In Memoriam

In Memoriam …


Hunter Smith, 69, Piñon, passed away at his home on November 8, 2012. He was born September 21, 1943 in Artesia, the son of Alva M. Smith and Ethel (West) Smith. He loved his family and animals, especially his horses and dog Gus. Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Bonnie Smith; sons Steve Smith (wife, Lori), Gilbert, Arizona; Tom Smith (wife, Michelle) of Royse City, Texas; Alvie Smith (wife, Deann) of Artesia; and Troy Daley (wife, Kimberly) of Mesa, Arizona; daughters Shiela Van Winkle, Lake Arthur; Stephanie Tilton (husband, Johnny); Denise Berry (husband Bill); and Lisa Campbell, all of Artesia. He is also survived by Dennis Davis, Raton; and Jake Daley, Artesia; who he raised as sons; and one sister June Hall; Virginia; 26 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Earl Ray Forehand, 84, Carlsbad, passed away November 7, 2012. He was born April 2, 1928 in Carlsbad to Elmer and Frances (Etter) Forehand. He played Carlsbad High Cavemen football, won state his senior year, and graduated in 1946. Earl Ray received a bachelors degree from New Mexico A & M in 1950. His first job was teaching on the farm training for veterans. Earl Ray married Mary Lynn Moody on February 23, 1953. He went on to teach 5th grade for over 20 years. While teaching, Earl Ray continued the ranching operation his great-grandfather established in 1890. He was also an accomplished author in writing a history book of the Forehand family which is titled The River Calls. He was involved in such organizations as the Southeastern New Mexico Historical Society, the Eddy County Sheriff’s Posse, the Eddy County Fair Board, Cotton Growers, Inc., and the Eddy County Farm Bureau. He served as president of the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum Board, and served on the museum’s board of directors. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge, B.P.O.Elks Lodge # 1558 and New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association. Survivors are his wife, Mary Lynn; son, Mark Lee (wife, Jeanne), Carlsbad; sister Charlotte Albright (husband, Marvin), Carlsbad, two grandchildren and numerous extended family.

Gerald “Wayne” Lightfoot, 65, Corona, passed away after a short battle with cancer on November 9, 2012 in Ruidoso. He was born October 20, 1947 in Cabeza, New Mexico. He was born the fourth child to Waymon and Dorthy Lightfoot. Wayne’s school days were spent both in Ancho and Corona prior to being drafted by the United States Army in 1967. Most of his service time was spent in Germany as a tank gunner. Wayne received numerous awards and medals for his Army service. His most cherished times were those days horseback gathering cattle, hunting, fishing, team roping and providing advice to the family. Wayne is survived by his mother, Dorthy Lightfoot, Corona; wife, Karen; five children, sons Travis (wife, RoeAnne) Corona, Tye (wife, Julie), Las Cruces; daughters Tonja Martinez, Roy; Billie Latham (husband, Lance), Canyon, Texas, and Tomee England (husband, Michael), Logan; eight grandchildren; numerous brother and sister-in-laws; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Levi Joe Lack, 28, Rubicon Crossed Ranch near Douglas, Arizona, died November 12, 2012. He was born in Las Cruces on July 25, 1984 to Randy and Melodee (Anderson) Lack. Levi was a graduate of Valley Union High School in Elfrida, Arizona, was a hard worker and a cowboy for several ranches in southern Arizona and New Mexico. Levi also worked as a farrier and broke horses. Survivors include his parents Randy (wife, Tessa) Lack, Winston, N.M. and Melodee (husband, Rusty) Boss, Willcox, Arizona; his brother Scotty Lack, Hatch, and sisters Lacey Lack and Sarah Boss, both of Willcox. Levi is also survived by his grandmothers Elsie Chambers, Deming, Alice Anderson, Rubicon Crossed Ranch and Peggy Boss, Douglas

Weldon McKinley, 82, a longtime resident of central New Mexico, passed away November 20, 2012 at his home south of Belen. Weldon was born March 25, 1930, in Alcalde to Marvin & Lois (Nance) McKinley. He married Margaret Ann Cain on June 22, 1953, in Gran Quivera. Weldon was life long rancher and a member of the Mountainair Christian Center. Weldon is survived by his wife Margaret McKinley; son Marc McKinley (wife, Donne), Geary, Oklahoma; two daughters, Welda McKinley Griter (husband, Jim), Carrizozo; and Melinda McKinley, Mountainair; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Mary Katherine Gallaher, 75, Magdalena, passed away peacefully on November 19, 2012 surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Albuquerque on April 24, 1937 to Charles Otis and Mary A. (Foard) Breece. Mary K. was a real estate broker and a devoted ranch wife. She was fluent in both reading and speaking Spanish and was the first recipient of the NMAA Sportsmanship Parent of the year award. Mary is survived by her devoted husband of 57 years, Roy Dale; her children, Bill Gallaher; Gail Armstrong (husband, Dale); Lynn Major (husband, Randel); and Dan Gallaher; eight grandchildren, who affectionately knew her as “Grammie”; four great- grandchildren,; and many other loving family members.

John Wolf, 89, Crossroads, passed away October 2, 2012, in Lovington. He was born November 16, 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, and left home during the Depression years to work as a cowboy on ranches in Texas and New Mexico before and after military service in World War II. During the War, Wolf served in the Marines and saw action in four major Pacific campaigns, including the battle on Iwo Jima, during which he was an eye witness to the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi, February 23, 1945. In the late 1940s, Wolf worked on the Lane and Underwood ranches in Lea County. In 1949, he married Barbara (Bobbie) E. Klein. In 1954, the couple moved to Crossroads, where they purchased a package store. The Wolfs ran the Wolf Bar and Package Store until 1976. In the late 1970s, John Wolf began re-building chuck wagons, buggies and horse-drawn conveyances. Wolf Wagon Works was established as a business in 1979. The Wagon Works was sold in 1994. He stayed on as a consultant and contract worker until 2005 when the business moved to Wagon Mound. In his declining years, John made spurs, walking canes, and travelled to cowboy symposiums and western trade shows. He is survived by his son, Bill, Lovington.

Dixie Lee Jones, 78, Payson, Arizona, passed away peacefully on November 23, 2012 with her husband Lee and sons by her side. Dixie was born October 3, 1934 in Claypool, Arizona to the late Walter and Laverne Raburn Sanders. Prior to 1900, Dixie’s paternal family moved to the Arizona Territory, making Dixie and her four siblings, the fifth generation of her Sanders family to live in Gila County, Arizona. Following a number of moves, evidenced by Dixie having attended 28 grade schools in eight years and eight high schools in three years, the family settled in Payson in 1950. Dixie worked at the Malt Shop on Payson’s Main Street where she caught the eye of Lee Austin Jones. Lee and Dixie were married June 14, 1952. After several moves Lee and Dixie bought the S/ Ranch from Bud Jones in 1968. From then until the final sale of the ranch in 1997, Dixie worked along side Lee and their boys in working and managing the ranch. She was president of the Arizona State Cowbelles in 1988 and held office in the organization for five years. She was president of the Tonto Cowbelles several times. Dixie devoted a great deal of her time to the National Beef Cook-off, sponsored by the National Beef Council. These pursuits allowed Dixie to travel to a number of states to judge beef cook-offs, and on three occasions she worked with the famous Julia Childs. Dixie assisted in the establishment of the Northern Gila County Historical Society Museum, and was a member of the Payson Women’s Club. For many years Dixie sat on election boards in Payson, and served on the Payson Pioneer Cemetery Board. Dixie was a member of the Daughters of the Gila County Pioneers, served on that board, and was recognized as their “Woman of the Year” in 2009. For some 30 years, Dixie assisted with the Northern Gila County Fair in Pine. Dixie is survived by her husband of 60 years, Lee Austin; her sons, Austin (wife, Julie), Payson; Emmett (wife, Tiffany), Gilbert, Arizona; Sheldon (wife, Corrina), Naperville, Illinois and Kevin, Coolidge, Arizona, 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren.

Onofre De La Ossa, 70, Lochiel, Arizona, passed away due to heart complications on July 19, 2012 while he was sorting cattle with his wife on his Aught Two Ranch in Sahuarita, Arizona. Ono was a cattle rancher known for his production of quality Corriente cattle for more than 40 years. His legacy among his family, friends and the cattle industry will be felt for generations to come. He is survived by his wife of 49 years Maureen; sons Able (wife, Kathy); Adam (wife, Lisa), Alan (wife, Katy); daughters Adele Post (husband, Dan) and Audra Parker (husband, Dennis); 12 grandchildren; his mother Armida and his sisters Adelina Beyerle, Ophelis Spence, Elsa Jurahi, Anita Stolz and Martha; and his brothers Arnulfo and Oscar.

Editor’s Note: Please  send In Memoriam announcements to: Caren Cowan, N.M. Stockman, P.O. Box 7127, Albuquerque, NM 87194, fax: 505/998-6236 or email: caren@aaalivestock.com. Memorial donations may be sent to the Cattlegrowers’ Foundation, a 501(c)3, tax deductable charitable foundation serving the rights of ranch families and educating citizens on governmental actions, policies and practices. Cattlegrowers Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 7517, Albuquerque, NM 87194.