In Memoriam

In Memoriam …

Trinidad “Trina” B. Sanchez, 91, Adelino, passed away on November 26, 2014. Trina peacefully went with the sun rising and her cows calling her on her farm. She was a member of the Immaculate Conception Church in Tome for all her 91 years. For over 50 years she was a member of the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau (NMFLB). She was also a member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association. In 1991 Trina and J.C. were awarded the NMFLB Farm Family of the Year and again in 2000. Trina was picked as one of ten for the Albuquerque Women in Business Smart, Savvy, Successful Award. In 2007 she also received the “Diamond in the Rough” award for all her outstanding contributions to New Mexico Agriculture from the Women’s Ag Leadership Conference. Trina was school librarian for Belen’s Central Elementary School for 37 years at the age of 83. Trina loved working with kids teaching them all she knew about books and always stressing the importance of getting an education. Trina is survived her daughters, Anna Glenn (husband, Ron), Rebecca Wolfe (husband, Gary), Juanita Locher (husband, Todd); sons, Richard Sanchez (wife, Cindy), Steven Sanchez, Clarence and Robert; numerous loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Trina is survived by her sisters, Dolores Moser and Jenny Deal; and several nephews and nieces. Also surviving is a very special daughter-in-law, Debra Sanchez and her loving nurses, Raquel, Karrie and Catrina.

Richard Wayne Stotts, 77, Clarendon, Texas, passed away on November 11, 2014 at his beloved farm outside of Clarendon, Texas. An icon in the Angus beef cattle business, Richard was born May 21, 1938 in Memphis, Texas. He was reared by his grandparents J.O. and Lavilla Stotts in the in the small community of Giles. He graduated from Hedley High School in 1956.  He worked for Clifford Farmer a registered Angus Breeder in Memphis and then went into the US Army in February 1957and got out in January 1959. He had to ride a boat from Germany to New Jersey then flew to Fort Shacke, Arkansas then took a bus home to Memphis. A few months after getting home, Richard heard that Bill and Minnie Bradley were looking for some short time help to take bulls to the Fort Worth Stock Show. That two month “little while” turned into 11 ½ years. He met and married Brenda Boykin. They borrowed money for their own place at Clarendon, incurring a lot of debt. When Brenda left the note was called but through the hard work and sheer grit Richard was known for, he was eventually able to own the land himself. It was there that Richard created and excelled with his Regal Cattle Company and developed his own brand of the best Angus genetics. He was known in nearly every show barn from coast to coast. Over the years he worked at other Angus operations including the 77 Ranch, Graham, Texas. In September he celebrated his 60th year at the Tri Fair & Rodeo in Amarillo. As usual he went there straight from the New Mexico State Fair. Richard had more than his share of champions and he picked his share of champions as a nationally renowned beef cattle judge. In his later years Richard was unable to fit cattle for others, but he continued to make his favorite shows, most recently with the help of his beloved friends and caretakers Ty, Nickolyn, Brazos and Tylee Williams. He always made it into the ring for those champion photos. Richard is survived by his son Robert Stotts, Saint Jo, Texas, the Bradley family and countless members of the family he built across the nation.

Alexander U. (Alex) Dees, 74, Yuma, Arizona, passed away on November 6, 2015 following a long illness. Alex was born January 20, 1940 in North Yuma Gila Valley to John and Allily Dees. Alex was raised on the “Island” where he resided until his death. He was the eldest son of sixteen children. His parents introduced Alex to Jesus Christ at an early age and his beloved Uncle Reverend Elja Roberson baptized him. After graduating from high school Alex attended Arizona State University. He was a third generation agriculturalist with an established reputation for integrity and quality as a livestock breeder, consultant, and judge. Alex maintained 500 head of Brangus on his ranch in Yuma. He was an internationally renowned cattle judge and an active member of the Southwest Brangus Breeders Association, the International Brangus Breeders Association, the Arizona National Livestock Show and the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association. He was a strong supporter of youth in agriculture and 4-H and FFA. Alex is survived by his daughter, Dwella Galicia, Anaheim, California. He was married to Phyllis Staton and out of that union they were blessed with four children, Cynthia McNeil, son-in-law, Jerry McNeil, Charlotte, North Carolina, Alexander Dees, Jr., Phoenix, AZ, Elvenee Dees (wife, Nina), Volga, South Dakota, Keith Dees, Phoenix,  and a host of grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, and nieces as well as other family and friends. Other surviving relatives include sister Mell R. Hall; brothers Elmo Dees (wife, Joann), Oliver Dees, (wife, Linda), and Felix Dees (wife, Connie), fiancé Willie Mae Crosby (Skeet); son Craig Crosby and daughter Tammy Crosby.

William M. “Billie” Riggs, Jr., 90, Willcox, Arizona, died November 14, 2014. He was born in Willcox on August 18, 1924 to William M. Riggs and Cora Riggs and grew up above the Riggs Bank in downtown Willcox. He served in the US Army during W II, was a charter member of the Willcox Elks Lodge #2131, a member of the Cochise-Graham County Growers’ Assoc., Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, National Cattlemen’s Association, Farm Bureau and VFW. Billie was a rancher with a focus on conservation. He was awarded Man of the Year in 1962 with the Society for Range Management, was an active member of the Resource Conservation District. Survivors include his sons William M. “Tra” Riggs, III and Ivan Clay Riggs both of Willcox and his brother-n-law John Amalong; five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Bob Fenimore, 68, Huachuca City, Arizona, passed away on November 17, 2014 after a long and valiant battle with cancer. When was young Bob, like many boys, wanted to be a cowboy or a fireman. And, unlike many who didn’t become either, Bob did. He worked on Bobby Cowan’s and Bill Cowan’s ranches in Tombstone, Arizona and Cloverdale, New Mexico. He became Huachuca City’s fire chief. Aptly described as a self-made man, whose gruff exterior hid a soft, kind heart and who was dedicated to the people of the small community of Huachuca City, he wanted no obituary published or funeral held and his wife Della (Dee) honored his request (Caren Cowan often disobeyed Fennimore and continues to do so). Originally from Texas, he moved to Huachuca City in the early 1950s, before the community was incorporated. His parents had various businesses and as a teenager — “if not before” — Bob would drive to Phoenix to pick up bread and milk to be delivered to Fort Huachuca as his parents had a contract with the Army to provide those items. When it came to Huachuca City, all he wanted was the residents of the community, young and old, to have the best and many times it was he who reached into his pocket to make things happen. But he wasn’t just Huachuca City-centric, because he saw fire protection — “wild land fires became his passion” — and he was one of a trio instrumental in bringing all 27 fire districts in Cochise County into a group which still meets once month. But somewhere he once again is riding the ranges as cowboy, probably with a bucket of water to douse a wild land fire.

Elizabeth Ann Dickinson, Wells, Nevada, passed away on October 28, 2014 in Kingman, Arizona while vacationing with her daughter and son-in-law. She was born in Fresno, California on August 10, 1922 to Edward and Margaret Copland. She retired a school teacher and moved to Nevada with her husband to ranch in Butte Valley and then moved to Wells, Nevada. The last decade of her life she traveled with friends and family. Elizabeth is survived by her daughters Becky (husband, George) Massey, Sandie (husband, Bill) Bell and Deanna (husband, Dave) McCall, four grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband William, parents, daughter Anita, granddaughter Jamie, and grandson Rusty. Elizabeth will be missed and remembered by many.

Nancy Marie Felten, 78, Grady, passed away on November 6, 2014. She was born Nancy Marie Mesaric on March 13, 1936 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Nancy came to New Mexico in the early 1970′s with her husband and two daughters. She lived in the communities of Raton, Cimarron and Roy and was well known throughout northeastern New Mexico for her friendliness and smile. Nancy eventually settled in Mills where she finished raising her daughters and was a rancher and the Post Master of the Mills Post Office, a position she held for 28 years. She was also an active member of the Mesa Soil and Water Board for many years. Nancy became “Meme” when her eldest granddaughter reached out for her and said “My Meme.”  After that, she was known by all of the children of Roy and Mosquero as Meme. Nancy is survived by her daughters Lori and Sheila, husband Willis Bowman, six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, two brothers along with their families, George Mulleneix, Tucson, Arizona and Lawrence Mesaric, Kingman, Arizona.

Mark Alan Jansen, DVM, 59, Raton, passed away on November 13, 2014 after battling cancer. Mark was at home surrounded by his family. Mark was born May 14, 1955 in Carroll, Iowa, the youngest of Harry and Irene Ranniger Jansen’s five children. He spent his childhood on the family farm in Manning, Iowa. Mark graduated from Manning High School in 1973 then attended Iowa State University earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology in 1977. He returned to Ames to pursue his professional dream and graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. In 1989 moved to Raton, accepting a position at Raton Animal Hospital. He took ownership of the clinic in 1991, and retired in 2013. During his extraordinary 22 year veterinary career Mark treated small, large and exotic animals. He especially enjoyed the challenge and precision of surgery as well as the outdoor appeal of working cows and bison. His role as primary veterinarian at the Colorado Equid Sanctuary near Wagon Mound was a highlight of his veterinary career. His responsibilities included coordinating ongoing and acute veterinary care for exotics such as zebras, Przewalski horses and other endangered equine species. Vermejo Park Ranch was Mark’s second home. He worked for 33 years guiding bow and rifle elk, deer, antelope and turkey hunts. Mark was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association, the Academy of Rural Veterinarians and the National Rifle Association. Mark was a practicing member of the Cimarron United Methodist Church. He was an accomplished thespian performing in many productions on the Shuler Theater stage. He is survived by his wife Stephanie, son Lucas and daughter Kristina; brothers Dale Jansen, Des Moines, Iowa and Curt Jansen, Cody, Wyoming; sister Marilyn Jansen, Denver, Colorado; brother-in-law Paul Munden, Leawood, Kansas, and Richard Munden, Waukesha, Wisconsin as well as nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and aunts, cousins and many life-long friends.

John H. Jester, 83, Jordan, passed away at his home on October 27, 2014 following an extended illness. John was youngest child of Nora (Lee) & Frank Jester was born May 2, 1931 in a dugout in the Jordan Community. As a kid growing up he spent many hours horseback, and in later years helped area ranchers with the cattle work and Laurence Poe with his farming. He and Cora Lee Estes were married July 28, 1964 and lived on the original Jester Homestead. John was a charter member of the Jordan Volunteer Fire Department and helped out at Browning Cemetery as long as he was able. He is survived by his wife Cora Lee; daughter Johna Horne (husband, Mike), Logan; daughter Dona Smith (husband, Billy), Dalhart, TX, and son Jimmie Joe Jester of the home; four granddaughters, two grandsons and sister Juanita Wallis, Quay, and her sons Billy and Francis.

Billy Pittman, 62, passed away at home on November 11, 2014. Billy was born December 5, 1951 in Portales to Ishamel  (Smokey) and Virgina (Lea) Pittman. Billy attended school in Portales and Floyd  before the family moved to Moriarty in 1966. Billy graduated from Moriarty High School in 1969. He then worked on ranches in both New Mexico and Texas. Billy married Mollie O’Neal on May 20, 1972 in Moriarty. They started their lives together on a ranch southeast of Portales, moving back to Moriarty in 1976. Billy began working at Central New Mexico Electric Co-op September of 1976. He retired after 31 years in 2007. He worked on the family ranch north of Moriarty, with his father-in-law, Lewis O’Neal until Lewis’ death in 2009. Billy continued ranching until his death with the help of his wife and family. He enjoyed being a rancher, and took pride in his cattle. Billy was a member of the First Baptist Church of Moriarty for forty-eight years. Billy enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his grandchildren. He was very involved in helping his grandson, Kade with his show steers. He will be fondly remembered for his kindness, loyalty and ability to put everyone around him at ease. Billy is survived by his wife of 42 years, Mollie Pittman, his two daughters, Cassie Eisenberger, Clovis; Kyria (husband, Cris) Encinias, Hobbs, and three grandchildren.

Jim “Tot” Etcheverry, 88, Carlsbad, passed away on October 5, 2014 at his home. Tot was born on November 30, 1925 in Carlsbad to Jean Baptiste “Jim” and Florence (Arreguy). Tot grew up in a Basque ranching family helping his father on their ranch in the Dog Canyon area of the Guadalupe Mountains. Here he began his great love for horses. He served in World War II in the Navy as a gunner. He was selected as one of the members of the noted Scouts and Raiders which later became known as Navy Seals. He served as Deputy Sheriff in both Eddy County, New Mexico and Hudspeth County, Texas.

He was a member of the Eddy County Sheriff’s Posse, BPO Elks #1558 and the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association. Tot is survived by his daughter Adreienne Etcheverry Verkler, Arteisa; her children Melissa Griggs Webb (husband, Robert), Austin, Texas; John Chance Laney (wife, Sara), Artesia; and Deletter Sokolosky (husband, Greg), Austin; as well as his son Etienne Etcheverry (wife, Kathy), T or C, and his children Tai, Carlsbad, and Ben Tot Etcheverry (wife, Jessica), Deming; son John Etcheverry (wife, Brenda), Carlsbad and his children John Pete (wife, Dana), Mesquite, New Mexico and Tommy Etcheverry, Carlsbad, and Jim Eubanks, Las Vegas, Nevada; as well as two sisters Mary Gentry Bauder (husband, Marvin), Cedar Crest and Cecilia Wigley, Streetman, Texas To also had five great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Jim Edgerton, 85, Duncan, Arizona, entered eternal rest on November 14, 2014. He was born February 24, 1929, in Elba, New York. Jim served in the Marines in the World War II. He made his living working with harness horses but also enjoyed stock car racing and was a member of NASCAR in 1949. In 1952, Jim married Jan, in Greece, while he was in the military. He was assigned to Alaska, which was great because wives could go along. When Jim was discharged, they stayed and homesteaded in Alaska, and also had a contract to furnish all horses for the government recreation and big game hunting. However, they wanted to raise cattle, so in 1967, they bought a ranch in Gusher, Utah. In 1976, they moved their ranching operation to Arizona. After many years, they retired on a small ranch north of Duncan. Jim also was a lifetime Arizona Ranger and started the Coronado Co. for Greenlee and Graham counties in 2001.  He has two sisters, Pat Edgerton, New York, and Vera Savage,Tampa, Florida. He also has two sons, Judd and Jess, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, all from Alaska.

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 & educating citizens on governmental actions, policies & 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.