Obituaries

Obituary notices.

bonniemaxwellBonnie May Maxwell, 83, of Silver City passed away December 2, 2021 in Las Cruces, NM at Mesilla Valley Hospice.

A visitation will be held from 4 to 6 pm on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at Baca’s Funeral Chapels in Silver City. The Funeral Service will be at 2 pm on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 3755 N. Swan Street. Dedication of the Grave and interment will be at 11 am on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at the Alpine Cemetery in Alpine, Arizona where she will be laid to rest next to her husband, John. Serving as pallbearers will be John Maxwell, Jerry Gerleve, Dale Maxwell, Justin Gerleve, Rob McGrath, and David Dawson.  Honorary bearers will be Robert Darnell, Ron Oglesby, Ralph Dominguez, Walter Anderson, and Gary Stailey.   

davidwoodwardDavid Randolph Woodward, 92, of Bald Mountain Ranch, Tyrone, N.M. passed away on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at his ranch home after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his family.

David was born on September 14, 1929 in Silver City, N.M. to his parents, Marvel Pack Woodward and Walter Wellington Woodward. He was the youngest child and had four siblings: Frank, Helen (Ranger), Richard, and Nina Mae (Waldie). Prior to his death, David was the only surviving immediate family member. David and his siblings grew up on the Woodward homestead, established in 1898 by David’s grandfather, J.C. Woodward. David spent his entire life ranching and mining. He graduated from Teachers High School in 1947 in Silver City and then attended New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (now known as NMSU), earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture (Animal Husbandry) in 1951. He earned letters in football and track in high school and while in college.

pearlkelleyPearl H. Kelley was born August 15, 1929 in Silver City, New Mexico. Pearl and her late husband, Hershel “Spike” Kelley were longtime residents of Hurley. In 2019 Pearl relocated to Las Cruces in order to be closer to family Prior to moving to Las Cruces, she was active in numerous charitable organizations including the Silver City Town and Country Garden Club and a long-term volunteer for the Thrift Store. She also attended the Hurley Community Church and enjoyed her friendships with fellow members. She served for years as an official in the local Hurley elections. Pearl also bowled in several leagues until she was in her eighties. She was an avid card player and was part of numerous card groups over the years. Pearl was always available to help anyone in need, and was quick to show up with her famous Chile con Queso and baked goods.

Pearl departed from us after a brief illness on December 4, 2021 at the age of ninety-two.

Bertha Rosa Barraza-Espinoza formerly of Bayard, NM passed away peacefully on November 22, 2021. Bertha was born on August 19, 1951 to Ramon and Ramona Barraza in Santa Maria Del Oro, Durango, Mexico. As a young girl, Bertha’s family immigrated to Bayard, New Mexico where she lived until she graduated from Western New Mexico University with a BA in Bilingual Education. She soon moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she taught elementary school.

Bertha is survived by two daughters, Cecilia Reagan (Jack), and Rosa Ford (TJ), her brother Marco Barraza (Eva), and two sisters, Lupe Barraza-Escarcega (Jose), Lucy Gurrola (Hector), her sister-in-law Gloria Barraza, and her grandchildren, Katrena Valenzuela, Simmon Morgan, Anthony Morgan, Genevieve Morgan, Luke Ford, and Camila Ford. She was preceded in death by her father Ramon Barraza who passed away in 2003 and her brother, Jose Ramon (Pepe) Barraza who passed in 2019, her sister Martha Barraza who passed away in 2020, and most recently her mother Ramona Barraza who also passed away in 2020.

leonpearceLeon R. Pearce was born to Harold N. Pearce and Gladys Eva Norwood Pearce on March 18, 1930 in Ottawa, Kansas. He passed away August 18, 2021. The family moved to Nevada in the late 1930s. Leon was raised in ranching and farming in Yerington, Nevada. He graduated from Yerington High School. After graduating, he worked on several ranches and prior to going into the service he moved to Hawthorne, Nevada and worked as charter a bus driver. 

Leon went into the U S Army in May 1951. He served at Fort Ord, California, Fort Bliss, Texas and White Sands, NM. He met his wife Irma Lee while at a square dance at the Army YMCA in El Paso, Texas in August 1951. They were married on August 30, 1952. Lee, the love of his live passed away on December 24, 2015.

Former CattleFax CEO, Topper Thorpe Obituary

toppe thorpeTopper Thorpe, (AKA Papa Top after his first grandchild was born) of Gila, New Mexico passed away on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Topper was born in Camp Atterbury, Indiana on October 18,1942, to Martin and Eleanor Thorpe.

Alongside his brother and sister, he was raised on a cotton, alfalfa, and livestock farm in Dona Ana, NM, and attended New Mexico State University where he earned both a Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree in Agriculture Economics. In 1965 Topper married Sandra Turner.

Before earning his master’s degree, Topper served as First Lieutenant in the Army and was honorably discharged in August 1966.

Topper, with Sandra, (who died in 1999) moved to Denver, Colorado in 1968 to work for CattleFax as one of the first two employees of the startup company. Topper helped pioneer a database of information designed to help CattleFax members make market-based decisions for their operations, by providing more accurate, and timely, industry-wide forecasting tools than were available anywhere else.

williammccauleyWilliam (Bill) Arthur McCauley, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend entered eternal rest Sunday, November 28, 2021. Bill was born in Silver City, NM and raised on the Tom McCauley & Son ranch in Cliff, NM.

He married the love of his life Terri Barnwell on September 10, 1977. He was a hard worker, whether it be at the ranch or on a bulldozer. His tireless work ethic is reflected in the countless projects he helped develop. In March of 1984 Bill was employed by Phelps Dodge as a truck laborer and by May of the same year promoted to bulldozer operator. On February 15, 1991 he was promoted to Assistant Shift Supervisor by Phelps Dodge Morenci, Inc.

josealtamiranoJose “Joe” Altamirano, 59, of Silver City passed away at his residence on Sunday, November 28, 2021. Joe was born on February 24, 1962 to Antonio and Manuela Altamirano in Silver City, NM.  

Joe loved his family and would regularly call and check in on how everyone was doing, no matter how long it had been since he last saw you. His phone calls were always filled with jokes, laughs and special nicknames he had for his sisters and brothers. Joe had a unique way of uplifting you with his words. One of his favorite past times was enjoying a few beers with his many friends. Joe never met a stranger and would strike up a conversation with anyone, often times making new friends along the way. He also loved listening to music and playing his harmonica and guitar.

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