In Memoriam

James Craig “Jim” Ogden, Loving, passed away in his home on October 24, 2015 at 94. Born in Carlsbad in 1921, Jimmie Ogden, as family called him, was the son of Jay Reed Ogden and Pearl Birt Ogden. Jimmie, raised on the family’s farm near Malaga on Black River, attended elementary school in Loving, and graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1938. In the fall of ’38, Jim attended New Mexico
A & M (NMSU), crediting his mother’s egg and butter money for enabling him to go to college. While at A & M, Jim was a charter member of SAE fraternity, member of Block & Bridle, the Livestock Judging Team and ROTC. Jim worked for the Ag College milking goats and at the sheep barn. In June of 1942, Jim received his diploma in Ag Business & Economics, his commission into the Marine Corps, and his military orders, all on the same day. 2nd Lt James C. Ogden went to Quantico in July 1942 and graduated from OCS in December 1942. James trained at various bases in the United States before shipping out to serve in the Pacific Theater. He was honorably discharged in January, 1946 with the rank of Captain in the United States Marine Corps. Jim married Mary Sue Forehand on December 30, 1945.   Following their marriage, Jim attended the University of California at Berkley for a year before returning to Loving to farm. In the 50s, Jim leased the Roy Forehand ranch on Black River from his mother-in-law, Masie Ussery Forehand, and ultimately purchased it from her. The union of Jim and Sue Ogden, which lasted 68 years, began a farming and ranching operation along Black River that continues today. Farming was Jim’s calling, livelihood, and passion. His drive and desire to improve farming practices led him to work with the NMSU Ag College. Jim cooperated in advancing agricultural procedures and innovations by planting experimental cotton and alfalfa seed varieties, and by improving water use efficiency, to name a few. He was one of the first farmers in the Pecos Valley to own a laser plane. Jim served on the boards of Carlsbad Irrigation District, N.M. Crop Improvement Association, N.M.Cotton Advisory Committee, and was a member of numerous other civic, agriculture, and community organizations. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church Carlsbad and attended FPC Ruidoso while residing in their second home in San Patricio. Jim and Sue were active supporters of NMSU and the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, and received the A J Crawford Pioneer Award in 1995 from the Carlsbad Foundation. In 1981, Jim was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni by the College of Agriculture and Home Economics at NMSU. In 1988, on the 100th Anniversary of NMSU, Jim was honored as one of the Ag College’s 100 Outstanding Graduates. Jim is survived by his children:  Susan Ogden Benting, Nashville, Tennessee; Karen Ogden Cortese (husband, Nick), Ft. Sumner; Alisa Ogden, Loving, and Craig William Ogden (wife, Teresa), Loving; grandchildren Alana Benting Garcia, (husband, Ernesto); Jay Cortese and wife Tara; Michael Benting and fiance Diane Hutchinson; Ross Cortese; Brett Cortese; Joseph Ogden (wife,) Tessa: Linsey Ogden; and Jay Cody Stell; and five great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Ann Langlinais, Elizabeth Smith, brother-in-law Harlen Smith; and two nephews.

Joseph William Blair, Lordsburg, passed away October 11, 2015, at his home. Joe was born April 8, 1932, to William Oscar and Mary Wilmoth Blair in Safford, Arizona. He attended his first grade of schooling in Eden, with his mother as his teacher. The next few years of school were in Aravaipa and Klondyke, then he went to sixth grade in Safford through his sophomore year. He graduated from Morenci High School in 1949. He attended the University of Arizona, majoring in animal science. While at the university, he lived in the Aggie House and was on the rodeo team. He went to work for the university farm in Tucson, graduating with a master’s degree in 1957. He spent his entire life in agriculture, starting his career with the Valley National Bank as its agricultural loan officer and then for Ray Cowden Livestock. He eventually found his way back to the Gila Valley, where he farmed for many years. Joe was a prominent cattle buyer and alfalfa hay grower and broker in Arizona, and then expanded his operations into New Mexico. He was one of the largest hay traders in northwest New Mexico and eastern Arizona.

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.