Tony  Sanchez

Obituary of Tony Vallejos Sanchez



Uncle Tony, as he was known to many, passed away July 6, 2023 at his home in Rio Rancho, New Mexico with his husband Bill at his side.  Tony’s greatest joys in life were the people who surrounded him.  He developed wonderful, lifelong relationships with grade school friends, employees, bosses, best friends, neighbors, and his husband’s family, regardless of who they were, where they came from, or their race, religion or politics.  Like his father and mother, he was kind and gentle to others and to animals, especially to Nicky the cat and Suzie the dog.  He even respected the life of insects, as spiders and flies in the house were safely deposited outdoors.  Tony’s green thumb was legendary as he had a knack for lush, green houseplants.  He loved to travel, riding shotgun with Bill to parts unknown, often with Suzie perched on the armrest between them.  And he loved to eat; his favorites were huevos rancheros, fried flounder and NC-style pork barbeque.  

Born July 3, 1941 to Francisco Sanchez and Porfiria Vallejos Sanchez, Tony was the fifth child of six.  He spent his childhood in Hot Springs, NM, later known as Truth or Consequences.  After joining the Navy at age 20, he traveled the world for 11 years, enduring duty on several ships and in San Diego, Hawaii, and Vietnam.  He and Bill lived in Virginia and Maryland before moving to New Mexico in 1994.  His last employment before retirement was with the Bernalillo County Detention Center, a job he loved because he loved his co-workers.

In 1987, Tony survived three years of treatment for leukemia; in 2021, he underwent two years of difficult cancer treatment associated with asbestos exposure.  He is survived by his husband, William “Bill” Duncan.  Predeceasing Tony are his oldest sister, Sofia Sanchez Bernal of Las Cruces, his brother Eusebio of Bellflower, CA, and his younger brother Alex of Albuquerque, and their spouses.   He is survived by two sisters, Sally Carter of Albuquerque and Gladys Sanchez MacRobert of Truth or Consequences.  He is also survived by his in-laws Glenna and Josh Tunnell of Elizabeth City, NC, and Nelson Duncan and his husband Joseph of Oakland Park, Fl. There is a huge extended family on both sides with nieces, nephews, greats, grands, cousins, co-workers, friends and neighbors, all whom Tony loved and enjoyed and appreciated.

A celebration of Tony’s life, which includes his Golden Anniversary with Bill, will be held at 11:00 am Tuesday, July 25, 2023.  Please contact Bill if you/d like to attend.   In separate private ceremonies, Tony’s cremated remains will be interred at the Santa Fe National Cemetery as is befitting a proud U.S. Navy Veteran who served in Vietnam; at his parent’s gravesite in Truth or Consequences; and at the Duncan family gravesite in Elizabeth City, NC.  Donations may be made to causes Tony supported including the Human Rights Campaign; Americans United for the Separation of Church and State; and the American Civil Liberties Union. 

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Tony
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Riverside Funeral Home of Albuquerque
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