. She was born in Paxton, Illinois, a small Scandinavian farming community, to Anton and Ellen Pearson Wesslund. She moved to Chicago with her parents and brother Richard when she was 12 years old. She attended North Park Junior College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northwestern University and a diploma in Nursing from Evanston Hospital, serving these last two institutions as an instructor in Medical and Surgical Nursing during World War II. For health reasons, she moved to Arizona in 1946 and was employed as a nurse by F.W. Knight, M.D. at the Safford Medical Clinic. While working there she met and was courted by local Gila Valley pioneer family rancher Samuel Ray Claridge. They married in 1948. Lois served as the Safford School Nurse from 1954 to 1965. In 1965 she began a lengthy career in social work with the Arizona Department of Public Welfare. She was supervisor in Graham County for the Food Stamp Program, and was also involved in child protective services, adoptions, and other activities. When the Department of Public Welfare became a part of the Department of Economic Security, Lois assumed the role of Office Coordinator for the Graham County D.E.S. and continued in both positions until her retirement in 1983. Lois belonged to numerous organizations including the Safford Woman’s Club, Swift-Murphy American Legion Auxiliary, Graham County Historical Society, Safford-Graham County Public Library Board, Graham-Greenlee Health Planning Council, Arizona Easter Seal Society, Arizona Nurses Association, and Arizona Community College Board. A founder of the Mt. Graham Cowbelles chapter in 1953, she was active at the state level and served a year as president of the American National Cowbelles in 1962. She is survived by her son, Cliff, twin daughters Lynne and Lois Ann, 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Dustin Nathaniel Sultemeier, 30, Carlsbad, died in an automobile accident on April 23, 2013. He was born May 30, 1982 in Hobbs to Allen and Kristin Sultemeier. Dustin attended elementary school at Corona Elementary, then moved to Capitan in 1995, where he graduated from high school. He was a dedicated athlete and was active in both 4-H and FFA in judging and showing. He went on to complete the Building Trades Certificate from ENMU Ruidoso He worked as a journeyman electrician then as an oilfield electrician. Dustin is survived by his parents, Allen and Kristin Sultemeier; brothers, Wade, Capitan and Keith, Carlsbad; maternal grandparents, Madie and Virginia Sansoucie, Roswell and Jack and Willie McCaw, Rye, Colorado; paternal grandmother, Allene Sultemeier, Albuquerque; aunt, Judith McCaw, Pueblo, Colorado; uncle Jack McCaw III and aunt Becky Watterson, Ruidoso; uncles and aunts, Mark and Barbara Sultemeier, Corona and Bunk and Laurie Mullins. Las Cruces; five cousins, and many friends.