Sam E. Arguello, age 88, died Thursday, January 8, 2015 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
Rosary was recited at 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, January 11, 2015 by Joey Montoya, and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Monday, January 12, 2015 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.
Sam E. Arguello was born on November 11, 1926 in Atencio, New Mexico to Samuel Arguello and Adella Archuleta. He was raised by his mother and step-father Alex Vallejos. Sam quit school in the 10th grade and joined the United States Marine Corps where he served during WWII in the South Pacific. When he returned to Clayton he went back to high school and graduated with honors. Sam married Mary (Sintas) Arguello on October 19, 1951 in Union County, New Mexico and she preceded him in death on April 14, 2002. He worked for Carl Eklund and worked as a cowboy and a carpenter, he managed the Star Lumber Company for many years and owned the Clayton Package Store. In addition to his parents and wife, Sam was preceded in death by a son; David T. Arguello on July 6, 1974 and by his sister Duvy Vallejos and her husband Mike.
1 DAUGHTER: Olivia C. Arguello of Amarillo, Texas.
1 SON: Paul Richard Arguello of Clayton, New Mexico.
3 GRANDCHILDREN: Melody K. Chambers and her husband Cody and Erin Arguello all of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Alex C. Arguello of Amarillo, Texas.
1 Cousin who was raised by Sam’s parents and considered a brother: Joe Archuleta and his wife Cheryl and their family.
Sam E. Arguello (know as Ernest or Ernie to older family members) was a twelfth Generation New Mexican whose great grandfather 12 times removed, Hernan Martin Serrano (1556-1626), was a Spanish Conquistador. In 1598, Martin was part of the Juan de Onate’ expedition in which Onate’ claimed everything north of del Paso de Norte’ (now know as El Paso Texas) for the Kingdom of Spain. Sam’s decedents were part of the Spanish Settlers involved in the pueblo revolt of 1680 in Santa Fe, where these original surviving settlers fled the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe to del Paso de Norte’ until the re-conquest of Nuevo Mexico, where these families returned to the land they knew and loved under the leadership of Juan de Vargas. Included in this re-conquest was Sam’s great grandfather 9 times removed, Joaquin de Arguello.
Joaquin de Arguello, a Spanish soldier, was a resident of city of Zacatecas in the Spanish Territory located in Nueva Espana (New Spain), known today as Mexico. Joaquin de Arguello was married to Juana Gutierrez and during the period of estimated 1692-1697 when de Vargas began the re-conquest of the Kingdom of New Mexico for Spain, Juana Gutierrez de Arguello and her 2 children, is believed to have traveled with the colonies from Zacatecas to Santa Fe. There is no record indicating that Joaquin de Arguello traveled to Santa Fe, there is a possibility that he was not alive before his family entered New Mexico or if he passed away during the long trip from Zacatecas into New Mexico. The trip from Zacatecas to Santa Fe normally takes three to four months to travel depending on weather and hostile Native Americans. Juana Gutierrez Arguello and her children arrived in Santa Fe where they began their new lives in this new land called Nueva Mexico. Juaquin and Juana only had one son, Juan de Arguello. born Abt. 1677 in Zacatecas, Nueva Espana, and died 19 Dec 1789 in Trampas, New Mexico.
On May 26, 1715 Juan de Arguello was a Spanish soldier stationed in Santa Fe and married Juana Gregoria Brito the daughter of Juan de Leon Brito, a descendent of the original colonists, and Maria de los Reyes Granillo. The Brito family was Tlaxcalan Indians from Mexico. The Brito family was at that time well known in the trade of building churches in Mexico and was instrumental in building the San Miguel church in the Analco, section of Santa Fe, (a tlaxcalan word for other side of the river) in the area where the State Capitol building is now located. The Brito family resided, before and after the re-conquest, in what is often considered the oldest house in America, located across the alley from The San Miguel church.
The family of Juan de Arguello and eleven other families petitioned the Governor of Santa Fe to issue them a land grant outside of Santa Fe. On July 15, 1751. Governor Tomas Velez Cachupin issued a land grant called the Santo Thomas Apostol del Rio de las Trampas land grant, to these families. In 1760 the twelve families petitioned for a license to build their own church and on June 15, 1760 bishop Don Pedro Tamaron issued a license to the twelve families to build the church. The twelve families immediately began the building of the church. The church was completed and was named the chapel of San Jose de Gracia which to this day is the oldest original Spanish church in New Mexico. Juan De Arguello’s remains are buried underneath the altar at that church. Las Trampas is located on the old road to Taos, south of Penasco.
Sam’s Grandparents, Jose Nicanor Arguello and Francesquita Dominguez Arguello, were part of the easterly migration from central New Mexico, to the what was then no longer hostile Native American lands of north eastern New Mexico territory in the late 1800’s, and settled in the Atencio community in northern Union County. Nicanor was a 6th generation descendant of Juan de Arguello.
Sam was at a point in his disease when this genealogy was discovered on the internet, and never had the capacity to comprehend the impact his ancestors had on the building of this country. This pioneering spirit was instilled in him by his Grandparents, parents and step father Alex Vallejos, and included mentor, Carl Eklund, who owned the then great JE ranch, Sam told stories of how Mr. Eklund told him how to shoot a rabbit without damaging the meat, by telling him to shoot that rabbit right in the eye. This was important, as during the depression, as times were tough, and his mother could scarcely afford to give him one bullet a day, If he shot something they could eat, they would have meat on the table that day. Sam worked on the JE ranch for a great part of his early life, and started earning money at the age of 7 herding sheep. Soon he was overseeing men 2 or 3 times his age on the working ranch.
Sam had been moved many times when younger with his mother during the depression, and changed schools so often the schools he attended often did not know what grade to put him in. His kids teased him, that the hardest 3 years of his life was the 3rd grade. Sam was patriotic, and having looked up to a local Atencio native and Marine Manuel Martinez, who had been honored as a hero in the battle of Guadalcanal. Sam quit school when he turned 18 and still in the 10th grade, to join the United States Marine Corp. While in training Sam caught the attention of Colonel Chester “Chesty” Puller who pulled him aside and told him that he needed a to be a scout, A high ranking NCO knew this and told Sam, “come work in the kitchen, the scouts don’t live very long in combat, don’t listen to Chesty.” Sam told the story over and over in his life, how he had to clean and quarter so many chickens; he would never eat the meat again. He also would not hunt, fish or chop wood, as he felt if he could buy the food and the heat, he would never take these depression era tasks on again. Sam was proud to have served his country as a United States Marine, and was always happy to share his stories of his travels to Hawaii, China, and the places he visited in the South Pacific. While waiting in Hawaii to be shipped to battles unknown, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan, thus he never made it to the invasion of Japan as it was planned. It was estimated that the majority of the invasion forces would have been wiped out when they arrived. After the war, he was approached by Superintendant Raymond Huff to come back to Clayton High School and get his High school diploma; he did and graduated with honors.
Sam worked very hard to provide for his wife and children and often took on side jobs to supplement his income. One of those jobs was digging graves by hand at night after he did his regular job. Sam built and remodeled many fine houses in the Union County area. With his new family Sam and Mary created a modest and comfortable life on lots his father left him, and proceeded to build a home, of which he used discarded wood and supplies, building the house one room at a time paying cash as he went and using only hand tools. Sam’s involvement in the church and his God given talents are prevalent throughout the church, his woodworking skills can still be seen on the altar. Sam was involved in many social and civic organizations including, but not limited to, The American Legion, VFW, and was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus David T. Arguello council 6598. Sam was one of the two original lay ministers at St. Francis Xavier Catholic church, He also served on the Union County hospital board, and as a City councilman.
Sam wrote a book of his memoirs, of which gives much history of his life growing up in Union County. Sam was honored to be part of the Ken Burns documentary “the Dust Bowl” in 2012. A part of the Dust Bowl interview was just recently used in the movie “Interstellar”. Sam sold his package store in 1982 to retire and do what he loved best, creating works of art out of wood.
He was a worker, a proud man and he proudly posted, in his house, this credo written in 1776 by Thomas Paine: I do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon … if I can. I seek opportunity … not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, Humbled and dulled by having the State look after me. I want to take the calculated risk, to dream and to build. To fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole; I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; The thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of Utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout, I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say: This, with God’s help, I have done. All this is what it means to be an Entrepreneur.
JOHN:14 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house there are many places to live in; otherwise I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you to myself, so that you may be with me where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.
We know Jesus was reared as a carpenter’s son we can only envision that the carpenter’s helper, Sam, has arrived to help prepare and build a place for us in the kingdom of heaven.