In Memoriam

James ‘Jimmy” Goss, 78, Weed, passed away on July 6, 2015 at his home. He was born on August 18, 1936 in Bear Canyon to Howard Goss and Marion Ehart Goss. Jimmy was a descendant of early pioneers of the 1900s. He lived his whole life in the Sacramento Mountains where he was totally contented and never left the area, but for a few weeks. He was a man not influenced by others ideas or opinions. He spoke his “own language” and was fully devoted to his family, his Lord and his community and friends. He passed his opinions on to all of us and “quoted” often to his children and grandchildren. “Ya are, who ya are, now don’t forget it.” Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Carrie Frances Goss; son, Spike (wife, Kelly) Goss; three daughters, Karen (husband, John) Braziel, Kendra (husband, Mike) Crnkovic, Kathi (husband, Ken) Baker; two granddaughters; three grandsons; seven step-grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; sister, Pansy Northrip; brother, Rusty Goss; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Billy Wilton, 91, Ft. Sumner, passed away on July 1, 2015 at his ranch home south of Fort Sumner. He was born February 5, 1924 in Eldorado, Schleicher County, Texas to Thomas Hampton and Annie (Braley) Wilton. He attended and graduated from Eldorado High School, then attended Sul Ross University for one year before attending San Angelo Business School in San Angelo. Billy was drafted into the U.S. Army and served with the 2nd Battalion, 345th infantry. He was a member of a crew that towed an antitank gun. He served in the European Theater and participated in the Battle of The Bulge. Billy was honorably discharged on December 7, 1945. Following discharge, Billy ranched in Tahoka, Texas for a year before moving to Fort Sumner where he has ranched since 1947. Billy married Betty Lee Baker on November 14, 1955 at the First Baptist Church in Fort Sumner. Billy was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Fort Sumner, a past member of the Fort Sumner Mounted Patrol, and was one of the “Gators” at the Salt Cedar Country Club where he enjoyed golfing with his friends. He was a lifetime member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, and New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau. He was a self taught calf roper, enjoyed team roping, bowling, and playing pool. Survivors include his wife Betty Wilton, four children, sons Mike Wilton (wife, Diannie), Lakeside, Arizona, and Tom Bob Wilton (wife, Kristin), Fort Sumner, daughters Donna Wilton Jay (husband, Benjie), Muleshoe,  and Lee Ann Wilton Armstrong (husband, Scott), Perkins, Oklahoma, sister Maxine Wilton Page, San Angelo, 10 grandchildren along with seven great-grandchildren. Other survivors include two nieces along with a host of other family and many friends and good neighbors.

Flora Pauline (Evans) Walker, 87, passed away on July 2, 2015 in El Paso, Texas. She was born on June 20, 1928 in the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico to John and Loretta (Brazeal) Evans. Survivors include son, Tommy Walker (wife, Laura), Alamogordo; daughter, Polly Walker (husband, Kit Doran), Huntington, Pennsylvania; two grandsons; a granddaughter, and six great-grandchildren. Pauline was a member of the La Luz Christadelphian Ecclesia, and a Sunday school teacher for all of her adult years. She was also the editor of the Joy Book for 21 years.She was one of the Pioneer women of New Mexico, born in a logging camp and lived on a ranch in the White Mountain Wilderness Area.

Nancy Bernice (Lewis) Kincaid, 89, Carlsbad, passed away on July 6, 2015, at her home. She was born to David C. and Emma (Coffelt) Lewis on December 26, 1925 in Cienaga. She was raised on Crow Flat and graduated from high school in Cienaga, before moving with her family to Hope. She married Hugh Kincaid on November 7, 1944 in Carlsbad. They lived in a numerous locations before settling on the family ranch in 1953. Nancy was a member of NM Wool Growers Auxiliary, Cavern Country CowBelles, Yucca CowBelles, Eddy County Sheriff’s Possettes and the Church of Christ. She also was a longtime Lakeview Christian Home volunteer. Nancy is survived by sons David (wife, Joan), Pinon, Gene (wife, Tina), Carlsbad, and daughter Ande Marbach (husband, Jim), Carlsbad, nine grandchildren, nine great-grand children and numerous nieces and nephews.

Tom Herrera, 81, Albuquerque, died at his home, surrounded by his loving family on July 3, 2015 He was born February 6, 1934 in Los Angeles to Jose and Irene Herrera. Tom’s parents moved to New Mexico when he was 10 years old and settled in the Martinez Town neighborhood where they became an integral part of the community. He attended Albuquerque High School and was proud to be a “Bulldog”. During the Korean Conflict, Tom enlisted in the US Navy and honorably served his beloved United States. Four of his brothers also served in the military during this time. Tom returned home after his military service and soon began working at Goodrich Roofing where he would become lead-foreman for nearly three decades. Tom met the former Josephine Sanchez and her eight children when he was a 37-year-old bachelor. They married on April 3, 1971. During their life together Tom and Josie learned to lean on their faith in the Lord. They faced their life’s challenges together with the Lord and fellowshipped at North Valley Gospel, Faith Chapel, and Triumph Centre at Bethel. In 1983, with the encouragement and support of the entire family Tom, Josie and youngest son John started Right Way Roofing. From Josie’s kitchen table the company began and grew to become one of the most respected roofing companies in New Mexico, twice being named Small Business of the Year. Tom’s passion had become not only a career but a means to proudly support his family for the rest of his life. He is survived by his wife, Josie; sons, Daniel, Edward, Jaime, Jerome, Luis, and John; and daughters, Lois and Michelle, as well as the spouses of both his children and grandchildren whom he loved as his own. He is also survived by 24 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. In addition he is survived by his brothers, Fred, Dino and Richard; and a sister, Lillian.

Lonnie Dee Baker, 58, Colorado Springs, Colorado, passed away unexpectedly at home on July 6, 2015. He was born June 16, 1957, in Walsenburg to Gail and George E. Baker. Lonnie attended grade school in Westcliffe, followed by a short time in Franklin, Kentucky and then Big Timber, Montana where he graduated from high school in 1975. On July 5, 1980, Lonnie walked into a honky tonk in Littleton (fondly recalled as “The Horny Toad”) where that night he met the girl he would marry. He told his brother that night, “I think I could fall in love with that girl,” and a month later he proposed to the tall, beautiful Shelley Gramera. They were married May 23, 1981 and on their 10th Anniversary they renewed those vows. Lonnie worked in all aspects of the construction industry throughout his life, working his way through the ranks to where he was for the last 10 years as a project superintendent for Archer Western. Lonnie worked construction projects in states all over the West, including Alaska, California, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. Lonnie lived his life boldly with focused determination for those things he loved – God, family and country. He was an avid outdoorsman that found joy as his did his forefathers in the mountains and wide open spaces. He was a hunter, fisherman but loved the open road with the other love of his life, Shania – his Harley Davidson motorcycle. On his arm wherever he went besides work, was his little Cocoa, the tiny fluff “designer” dog that adored Lonnie and vice versa creating a very incongruous image but revealed the tender heart of the big man. Lonnie loved his small town, hometown roots and took great joy in returning to those places to enjoy the memories and lifelong friends. Moving back to Colorado to live two years ago, he found a renewed passion for spending time in the places his father and grandfather and Baker generations before them walked, worked and lived. His joy was in the simple things offered by those memories of where he shot his first deer or where he fished with those men that established the very foundation of who he became as man. He is survived by his wife of 34 years Shelley D. (Gramera), daughters Brittany Nicole and Brianne Lindsay (husband, Shepperd) Hudgins, mother Gail Baker Major, sister Julie Carter, brothers Bruce Baker and Jim Baker, six nephews, four nieces and numerous aunts, uncles and many cousins.

Terry Jack Jones, 66, Clovis, quietly departed this life July 2, 2015 at his home. Jack was born in Clovis to Herbert (Hub) and Pansy Roberts-Jones on January 12, 1949. He started School at the age of five in Fields and graduated from Melrose High School. Jack’s passion was farming and his cattle, which was demonstrated through his job with the New Mexico Livestock Board where he worked and served as a Livestock Brand Inspector. He is survived by his three daughters and four grandsons. Daughters are Babbette Ricker, Tara Jones, Brandy Gorelick (husband, Troy), sons Zachery and Reese. Three sisters, Quenna Cox (husband, Fred), Clara Zinda (husband, Joe), Freda Jones, and brother Dale Jones plus 39 nieces and nephews.

Thelma Louise Prather, 87, Lubbock, Texas, passed away peacefully in her home on July 12, 2015. Thelma was born in Globe, AZ, to John and Ella Sniffen on August 13, 1927. She married Troy Lee Prather on June 26, 1948, in Globe. After marrying, they moved to Clovis where they lived the majority of their married life. She was a homemaker, Manager of Fabrific Fabric Center, owner of Stitches of New Mexico, and Stitches of New Mexico Antique Store. She was a member of Central Baptist Church since 1958 where she served in many areas of ministry including the Singles Dept., The Literacy Class, WMU, the Sixth Grade Sunday School Dept., VBS, Good News Clubs and many more. Her greatest ministry was serving her family where she leaves an incredible legacy.  Thelma is survived by her husband, Troy, Lubbock; her daughter Belinda (husband, Dr. Kyle) Sunderman, Lubbock; daughter-in-law, Beverly Major, Clovis; brother, William Sniffen, Marana, Arizona; sister, Ruth Vidauretta, Albuquerque; eight grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Robert Brent Bason, 46, Hillsboro, passed away on July 2, 2015 in an auto accident. Brent was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico on June 5, 1969 to Jimmy and Sue Bason of Hillsboro. He was a 1988 Hot Springs High School Graduate, attending New Mexico State University to study range management. He also worked in construction and resource management, developing many friends and associates throughout the state. He dedicated his life to maintaining and operating the family ranch in the Kingston Black Range Area where he was “Boss,” “Top Hand,” “Teacher and Mentor” to many young cowhands. Brent was a loving son, father and friend to many. He is survived by his children – sons, Typhen James, Corde McLean and daughter, Lyndee Erin; his mother, Sue C. Bason and sisters, Stacy Ann Bason and Danielle Suzanne Hudson; along with several nieces and nephews.

Viola Montes, 71, Glencoe, passed away on July 19, 2015 in Lubbock, Texas. She was born November 30, 1943 in Roswell and had lived all of her life in Lincoln and Chaves counties. She has worked as a teacher’s aid at the Hondo School District then went to work for the Ruidoso School District as a librarian. She also had worked as contact lens technician for the Vision Center and Family Vision and helped with the family concession stand. She attended St. Joseph’s Mission at San Patricio. She married Orlando Montes on July 22, 1961 at Roswell. She is survived by her husband, Orlando; her children, Veronica Montano (husband, Chito), Show Low, Arizona; Corinne Prudencio (husband, Fabian), Glencoe; Ray Montes (wife, Norma), Ruidoso Downs and Mary Prudencio (husband, Edwin), San Patricio; brothers and sisters, Pristina Kerwick and Terry Guerrero both of Roswell and Joseph Sedillo and Albert Sedillo both of Albuquerque; 11 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild.

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.