In Memoriam

In Memoriam …


T
om Cooper, 72, Las Cruces,
passed away on October 17, 2012, following a short illness. He was born on July 27, 1940 in Cooper, New Mexico to Mark and Faye Cooper. Tom was raised on a ranch northeast of Roswell, New Mexico, and was a proud graduate of Roswell High School’s Class of 1958. He later graduated from New Mexico State University, after which he began his life-long career in public accounting. In 1976, he purchased the first of several ranches that would become Cooper Cattle Company. He loved the cattle business – the cattle, the horses, and being outdoors in God’s country – almost as much as he loved his children. Tom was a leader in issues he held dear to his heart, especially regarding private property rights and public lands issues, constitutional policymaking and private enterprise. He served as an officer in Las Cruces Tea Party, chaired People for Preserving our Western Heritage, and also served on the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee. He was a firm believer in capitalism and free enterprise. Tom was a member of Mission Lutheran Church. He will be greatly missed by his family and many good friends. Tom is survived by his wife, Carol Cooper; three daughters, Marla, Las Cruces, Carla Bell (husband, Michel) of Midland, and Carrie, Hobbs; one son, Greg, Las Cruces, and step sons Gary Thurm, Jr., Minden, Nevada, and Evan & Renee Thurm, Portland, Oregon; four grandchildren and brother Carl Cooper (wife, Mardine), Roswell.

Barbara Jean (Jeanie) Read Elkins, 72, Piñon, died Saturday, October 20, 2012 at her home surrounded by her family. She was born May 31, 1940 in Alamogordo, the daughter of Joseph C. Read and Ruby J. (Frilick) Read. She was a longtime resident of Cloudcroft before moving to Dunken in 1969. On January 15, 1959 she was married to Sam M. Elkins in Cloudcroft. She had owned and operatored the Turquoise Shop in Cloudcroft since 1974. She built her business from the ground up with her savvy business skills and care for others. She established a loyal customer base that reached from across New Mexico into west Texas, even throughout the U.S. She was beloved by all who knew her for her generous spirit, driving ambition, and her genuine love and kindness for others. She was a member of the Dunken Community Church and the New Mexico CowBelle’s. Survivors include her husband of 52 years Sam Elkins; daughter Shawna Smith, Ruidoso; sons Alden Elkins (wife, Tami) Dunken, and Randy Elkins (wife, Tracy) Hope.; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Gertrude “Gertie” Twiss Delk, 87, passed away at Gila Regional Medical Center on September 18, 2012, after a brief illness. She was born to Richard Michael Twiss and Gertrude Pole Twiss on August 7, 1925, in El Paso. When she was four years old,her family moved to Vanadium, where her father was the business manager at the Ground Hog Mine. The family remained in the area and she graduated from Hurley High in 1944. After graduation, she went to work for the Empire Zinc Mine. She met Forrest Delk at the Bayard Lions Club where he and his Gully Jumpers band were playing for a dance. They married on January 20, 1945, and moved to the family ranch below the Kneeling Nun, where they lived together for the next 51 years. Life revolved around cow work, Forrest’s dance music, and their family. After Forrest’s death in 1996,Gertie remained on the ranch. She loved her home in Lampbright Canyon even though she had to deal with everything from rough­ sometimes impassable-roads to a bear outside her bedroom window. Not long before her 80th birthday, she had to kill a rattlesnake near her porch. Throughout her life, Gertie tended to the needs of her family. She was always there supporting them,whether tapping her foot at the edge of the dance floor, cheering at basketball games, or baking to raise money for FFA. Gertie was a wonderful cook and served many meals, whether at the table at home or on the tailgate when working cattle. Gertie was active in Copper CowBelles and the Mimbres Booster Club. She loved to crochet and spent many hours making afghans for her family. Gertie is survived by her son Joe (wife, Diane) Mesilla, daughter Linda Cox (husband, Harlie) Faywood, son Jimmy (wife, Suanne) Deming; seven grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. She is also survived by sister Mary Emerson, National City, California, sister Pat Barker, Roswell, Georgia, sister-in-law Dee Johnson, Silver City, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Ruth Doak, 96, died January 9, 2012 in Clayton. She was born Ruth Florence Folse to Charles D. and Lena Belle Folse in Kansas City, Missouri, August 18, 1915. Ruth grew up in Kansas City, and attended the College of Industrial Arts, in Denton, Texas (it was later named Texas State College for Women). After earning a teaching degree, Ruth accepted a job teaching in Claude, Texas. Her stories of standing all 4’11” of her stature against big, unruly country boys were priceless. Ruth met and married Deming Doak, Claude, on July 4, 1937 and forever spent her anniversary at a rodeo. Ruth and Deming and Deming’s father purchased a ranch at Gladstone, New Mexico in 1944. They drove their cattle across country to the new ranch. From being a city girl, to a school marm, and then to a ranch wife, Ruth met each challenge. She learned to drive after moving to the ranch. She cooked, sewed her own clothes, and raised her children without a phone or electricity for many years and she loved it all. Ruth and Deming bought a ranch in Kersey, Colorado with their son, Alan and his family in 1965 and then moved to Miles City, Montana in 1967. They stayed there for ten years, raising both commercial cattle and the registered Herefords the Doak family had been involved with for many years. After selling the Montana ranch, they moved back to Clayton buying a small ranch where they continued their registered herd until Deming’s death in 1987. Ruth is survived by her daughter, Marcia Miller (husband, Ken) Clayton; son, Alan (wife, Ellaine) Cave Creek, Arizona; six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

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.