In Memoriam

In Memoriam …

Earlene Wooten, 74, San Jon, passed away on December 22, 2013, following an extended illness. Earlene was born July 3, 1939 in Amarillo, Texas. She had been a member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association and of the San Jon United Methodist Church. Surviving her are her children – Jerry Lynn Wooten (wife, Cathy), Moriarty; Brian Wooten, Muleshoe Texas; Wendell Wooten, New York City, New York and Stacy Kent (husband, Steve), San Jon and six Grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Jerry Wooten and by her sister Tommy Bryant.

Frank M. Bond, 70, Santa Fe, passed away on December 25, 2013 following a valiant battle with cancer. He was a lawyer, fourth-generation New Mexican and a politician whose genuine interest in people gave him an ability to work across the aisle as a Republican in the New Mexico Legislature dominated by Democrats. But the thing he would most want to be remembered for was the work he and a handful of friends did starting in the 1970s to save the peregrine falcon. He served as president of the International Association for Falconry and Birds of Prey from 2006 to 2012 , but his most significant contribution was working with Cornell University ornithologist Tom Cade to set up and fund The Peregrine Fund. Frank Bond grew up in the Nambé Valley near Española, a member of a family that moved to New Mexico in the 1880s and established mercantile interests as well as raising sheep and cattle. After Colorado College, he earned a master’s degree in Spanish at the University of Arizona. He graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1983. He represented Santa Fe’s House District 47 in the Legislature from 1977 to 1980. He was a member of the “Cowboy Coalition,” in which 11 conservative Democrats joined forces with Republicans to alter the direction of public policy – particularly reducing property tax and shrinking state government. Bond’s public service efforts were wide-ranging. Governor Garrey Carruthers tapped him to chair the Commission on Higher Education. He resigned in 1990 when he became the Republican nominee for governor. He lost the election to Governor Bruce King. He also chaired the New Mexico Boundary Commission and was vice chair of the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute board. Frank is survived by daughter Sara Easterson-Bond; son, Franklin H. Bond, Santa Fe; and sisters MaryAnn Bunten, Albuquerque and Amy Lynge, San Francisco.

Bob Gerding, 75, Albuquerque, died December 18, 2013 after a battle with cancer. Mr. Gerding was preceded in death by his parents Louis and Claribel Gerding, his stepmother Millie Gerding, his daughter Laura Gerding Morris and his sister Clarilou Bryce. He was a graduate of Highland High School and the University of New Mexico, where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. he was elected to the Anderson School of Management Hall of Fame. Bob was a member of the Episcopal church and owner and operator of Bob Gerding’s Outdoor Adventures. His proudest achievement was as the creator of the Bob Gerding;s Outdoor Adventures Hunting and Fishing Show, which ran for 15 years. He was also the author of two books on fly fishing and fly tying. Bob was actively involved in several charitable fly fishing events, was the voice of fly fishing on radio and tv and was the host of tv’s Wild New Mexico. He loved the New Mexico outdoors especially the Jemez Mountains. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Harriet Loken Gerding; sons, Patrick R. Gerding (wife, Stephanie), Seattle, Washington; Michael W. Gerding, Denver; brother, Richard L. Gerding (wife, Eileen), Farmington; his stepsister, Millie McMahon (husband, John), Albuquerque; son-in-law, Flint Morris; two granddaughters, and a grandson; a great-granddaughter; nieces and nephews, and, many other family and friends. The family would like to express a special thanks to Chris Gerding, Bett Clark, Presbyterian Hospice and Home Instead for their wonderful care.

Leona May Draper, 84, Pueblo, Colorado, passed away December 28, 2013. She was born January 30, 1929 to the union of Walter and Louise Sullivan. In 1945, she was united in marriage to George Draper. Leona worked on the Draper Ranch, as well, and raised her children. In 1987 Leona was named Colorado Farm Woman of the Year by the Colorado Master Farm Homemaker’s Guild. George and Leona were Pioneer King and Queen of the 73rd Pioneer Day in Florence in September 2000. The Draper Ranch was honored for Ranch Family of the Year in August 2007 for Custer County. Leona was active in the Wetmore Homemakers Club and Fremont/Custer County Cattlewomen’s Association. She was also a 4-H leader for several years. She is survived by her children, Walter “Buddy” (wife, Jerry) Draper and Peggy (husband, Fred) Davis; four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Lexi, Trey, Mason, Chisum, Avery, Zane, and Macy.

Verla J. Johnson, 52, passed away on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, in Farmington. She was born February 28, 1961, in Rehobeth, to Leonard and Pauline McCauley. She was born to Bit’ahnii and was born for Tsenabilthni. Verla graduated form Navajo Methodist Mission and attended San Juan College. She studied accounting. She was a San Juan County Volunteer Firefighter. She is survived by her husband, Gerald Johnson; sons, Dustin K. Johnson and Carlton Johnson; daughters, Shawna C. Johnson and Kelsi Johnson; her mother Pauline McCauley; brothers, Tony McCauley, Dorey Nez, Darrie Kalleco; sisters, Terri Johnson-McCauley and Bertina McCauley; two grandchildren, Morgan McCauley and Marion Ben.

Ben Williams, Jr., Douglas, Arizona, passed away on November 29, 2013. A fifth generation Arizonan, Ben attended law school at the University of Arizona after his service in the U.S. Army. He was a successful lawyer for 50 years, during which time he served as a director on the boards of Tucson University Medical Center, and Arizona Public Service Company, among others. He served as the mayor of Douglas, and was President of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns in the late 1980s. His family owned ranches in Arizona, Sonora and Chihuahua, and it was there that Ben developed a deep love for the outdoors and ranching. As a teenager, Ben spent summers working on the ranches in Mexico and in the process became fluent in Spanish and came to love the Mexican culture. After he retired from the practice of law, he began writing stories which recaptured his family’s history in the old Southwest and Mexico as well as his experience of growing up in what he considered an exceptional era of freedom and adventure. He included many of these stories in the four books he authored. He was a regular contributor to the Tombstone Epitaph and gained a devoted following. Ben’s survivors include Daisy, his beloved wife; four children, Liz (husband, Jim) Boyd, Diane Belcher, Katie (husband, Todd) Braun and Ben Williams III. Also surviving him are six grandchildren.

Mary M. Black, 86, St. David, Arizona, died November 24, 2013, after a short battle with Alhzeimer’s. Mary was born on Oct. 10, 1927, in Dos Cabezas. One of three daughters born to Forest B. Mulkins and Stella Boyd Mulkins. She is survived by daughters Mary Ann and Kathy Black; grandchildren and 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: 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.