Archive for: February 2015

Country Club Property Owners Upset with Commission Decision

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media

Raton Country Club area residents showed up in force and were upset with the city commission’s acceptance to not overturn the decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission to allow Bee Hive to build an assisted living facility on the property west of the old ARF building.

The property owners in the Country Club addition argued that they have created covenants for the country club area that have restrictions to the type of facility that Bee Hive is proposing to build in the area.  The owners claim that the Raton Planning and Zoning Commission have a duty to follow the city zoning ordinances and not allow a business to locate in a residential area, and also felt the commission didn’t consider all the information when they recently granted the exception.

Federal law does not allow discrimination of the elderly and therefore allows for assisted living facilities in residential areas but the covenants the country club property owners have in place do not allow multiple dwelling living facilities and the sentiment by the property owners is not in our backyard. Several of those speaking said they are not against Bee Hive locating in Raton just not in that location. They suggested there are many other properties in Raton that could be a viable location for the facility. 

Commissioners then voted on four items concerning the actions of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Based on the hearing evidence and what has been presented to commissioners they voted that the Planning and Zoning Commission did act appropriately and did not violate any laws in allowing the special exception. The commission therefore did not overturn the decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission to allow the special exception for Bee Hive to build in that area just west of ARF.  

Owner and Attorney Sarah Montoya told the commission that the Planning and Zoning Commission failed to protect the property owners from this type of active business and added they will exercise their right to appeal the city commission decision and will take this issue to court.

City Manager Scott Berry wondered if the city should be responsible for enforcing covenants especially if the covenants conflict with federal law.

In other commission business commissioners approved the financial report (General Fund Summary 1-31-2015) noting that the Gross Receipts Tax revenue is just 1.3% below budget.  City Treasurer, Michae lAnne Antonucci reported that the city’s cash balance was in better shape now than in the past several months because of recent payments from the state property tax fund.

They also approved the application of local government road fund grants for reconstruction work on Hospital Drive and Card Ave. City Manager Scott Berry told commissioners the money will be used to reconstruct the intersection on Hospital Drive and Card Avenue and repave Hospital Drive up to the old hospital.

In the city manager report Berry told commissioners that the meetings in Santa Fe went well and that the discussions with the state engineer about the Lake Maloya Dam repairs and rehabilitation will be expensive, probably in the millions of dollars.

Berry also noted that Dr. David Ivan who is a small town economic development specialist at the University of Michigan will be in town Monday March 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Convention Center to talk about small town economic development and ways for small towns to compete in today’s economy.  Berry is asking that everyone who can to attend the meeting.

The next regular city commission meeting will be Tuesday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m. and will be carried on KRTN 1490 AM.



This video is the Action Items from the city commission meeting




This is the video from the public hearing to appeal the special exception passed by the Planning and Zoning Commission


New Raton Police Chief John Valdez was sworn in by Magistrate Judge Warren Walton Thursday evening during the Raton City Commission meeting.

New Raton Police Chief John Garcia was sworn in by Magistrate Judge Warren Walton Thursday evening during the Raton City Commission meeting.


At odds is this piece of property on the east side of the country club addition and just west of the old ARF building.

At odds is this piece of property on the east side of the country club addition and just west of the old ARF building.


At odds is this piece of property on the east side of the country club addition and just west of the old ARF building.

At odds is this piece of property on the east side of the country club addition and just west of the old ARF building.


This notice was posted on the property that Bee Hive is wanting to build an assisted living facility on.

This notice was posted on the property that Bee Hive is wanting to build an assisted living facility on.



Raton’s Rachel Patty Takes Poet Competition

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media

Raton High can be proud of another state winner in Rachel Patty, a 17 year old junior who was among 10 finalist at the Poetry Out Loud New Mexico State Finals.

The competition was held in Santa Fe at the New Mexico Museum of Art’s St. Francis Auditorium. Patty who visited with KRTN this week found herself in the top three of the competition. She was runner-up last year and really wasn’t expecting to do much better. However when the final votes were tallied Patty was surprised to learn she had won the competition. Patty’s winning poem was one she chose by Weldon Kees’ called “The Speakers” Patty told Robert Nott of the Santa Fe New Mexican that the poem amused her in a kind of way. 

Patty was among 10 finalist from schools around New Mexico and as a result of her winning will represent New Mexico in the national competition in late April in Washington DC. She will compete for a $20,000 scholarship. By winning the competition Raton High will also benefit with money to buy poetry books. 

Listen to the interview and poem by Rachel Patty

In Loving Memory of Steve O. Belarde

Steve O. Belarde, 70, passed away peacefully on Feb. 19, 2015, surrounded by family.

Although his final moments were at Providence Alaska Medical Center, he had spent his last week at his home enjoying the company of his two children and his beloved four-legged companion, Bosco.

Steve was born on Aug. 30, 1944, in Trinidad, Colo. After graduating high school, Steve served his country in the National Guard for four years. In 1964, he married Gloria and together they had two children, Barbara and Brian. In 1970, Steve brought his family to Alaska, where many of his relatives had also decided to call home. He worked for John Wayne Construction until he founded his own business, Belarde Concrete Company. Always the Boss, Steve owned his company until his semi-retirement in 1999. He then spent his time doing contract jobs, but more importantly he always went above and beyond in helping family and friends out of the kindness of his heart.

Steve is reunited in heaven with his parents, Steve and Nora; wife, Frankie Jean; and brothers, Bernard, Mark, Lawrence and Thomas, and so many other loved ones.

Steve is survived by his daughter, Barbara and husband, Tim Grace; son, Brian Belarde and wife, Sandra and two grandchildren, Christian and Nicolas; siblings, Eva, Carol, Anna, Beverly, Kathy, Marty, Nora, Angie, Fred and David; plus extended family members too numerous to list here.

Funeral services will be at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, at Holy Cross Parish, 2627 Lore Road. After the service, there will be a military procession to JBER for a final ceremony with honors. A celebration of life will be 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, at the AMVETS Post 49, 9191 Old Seward Highway. The family invites all who knew and loved Steve to come and share remembrances.

His family and friends will miss his charming presence. He made friends wherever he went and always had time to lend a helping hand. Hardworking and strong, he cared deeply for his family and always had a smile and a laugh for all who knew him.

Arrangements by Cremation Society of Alaska, www.alaskacremation.com.

Funeral Home
Cremation Society of Alaska
7216 Lake Otis Parkway Anchorage, AK 99507

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/adn/obituary.aspx?n=steve-o-belarde&pid=174244785#sthash.I6TREVPT.dpuf



By Pat Veltri 

(In Memory of Wally and Utha Clark)


For several days in the early part of 1953, rumors abounded in Raton as townspeople pondered why officials from ARF Products Inc., a Chicago based electronics firm, were making nightly visits to Raton’s mountaintops.  At a Raton Chamber of Commerce meeting on February 2, 1953, Arthur Maciszewski, President of ARF, revealed that his company was investigating the possibility of bringing television to Raton. He confirmed rumors that his company was conducting tests on several elevated points in the area to determine the ideal spot to position an antenna for adequate television signal. Testing was limited to afternoon and night because that’s when television broadcasts from the Colorado Springs area were transmitted.


At the same meeting, according to an article in The Raton Daily Range, Maciszewski also disclosed to the chamber members, “We have definitely made up our minds to come into Raton and establish an electronics laboratory plant here.”


ARF’s plan called for the relay of television signals picked up from CheyenneMountain near Colorado Springs, Colorado, through receiving equipment north of Raton.  From the receiving station the signals would be brought into town over coaxial cable.


Selecting the antenna tower site for Raton Community TV to pick up signals on top of Bartlett Mesa from Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Selecting the antenna tower site for Raton Community TV to pick up signals on top of Bartlett Mesa from Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Tests continued to be underway through March of 1953.  The tests were expedited with the loan of Raton’s Christmas tree pole.  The Christmas tree pole served as a portable tower, with about 50 feet of aluminum tower attached.  A story in The Denver Post, quoted Maciszewski, “In one afternoon the tower was moved to nine different locations without success.  Finally, the TV aerial was tied to a meteorological weather balloon and raised about 50 feet in the air.  Excellent reception was received until the balloon reached 120 feet and the signals ceased.”


Convinced that TV reception was possible because of the tests conducted with the “Christmas tree tower”, ARF officials met with the Raton City Council to request a franchise. Two business men, Joe DiLisio and Paul Arthur, submitted the request for consideration, and urged the council members to approve a franchise arrangement for the eastern firm.  After quite a bit of spirited discussion, the city council tabled the decision for 60 days, giving ARF an opportunity to present a written franchise to the council for assessment.  Eventually the company was granted a twenty-five year franchise for television in the Raton area.


On August 16, 1953 about 50 of Raton’s citizens gathered at the Hotel Yucca for the debut of television in Raton.  Maciszewski presided over the first showing. Two hours of programs were screened for the viewing pleasure of those attending. The Range reported, “Leading citizens of the community present at the showing termed the accomplishments of the ARF firm here as ‘real progress’ for Raton.”


The production of television sets was expected to get underway by October of 1953. According to The Range, Maciszewski said that the largest dollar item of a TV set, the cabinet, would be built by the Raton Development and Manufacturing Company, and “that the Raton-made TV sets will be built by citizens of your own city”.


Wally Clark at ARF Products, Inc.

Wally Clark at ARF Products, Inc.

Raton was the second city in the United States to have cable television.  In a 2003 interview, Wally Clark, a long time employee of ARF, said, “The first town was back in Pennsylvania* someplace but Raton was the second town in the United States to have cable television and the reason for that was we were building a plant here and we designed our own cable television system.”


Clark noted that television was “brand new” to the citizens of Raton, unless they had seen it while visiting out of town, and they were “excited about it”. After the initial showing, Maciszewski announced that a television set would be in operation in the reception room of the Hotel Yucca every night from 7:00 to 8:30 for those Ratonians who had not seen television and would like to get an idea of what programs would be offered in the near future.


Clark came to Raton specifically to install the cable television system, and spent his first two years with the company in Raton doing just that.  He began working for ARF Products in 1950, soon after graduation from DeVry Institute.  At that time ARF was based in the Chicago area, which included two manufacturing plants in Melrose Place and Cicero, and a research and development plant in River Forest.


In 1952 Clark, his wife Utha, and their daughter Judy moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he took a job working on aircraft radios at Sky Harbor Airport.  About six months passed and Clark received a letter from Maciszewski asking him if he would like to work at a new plant that ARF was building in Raton.  After visiting the town in March of 1953, the Clarks decided they would like to live in Raton.  Three months later they were settled in a former coal camp house on North Third Street.  Clark said, “The plant wasn’t completed until September so from June to September our front yard was the place that all of the stuff coming in for the TV cable system was delivered to, so we were ARF for the first three or four months of ARF’s staying in Raton.  Utha was the receiving clerk, the telephone operator and everything in between.”


Clark estimated that probably around 1956 or 1957 ARF Products was completely relocated in Raton and Boulder, Colorado.  Soon after building the new ARF manufacturing plant in Raton, a research and development plant was built in Boulder near the University of Colorado.  


In a roundabout way the Philmont Scout Ranch, near Cimarron, NM, played a small part in bringing ARF to Raton. Maciszewski had been a Boy Scout in his native Poland and he became a leader for his son’s Chicago area Explorer troop in the early 1950s.  A 1952 trip to Philmont with his son coincidentally was also his first exploratory trip out west looking for a place to either expand or relocate his business. On his way to Cimarron he stopped in Raton.  Even though his company was flourishing in Chicago, Maciszewski and his associates were on the lookout for fresh prospects.  An excerpt from a speech given by Maciszewski at a 1956 New Mexico Manufacturers meeting expressed his ideas, “We came here seeking new opportunities. It was the beauty of surroundings, congenial western hospitality and friendship, and the thrill of conquering the frontier in a modern way that led us to this decision. We discovered that our real opportunity was to follow the tradition of the pioneers, who developed vast western lands and made them fruitful for future generations.”  While in Raton Maciszewski visited with local business leaders and explored possible property sites. Upon his return to Chicago he reported on characteristics of various locations to the other members of his company team.


In the early 1950s Raton was in need of new industries to reinforce its economy, due in part to reduced operations at the Koehler mines. Joe DiLisio, Sr., a prominent citizen of Raton, owned a bank, a department store, a hotel, and some land that would make a perfect site for Maciszewski’s business. Maciszewski and DiLisio got together and DiLisio agreed to donate ten acres of land if Maciszewski would build a plant in Raton.  In a 1970 interview for the Denver Post’s Empire Magazine, DiLisio recalled, “As soon as I met Arthur, I knew he was not one of those fly-by-nights.  I told him that the land wasn’t for sale, but if he would move in and open a plant that provided at least 20 jobs, I’d give him 10 acres for a dollar. I’m very pleased with the results of my offer. ARF was the salvation of this town.”


The congratulatory telegram from Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States, to Arthur Maciszewski for the opening of his electronics plant, ARF Products, Inc., in Raton.

The congratulatory telegram from Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States, to Arthur Maciszewski for the opening of his electronics plant, ARF Products, Inc., in Raton.

The Range stated that the formal opening of the new ARF Products, Inc. plant, built by contractor Bill Bacon, was held on September 9, 1953.  Company president, Arthur Maciszewski, who officiated at the dedication, termed the opening a “community project made possible through cooperation”.  Guest speakers at the affair were Sol Petrillo, director of engineering for the Signal Corps, and Senator Clinton P. Anderson (D-New Mexico).  Maciszewski had extended a personal invitation to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, but the president was unable to attend.  However, Eisenhower sent a telegram of congratulations to Maciszewski.


Dave Joseph was the manager of the new plant, and Frank Gabriele was the first local employee to be hired.  At the time of the plant opening three local women, Lois Groves, Gertrude Kemp, and Lorraine Schuster, were already in training to learn how to assemble television sets for use in Raton.                                                                                                


With the help of many people in Raton and Colfax County, ARF designed a TV system for Raton. The Raton Community Television System began on top of a 100 foot tower located nine miles north of Raton, on Bartlett Mesa, just a few hundred yards south of the Colorado border.  Several antennas were pointed at Cheyenne Mountain, 120 miles north and tuned to Channel 11, where KKTV of Colorado Springs had its transmitting antenna of 9300 feet.  Raton’s antenna sat at an elevation of 8700 feet. The location was selected so that there were no obstacles, such as irregular terrain, between the antennas. The signal received from the Colorado Springs station was amplified by a custom built master receiver and amplifier. The amplified signal was then relayed by ten miles of coaxial cable to a sub-master station in Raton, and from there to the homes of customers.


The television viewer could purchase installation and connection to the antenna and coaxial transmission for $181.50, including federal and state taxes.  Other expenses connected to the service were paid for by a monthly service charge of $4.00 per TV connection.  Three television models were available – The Bartlett, La Mesa, and Pikes Peakwith prices ranging from $205 to $260 plus tax. Richard DiMarzio and the Raton Development and Manufacturing Company fabricated the cabinets for the television sets.


With the assistance of the Raton Chamber of Commerce, ARF had conducted a survey in July, 1953, via a coupon in The Range, and determined that the estimated eventual demand for television in Raton was 1000 sets.  At that rate the company would be reimbursed for expenses by the time the 1000 sets were connected.  Clark said that the company “came pretty close to meeting that goal” and probably sold about 800 sets.


By the end of 1953 ten televisions had been installed in homes in Raton, with seven more on order. Clark said he did not have one of the first televisions because “we weren’t making enough to supply the demand”.


Employees of ARF Products, Inc. , circa 1955, with early televisions, the Ratonia and the Pikes Peak Left to right, front row:  John Perkovich, Bill Groves, Frank Gabriele, John Gabriele, Ralph McCreight Left to right, second row:  Waldo Jarmin, John Owerko, Charles Gasperetti, Howard Jarmin, Basil Herndon, Wally Clark, Dave Joseph (Plant Manager), Cheto Calderon, Lois Grove, Gilbert SanRoman, Lorraine Schuster, Gertrude Kemp

Employees of ARF Products, Inc. , circa 1955, with early televisions, the Ratonia and the Pikes Peak
Left to right, front row: John Perkovich, Bill Groves, Frank Gabriele, John Gabriele, Ralph McCreight
Left to right, second row: Waldo Jarmin, John Owerko, Charles Gasperetti, Howard Jarmin, Basil Herndon, Wally Clark, Dave Joseph (Plant Manager), Cheto Calderon, Lois Grove, Gilbert SanRoman, Lorraine Schuster, Gertrude Kemp

In December, 1954, ARF Products Inc. announced a new model television set for Raton adapted for connection to the Raton Community Television system. A full-page promotional ad in The Range compared ARF’s engineers with Raton’s citizens saying both groups possessed “the same spirit of continuous striving for improvement”. In response to this characteristic of Ratonians and themselves, ARF’s engineers designed the Ratonia, a television set “custom engineered and styled for Raton, manufactured in Raton, and named for Raton”.


After many years of management of the thriving cable TV system, company officials wanted to expand the plant’s research and manufacturing operations, so the television franchise was sold to a private individual, Jack McConathy, of Aztec, NM. ARF president Maciszewski announced the sale in The Range on June 27, 1962.  ARF pioneered television in the area and saw the system grow from a one-channel operation to a multi-channel system that was bringing service to the community for three national television networks and two FM stations.


The sale of the television cable system allowed ARF to concentrate its efforts on designing and building a wide variety of military and consumer products, ranging from radio systems, surveillance equipment, alarm systems, missile scoring equipment, microwave radio equipment, military parts, mining communications systems and more.  Clark mentioned that the most notable government project was the OA 1387 land based Army Transmitter/Receiver.  Other specific projects of interest were the design of the first garage door opener for the Genie Company, the development of the ARF 2001 Citizens Band Radio (which today brings a premium price on E-bay), the glide slope receiver, the ultraviolet water purifier, and the electrolytic respirometer.  


According to Clark, the prime years of production for ARF in Raton spanned more than a decade, from the mid 1950s through the 1960s.  He said, “We just started hiring in 1953 and then we built two wings on the plant out there so the prime years were probably from 1956 to 1968 when we hired the most people.”


Clark noted that ARF’s peak payroll was reached in the mid 1960s.  He said, “We leased the Mount Capulin plant in the mid 1960s and we had 80 people working over there.  We had two shifts going in the Gardiner plant and our total employment at that time was 250 people.  That was the maximum that we had on the payroll at one time, was 250.”


Clark commented, “There is a place in Raton’s history for ARF because we were one of the prime employers.”  About his job, he said, “I can honestly say that I never got up in the morning and dreaded to go to work in all my years that I worked, and I spent all my working life for ARF, except for about four or five months.”  Clark commended Maciszewski, “Looking at Arthur Maciszewski as a person, he felt that his employees were his family.  He really tried to treat them as his family.”  When the plant closed on December 12, 1991 Clark, his wife Utha, and Jim Veltri were the last employees to leave.

ARF Facility on Gardiner Road, circa 1955, soon after completion of the third addition

ARF Facility on Gardiner Road, circa 1955, soon after completion of the third addition



 *The first cable television system in the United States was developed by John Walson in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania in 1947.


Photos are courtesy of Jim Veltri.


In Loving Memory of Ruth Maria Chavez

Ruth M. Chavez, age 99, died Tuesday, February 24, 2015 in Amarillo, Texas. 

Rosary will be recited at 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, March 1st by Deacon P. Louis Montoya and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Monday, March 2nd at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Clayton with Fr. Joel Bugas as Celebrant. Burial will follow in the Clayton Memorial Cemetery in Clayton by Hass Funeral Directors of Clayton. 

Ruth Maria (Rael) Chavez was born on November 22, 1915 in Emery Gap, New Mexico to Teofilo Rael and Josefita (Tafoya) Rael. A lifelong resident of Union County, Ruth was raised in the Emery Gap and Folsom communities. Ruth married Elevinio Chavez on October 4, 1941 in Clayton, New Mexico and he preceded her in death on April 16, 1994. After they were married, Elevinio went off to serve in the US Army during WWII. After he returned, they started their family in the Folsom and Des Moines area. Ruth was a devout Catholic, she was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary in Clayton and she loved to travel. In addition to her parents and husband, Ruth was preceded in death by a son; Don Andres “Andy” Chavez on December 4, 1992, a grandson; David Brian Chavez on September 22, 2011, 6 brothers; Rosendo, Ben, Esteven, Rafael, Alberto and Jesus and 3 sisters; Utimia, Mercedes and Marina. 


3 SONS: Elevinio Albert Chavez and his wife Lucy of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Roy James Chavez and his wife Priscilla of Clayton, New Mexico and Billy Raymond Chavez and his wife Olivia of Guymon, Oklahoma. 

1 DAUGHTER-IN-LAW: Josephine “JoJo” Talley of Clayton, New Mexico. 

10 Grandchildren, 26 Great-Grandchildren, 6 Great-Great-Grandchildren 

1 BROTHER-IN-LAW: John Chavez of Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

And many very close lady friends in the community.

In Loving Memory of Richard Anthony “Rick” Flores

Richard Anthony “Rick” Flores died peacefully in Pueblo, Colorado on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at the age of 56.
Rick is survived by his  loving companion , Juanita Romero, who  lovingly  cared for  him for the past 13 years, Mother, Dorothy Flores (Gonzales); children, Adrian A. Flores (Laura) and Leslie Flores; siblings, Valerie Lujan (James),  Joseph A. Flores (Monica), Grandchildren, Isabella, Analisa, Mia, and Francisco.Numerous Nephews and Nieces other relatives and friends also survive.
Rick is preceded in death by his father, Joseph Anthony Flores.
Rick was born on October 31, 1958 in Denver, Colorado to Joe and Dorothy Flores. He graduated from Trinidad High School in 1976.  He proudly served his country in the US Navy. He attended TSJC and earned a degree in Electronics.  Rick worked for BNSF as a brakeman/conductor for 10 years before moving on to his career in electronics with Unisys, McDonnel Douglas, and other high tech endeavors.
Rick was an accomplished guitar player and often made us smile with a few strokes of the guitar pick. He was a dedicated individual who loved music, yard-work, watching football,and a passionate Christian.
Funeral Services will be  Friday, February 27th at  11AM at.Comi Funeral HomePrivate inurnment to be held at a later date.
Condolences can be sent to the home address of Juanita Romero.
Arrangements made under the direction of the Comi Funeral Home

In Loving Memory of Tom Vigil

Tom Vigil, age 86 of Springer, NM a devote Catholic went to be with our Lord on February 19, 2015. He was born November 5, 1928 in Wagon Mound, NM, to J.B. and Carlota Vigil. He married Eloisa Sedillo on November 8, 1952, in Wagon Mound, NM. From this union 3 daughters were born.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Eloisa of 63 years, 3 daughters, 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He was a loving and devoted father of: Pam (Ronald) Seidel, Dorine (David) Gutierrez and Anita Vigil. He was a very proud grandfather of 10 grandchildren: Ronnie and Amy Seidel, Matthew Seidel, Diana and Javier Escalante, Leona and Shane Haver, Keith and Veronica Gutierrez and Amanda Gutierrez; and 8 great-grandchildren, Veronica, Nikolas, Kane, Ellyanna, Brinley, Abel, Jeramiah, and Kyleigh.

He is also survived by brother Johnny (Rosa), sisters Nancy (Joe) and Amalia. Brothers and sisters-in-law Alvin and Mary Sedillo, Elsio and Judy Sedillo, Isidro and Pat Sedillo, Gilbert and Arcelia Lopez, Eva Garcia, Mary Vigil and numerous nephews, nieces and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents J.B. and Carlota Vigil, brothers Felipe, Gilbert, Guillermo, Domingo and sister Colastica.

Tom graduated from Wagon Mound High School in 1946. Upon graduation, Tom enlisted into the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the USS Yancey during the Korean War. Upon his return, Tom joined the American Legion and was a very active member in the local chapter. After serving his country he attended a trade school in Albuquerque NM, then returned to northern NM with Eloisa, where they lived and began their family. He also had a love for cars and became an auto body man and upholster. In time, Tom and Eloisa built their own body shop formerly known as Tom’s Trim & Repair. He was an avid fisherman, hunter, wood craftsman and carpenter who designed and built the altar/podium currently in use at St. Joseph’s Chapel.
Tom was a member of the Springer Fire Department for 37 years. He worked his way up the ranks and became the Fire Chief for 33 years until he retired. Through his love of being a fireman he trained and guided many younger generations. His love of family, community and the outdoors kept him very active throughout his senior years.

Visitation will be Monday, February 23, 2015 from 4PM-6PM at Yaksich-Long Funeral Home in Raton, NM. 

Rosary will be Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 10AM at St. Joseph’s Church in Springer, NM, with the funeral mass following. Interment will follow at the Springer Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Ronnie Seidel, Matt Seidel, Keith Gutierrez, Shane Haver, Anastacio Balderas and Eddie Lopez. 

Honorary Pallbearers are Gilbert T. Lopez, Alvin Sedillo, Elsio Sedillo, Con Gutierrez, Dan Vigil, Sam Roy and Laudente Quintana.

Arrangements and celebration of love are under the direction of Yaksich-Long Funeral Home.

**On behalf of Tom Vigil’s family we would like to thank our family, friends and members of the community for your overwhelming  generosity of flowers, food, cards, money, thoughts and prayers.  Your caring compassion and kindness is greatly appreciated.
Special thanks to Miners Colfax Medical Center doctors, nurses and staff for their compassionate care which was given to my husband/father.

We would also like to thank Yaksich-Long Funeral Home.

Also, a special thanks to Springer Fire Department, Philmont Fire Department, Springer Ambulance, American Legion (local chapter), VFW from Raton and Honor Guard from Santa Fe.


In Loving Memory of Sentina “LaBelle” Walton

Sentina “LaBelle” Walton of Raton, NM passed away February 14, 2015 at Miners Colfax Medical Center where she lost a short battle with cancer.

LaBelle was born December 13, 1922 in Dawson, NM to Joseph and Mary Pacetti who came from Italy to America in 1909 and 1910. LaBelle married Millard Walton who preceded her in death in 1999. She is survived by sisters, Jennie Pasquale, Carmela Buliach, and Lucy Richards. Preceding her in death were two brothers, Steiner Pacetti, Merico (Boach) Pacetti and one sister, Theresa Beard. LaBelle and Millard shared seven children, Richard Beard, Linda Bogel, James Beard, Lynette Wesselhoft, all of whom are deceased; Mary Jo Armijo, Shirley Berry and Morgan Walton survive her. LeBelle had 11 grandchildren and multiple great and great great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, as well as many friends and three special friends, Peps Biundo, Kathy Beard, and Linda Mapes Blasingame. LaBelle was known by many of her grandchildren’s friends as Nonna.

LaBelle and Millard owned the Walton Ranch where Sugarite Ski area and The Lodge were located. Upon learning of LaBelle’s Death, many people reflected on memories they had of skiing, dancing and eating a fine steak at the ski area. LaBelle was a very gracious host and everyone enjoyed a good time in her presence no matter where you were if she was there you had a good time.

LaBelle spent her life working hard, enjoying her family and friends and tried not to dwell on the sorrow she had through the years. There were few people in Colfax County who did not know LaBelle and everyone will miss her jokes, laughter and companionship.

LaBelle’s wishes were to be cremated. A Celebration of Life will be held on March 7, 2015 at 10:00am in the Chapel of the Alderette Pomeroy Funeral Home. In Lieu of flowers please donate to LaBelle’s end of life expenses or a charity of your choice.

In Loving Memory of Gregoria Rodriguez De Saenz

Gregoria Rodriguez De Saenz, age 90, passed away peacefully at home on February 21, 2015.

She was preceded in death by husband Jesus Saenz, 4 daughters and 1 son.

Left to cherish her memory are her children Frank (Caroline) Rodriguez, Raton, NM, Monico Saenz (Dalia), Mexico,  Claudio (Bernadette) Saenz, Raton, NM, Leonor Saenz, Mexico, Guadalupe Rodriguez, Mexico, Alma Saenz (Rosario Lopez), Walsenburg, CO, Teresa (Lee) Torres. Trinidad, CO, Margarito Saenz, Mexico,, numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Visitation will be Thursday from 2PM-7PM at the Comi Chapel.

Rosary will be recited Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 7PM at the Comi Chapel.

Funeral will be Friday, February 27, 2015 at 1:30PM at Holy Trinity Church.

Interment with Rite of Committal will follow at the Trinidad Catholic Cemetery.

Honorary pallbearers are Claudio Saenz, Carlos Saenz, Andre Saenz and Rene Saenz.

Active pallbearers are Wyatt Torres Eric Saenz, Cecilio Rodriguez, John Saenz, Lorenzo Jimenez and Michael Saenz.

Arrangements made under the direction of the Comi Funeral Home.

In Loving Memory of Fern Helen Garner

Fern Helen Garner, 101, of Trinidad Colorado went to be with her heavenly father on the beautiful morning of February 20, 2015. She was born on May 27, 1913 in Trinidad CO to William and Amanda Stubblefield.   

Our beautiful Angel lived her 101 years in Trinidad.  She was proud to tell everyone she was from Trinidad and would always say “it is a great place to live.” Fern loved to be out working in her rose garden and watch the humming birds.  She enjoyed singing, dancing, playing dominos but most of all she loved to sit and visit with her family and friends. Anytime anyone would go to visit she would be waiting with a huge smile and give the biggest hug to invite you in.  

Preceding her in death are her parents, her first husband Hugh Nall, her second husband Abe Garner, her beloved sister Laura, her beloved brothers Bill, Donald, and Doug, and her grandson Tommy Darnell.  

Fern is survived by her son Gary R Nall and daughter-in-law Mona Nall.  Grandson, Gary A (Tabitha) Nall, Granddaughters, Suzie Stuber, and Kim Fink.  Great-grandchildren,  Vinny Nall, Tori (Mark) DeCaria, Mona Stuber, Bobby Stuber, Skip Savells, and Donovan McGuire. Also survivng are  many nieces and nephews who loved her dearly.  

Visitation will be Sunday from 2PM-6PM at the Comi Chapel. 

Funeral Services will be Monday, March 2, 2015 at 10AM at United Presbyterian Church with Pastor  

Bonnie Canizaro officiating. 

Interment will  follow at the Trinidad Masonic Cemetery. 

Arrangements made under the direction of the Comi Funeral Home.