In Memoriam

In Memoriam …

Rosalie Dunlap passed January 21 in Las Cruces. She was active in so many community projects and clubs for over 60 years. She and her husband Ralph were extremely active in the agricultural community and the New Mexico Wool Growers. Photography was her passion. She took many, many pictures over the years. She is survived by daughter Lois Coleman, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Malcolm Stuart (Buddy) Major Jr., 92, Los Lunas, passed away Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Albuquerque. He was born in Socorro on November 9, 1921, to Malcolm and Lily Major. In the late 1940s, Buddy met and married Helen Hobbs from Ancho. He was a lifetime rancher; he ranched in Montana, Colorado and New Mexico. He lived most of his life in New Mexico, where he had several ranches in his life time. He was a cattle trader for many years. He bought cattle from ranchers all over New Mexico and western Arizona. In the late 1950s, the 60s and 70s, Magdalena would come alive in the fall because of his cattle trading. The town would be buzzing with the stock yards full of bawling cattle, trains coming and going, trucks and truck drivers, ranchers, cowboys, and cattle buyers. It was a exciting time. Buddy loved the land, cattle and horses. Even at the age of 92 he was still gathering cattle on his four wheeler. He loved to go to Cattleman’s Livestock auction just to watch the cattle. Buddy, in his earlier years was a calf roper. Later he was a tie on hard and fast left handed heeler. During his life, he learned how to fly airplanes and helicopters. He served on Magdalena School Board, as Socorro County Commissioner, on the State Fair Commission, and State Racing Commission. Buddy also served his Country in the United States Army. In 1946 and was stationed at Fort Bliss where he was deployed to the Philippines. He is survived by his three daughters Linda Major, Gail Major and Beverly Major and his three sons Stuart (wife, Pat) Major, Mike (wife, Holly) Major, Randell (wife, Lynn) Major, 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters Helen Graham, Marie Major, JoAnn Major and his brother Kenneth Major as well as many extended relatives.

Donald L. Chalmers, 65, passed away peacefully on Easter morning, April 20, 2014, surrounded by his family. Known to most as “Don”, or to his family as he was growing up as “Dude,” Don was born on May 4, 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to James S. (Bud) and Marjorie (Cohenour) Chalmers. Don was active in his high school, Tulsa Memorial High School, where he was Vice President of Student Council his senior year. He went to Tulane University where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He returned to Oklahoma to marry his high school sweetheart, Dianne, in 1969 and attended Oklahoma State University where he received a BS degree in Marketing in 1970. Don started his career with Ford Motor Company as a Dealer Representative in Houston, TX. Two years later, he became partner in Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington. He went on to own eight automotive dealerships in the Seattle area which included twelve franchises. In 1987, Don sold his interests in the Seattle dealerships and moved back to Tulsa where he owned and managed two successful dealerships. Education has always been extremely important to Don. He wanted to lend his leadership abilities and was elected and served on the Jenks Board of Education, one of the largest school district in Oklahoma. In 1995, Don sold his dealerships in Tulsa and he and Dianne moved to New Mexico where he was asked by Ford Motor Company to build a new dealership in Rio Rancho. He built a non-traditional dealership where the customers have a more positive buying experience. His personal family values were extended into the culture of his dealerships. Don was loyal to all his employees and treated them like his extended family. Don Chalmers Ford opened its doors on February 29, 1996. He acquired Chalmers Capitol Ford in March 2007. Don shared his leadership abilities with various national, state and local organizations. Don served as Vice-President of the University of New Mexico Board of Regents; Vice-President of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Board of Directors; Served on the board of the National Auto Dealer Association and was Chairman of the Government Relations and Industry Relations committees; Board member of the Ford National Dealer Council; Past Chairman of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes National Board; Past Chairman of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and the Rio Rancho Chamber of Commerce; Past Chairman of United Way of Central New Mexico and Alexis de Tocqueville Society; Past President and current member of the Rotary Club of Albuquerque del Sol; and numerous other boards and organizations. He was especially gratified to recently co-chair the Capital Campaign for the National Dance Institute Highland Theater Renovation raising over $14 million dollars. He will long be remembered as one of the staunchest supporters ever of the New Mexico State Fair Junior Livestock Sale. Don is survived by his wife of 45 years, Dianne; daughter Courtney (husband, Rob); son Cameron (wife, Brandi); and two grandchildren. He is also survived by his two brothers Greg Chalmers (wife, Karen), and Kirk Chalmers (wife, LaDon) along with other extended family.

Dixie Joan Howerton, 78, Sonita, Arizona, on August 13, 1932 and quietly passed away on April 4, 2014. Dixie was born on August 13, 1932. Her family moved from Sonita to Tucson when she was five years old and she graduated from Tucson’s Amphitheater High School. She raised a family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but always considered Tucson to be “home” and returned in 2004. She is survived by her two sons, Laurence Robert Howerton (wife, Kathy), Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Bradley Scott Howerton (wife, Pamm), Plano, Texas.

John “Byron” Fort, 99, Tatum, passed away on March 29, 2014 in Denver City, Texas. Byron was born in Lea County on the homestead east of Lovington on March 1, 1915 to William Herman and Bera (Freeman). He married Ruby Faye Sweatt in Lovington on December 20, 1935. Mr. Fort was a rancher who enjoyed his job and he worked as much as he could until he broke his leg at age 97. He has been a member of Tatum Baptist Church for 70 years serving as deacon, trustee, treasurer and Sunday school teacher. He was on the Lea County ASCS committee; a member of the Tatum School Board; was inducted into the Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame and received the Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award. He enjoyed playing dominoes especially “42”. He was a well-respected man and will be greatly missed. He is survived by three sons: Royce L. (wife, Sally) Fort, Midland, Texas; Curtis A. (wife, Carol) Fort, Tatum, and Jerry D. Fort, Aurora, Colorado and one daughter: Laquita A. Dial, Clovis; one brother: R. F. “Buddy” Fort, Lubbock, and one sister: Bessie D. Spears of Las Cruces. Also surviving him are eight grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren and a host of friends.

Will E. (Bill) Craddock, 79, Deming, passed away on February 5, 2014 after a brief illness. Bill was born on July 22, 1934 in Midland, Texas, the fifth of seven children born to Perry and Mildred Craddock. Bill’s first saddle was made for him at age three. Being raised on ranches in Texas and New Mexico Bill was a true cowboy and authentic western  horseman. In high school Bill competed in the events of calf roping, bareback riding and bull riding,    earning trips to the National High School Finals as a junior and senior. Bill also showed steers in high school and excelled in track and football. A member of the PRCA for over 60 years, Bill was an accomplished calf and steer roper and a  member and past officer of the Senior Steer Roping Association. For 25 plus years Bill roped at Cheyenne Frontier Days. For over 40 years Bill’s Spur Lazy Spur horses have demonstrated their athleticism and sound  dispositions in a variety of rodeo events throughout the United States. Bill made numerous friends and could remember every horse that anyone had ever ridden or competed on. Bill was a graduate of Fort Sumner High School, served honorably in the United States Army and attended New Mexico State University. He is survived by his wife Sue Ann; son David (wife, Michele), Crowley, Texas; son Jay (wife, Patricia), Bridgeport, Texas; and honorary son Manuel Sandoval, Deming. His daughters include Cathy Fikany, Fort Sumner;  Jane Brown, Tucson, Arizona and Sherry Craddock, Weatherford, Texas. Bill is also survived by five grandchildren. Sisters  Margaret Long, Carthage, Texas and Mary Jane Maddock,Rancho Dominguez, California are Bill’s only surviving siblings.  Other survivors include brother and sister- in- law Bob and Vicki McDaniel, Princeton, Indiana.

LeRoy P. Montoya, 59, Clarksdale, Kansas, died, April 2, 2014 at his home of an apparent heart attack. He was born November 2, 1954 to Manuel and Magdalena (Pino) Montoya in Mountainair, New Mexico, and grew up on the family ranch in Moriarty. LeRoy was a member of Oak Christian Church and the American Angus Association. He was also a professional cattle fitter and a cowboy. He married Jennifer Waller in 1998; she survives him. Additional survivors: sons, Manuel Montoya, Clarksdale; Jacob Conley, Clarksdale; and Jeffrey Conley, Maryville, Missouri.; brothers, Facundo Montoya wife, (Janet), Fred Montoya, Fidel Montoya, Michael Montoya (wife, Julie) and Casey Ingram (wife, Heather); sisters, Juana Saiz, Betty Knorr, Mary Ann Strohl husband, (Sid) and Lucy McCurry (husband, Geoff); and numerous nieces and nephews.

Joseph James (Joe) Lane III, 78, Tucson, passed away on March 6, 2014 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Born September 16, 1935 in Roswell. Joe was born and raised on the Lane family ranches in Arizona and New Mexico. He went to elementary school in Willcox, Arizona, High School at the New Mexico Military Academy in Roswell and received his Bachelor Degree in Agriculture from the University of Arizona in Tucson. After his graduation in 1957, he served in the U. S Army as a First Lieutenant in the Armor Division in Killeen, Texas until 1960. Joe owned ranches in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. He always considered himself a cattleman and spent the majority of his ranching career on the O Bar O Ranch north of Willcox at Bonita. He sold this ranch in 1983 to devote his full time to government service in Arizona. Joe served in the Arizona Legislature from 1978 to 1988 and was Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 38th Legislature (1987 – 1988). He subsequently served as an Aide to Governors Fife Symington and Jane Hull. Joe was Director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture Brand Department until his retirement. He contributed his time to numerous organizations. He was a past President of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association (ACGA), served as  Chairman of the Arizona State Transportation Board, held the Chairman position of the Arizona Chapter of the American Heart Association in 1993, received the University of Arizona College of Agriculture Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997, and was named Cattleman of the Year in 2007 by the ACGA. Joe is survived by brother Charles B. “Doc” (wife, Patti), son Walter (wife, Karen), daughter Nora (husband, Phil) daughter Denise and ten grandchildren. He is also survived by his former wives Mari and Susan.

Roy Wayne Laney, 66, Carlsbad, passed away March 29, 2014 at University Medical Center in Lubbock. He was born October 17, 1947 in Carlsbad to Roy B. and Ruby (Miller) Laney-Boulware. Wayne worked for Pennsylvania Drilling Company for many years and later went to work for Phonix and Sessoms and was instrumental in working at the Nevada test site and WIPP. Survivors are daughter, Jana Laney; brother, Paul Laney (wife, Melissa); sister, Nita Laney-Saler (husband, Michael); a granddaughter; three nieces, three nephews, and several great-nieces and great-nephews and cousins. Wayne was a giant man with a heart bigger than he was, and will be greatly missed.

Abran “Abie” Ellis Parra, 82, a longtime Deming resident passed away on April 23, 2014, at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces. “Abie”, as he was affectionately known, was born August 18, 1931, to Isabel Lara and Salvador Solis Parra in Dwyer, New Mexico. He attended Grant County Schools and was raised on the Y-(Nan) Ranch in the Mimbres Valley and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. On April 10, 1955, he married Marilyn Gonzalez in Garfield. They made their home in Deming and for 29 years he was employed by the New Mexico Highway Department, where he was an equipment inspector. He later worked for the Deming Public Schools for eight years. Abie was a communicant at St. Ann’s Catholic Church. He was avid cowboy and horseman and enjoyed hunting with his sons. He is survived by wife, Marilyn G. Parra; four sons, Abie Parra (wife, Carol), Mimbres; Tom Parra (wife, Melba); Sonny Parra (wife, Judith), all of Deming; and Anthony Parra (wife, Jennifer), Las Cruces; brother, Salvador Parra Jr. (wife, Betty), Bayard; sister, Ruth Parra, Albuquerque; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Editor’s Note: 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. The New Mexico Stockman runs memorials as a courtesy to its readers. If families & friends would like to see more detail, verbatim pieces must be emailed to us, & may be printed at 10¢ per word.