Obituary of Francis C. Gonzales
Francis C. Gonzales was born on September 5, 1926, and passed away peacefully in his bed on March 29, 2023, with his wife Lydia at his side at their home in Las Vegas, NM. He was 96 years old.
Francis was born in Roy, New Mexico, to Jose Rogerio Gonzales and Josefita Gonzales. He lived on the family ranch in Mills, NM, and graduated from Roy High School. He then left to attend college at the University of New Mexico before signing up with the US Army during the Korean War. After being honorably discharged from the Army, he began his teaching career at Gallegos School in Harding County. After graduating, he taught at El Rito Normal School in El Rito, NM, moving on to teach at his alma mater, Roy High School. He then began teaching at the New Mexico Boys School in Springer, NM; during this time, he received a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from New Mexico Highlands University. He later became a counselor at West Las Vegas High School and served as the special education director at Montezuma Street School in Las Vegas, NM. He completed his career as a special education teacher with the Las Vegas City Schools District. He was a devout Catholic and a member of the Immaculate Conception Parish. He participated in numerous boards and programs throughout the community, including Los Hermanos Cruzados, Holy Name Society, the American Legion, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and the Senior Citizens Advisory Council. He loved horses (particularly Palominos) and horseback riding, hunting for deer at the family ranches in Ocate and Mills, NM, and spending time with his family. He was an avid reader, always keeping abreast of the local, regional, and national news until he lost his vision in 2014 due to Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Lydia M. Gonzales of Las Vegas, NM; his two sons, Francis Dominic Gonzales (Eileen) of Ocate, NM, and Joseph Roger Gregory Gonzales of Las Cruces, NM; daughter Olivia Anne Nevarez (Carlos) of Las Vegas, NM; four grandchildren, Diana Gonzales, Jonathan Gonzales, Roger Gonzales (Melissa) of St. Petersburg, FL, and godson and youngest grandchild Amador Gonzales of Grants, NM; brother Lawrence Gilbert Gonzales of Mills, NM, sister Bertha Baca (Sacramento), Sabinoso, NM, brother Eloy Gonzales of Raton, NM, and sister Uersula Arlene Gonzales of Borger, TX; as well as numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and godchildren.
Francis was preceded in death by his parents, Rogerio and Josefita Gonzales, older brother Pedrorito (who died in infancy), sister Mary Evelyn DiNicola, his father and mother-in-law Jose Domingo Montoya and Fabiola Sanchez Montoya, brother-in-law Albert, sister-in-law Barbara Gonzales, nephews Henry Joseph Baca and Albert Patrick Gonzales, and step-grandson Carlos Nevarez III.
Please join us in celebrating his life with a Rosary Mass on Sunday, April 23 at 6:00 PM and a Funeral Mass on Monday, April 24 at 9:00 AM at Immaculate Conception Parish in Las Vegas, NM. Per Francis’ request, cremation has been carried out as part of his final wishes. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Holy Family Church in Roy, NM, or the Macular Degeneration Association.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Francis Gonzales, please visit Tribute Store