Obituaries (10/17/13)


SILVA — Fernando A. Silva, age 84, a resident of Socorro for 84 years, passed away at his home on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. He was born April 8, 1929, in Lemitar to Lenore and Cipriano Silva. He was married to his beloved wife for 62 years. He was a wonderful man who loved his family and had faith in our Lord.
Fernando worked at New Mexico Tech, city of Socorro and the New Mexico State Highway Department. He enjoyed dancing polkas. He was well known in the community and was willing to help anyone and everyone. Fernando was dearly loved and will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lenore and Cipriano Silva; and brothers Patrocino, Ruben and Julian Silva.
Fernando is survived by his wife, Esther; children Rose, Cippie, Linda Barbara, Michael and Paul; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at San Miguel Catholic Church beginning on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, with a rosary at 7 p.m., with a viewing at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, then a funeral Mass at 10 a.m.
Arrangements are handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave.; 505-864-4448. An online guest register is available at

BAKER — Helen Blackburn Baker died Monday, July 29, 2013, in her home in Socorro surrounded by family and supported by hospice.
A memorial of Helen’s life will be held in Magdalena at the Magdalena Community Church on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, at 2 p.m. This will be a celebration of her life and a time of remembering friends and family, past and present. Rheda Brown will sing “You Raise Me Up,” which is what Helen did — she raised us up and made us stronger.
Please join us if you can.

CAUDILL — Lucille Scott Tigner Caudill, an 86-year New Mexico resident and 70-year Socorro County rancher, was born May 6, 1922, at Tucumcari.
She died Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, at Emmett, Idaho, with her daughter at her bedside. A celebration of Lucille’s life will be held Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. at the Santa Fe Diner Lodge, Interstate 25 and state Road 107. Her friends are welcome to join with her family in an afternoon of shared memories and renewed friendships.

SHIVERS — Bill Shivers, born in Tehuacana, Texas, on July 4, 1936, passed away Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Bill was fond of saying that the whole nation celebrated his birthday. He never met a stranger, and livened up any gathering with teasing and fun. Diagnosed with cancer in 2000, he gave out pocket crosses in chemo and radiation wards, telling people how much Jesus loved them.
He liked telling his nurses that BSN meant Bill Shivers’ Nurse, and told each of them they were his favorite. He had the gift of making young and old feel important. His wife of 57 years, Lucille, always knew where to look for him … where there was laughter. He leaves behind a loving family and friends both near and far.
Interment will be a private service, but there will be a celebration of life and meal at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at the Hillsboro Community Center. In lieu of flowers, the family would like for donations to go to: Cowboys for Cancer Research, P.O. Box 202, Doña Ana, NM 88032; Arrangements are by Kirikos Family Funeral Home Inc., 303 N. Cedar St., and Sierra Crematory LLC, Truth or Consequences. For online condolences, please visit

BACA — Catalina T.  Baca, age 99, of Socorro, known to her many friends and family as “Kate” or “Katie,” passed away Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. She was born in Mesteño, Torrance County, about 6 miles north of Mountainair, to sheep ranchers Francisco Antonio Torres and Maria Eloisa Sanchez on March 26, 1914.
Before Catalina was born, her parents had ranched around White Oaks in Lincoln County where some of her older sisters and brothers were born. By 1918 the family was living in Willard, where more of Catalina’s sisters were born. Catalina’s father had a large house built in Willard with all the most modern amenities. Her father was the owner of some of the first automobiles in Torrance, Lincoln and Socorro counties. One of her earliest memories was of the Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919 when her family went about with their mouths and noses covered with camphor-soaked gauze.
By the time she was 10 years old, Catalina had saved up enough money to buy a Brownie camera and she began documenting her family in photographs. She appears in few of the photographs because she was usually behind the camera taking the pictures. She kept up her photography hobby for over 60 years.
By 1924 the extended family had moved to a new sheep ranch they called Torres Ranch in Socorro County, about 30 miles northeast of Socorro near a place called Rayo. The family also maintained a home in Mountainair so that the children could attend school until they could have their own school at the ranch. A school was finally opened at Torres Ranch and this is where all the grandchildren attended along with area homesteaders’ children.
Catalina was always interested in celestial bodies and dreamed of studying astronomy. This did not happen because her parents needed her help at the ranch. At the ranch Catalina and her sisters rolled out stacks of tortillas until their hands ached to feed the large family and the hungry ranch hands.
In the early 1930s, Catalina met and fell in love with Mr. Adrian Baca, who had been assigned by the county superintendent of schools to teach at the Torres Ranch School. Mr. Baca was from Luis Lopez, a farming community south of Socorro. In December 1934, Catalina and Adrian married at San Miguel Mission in Socorro. Soon thereafter, they purchased property on School of Mines Road and built one of the first homes there, where she continued to live for 78 years.
After her husband left to serve as a military police officer in England and France during World War II, Catalina and her sister Clara left Socorro by train to travel to San Francisco, Calif., to do their part in the war effort. Catalina was the inspector at the bean factory located on a pier where they sewed together large bags and filled them with foodstuffs to ship overseas to the men in action.
She vividly remembered the excitement of living in San Francisco during the war, visiting and praying at various churches, going to the beach and attending concerts. She saw Frank Sinatra in concert and would say wistfully that she “left her heart in San Francisco.”
After the war ended, Catalina returned to Socorro and waited for her husband, who returned from France two months after the war ended. The war had taken a personal toll as Adrian’s brother Ignacio had died in the Philippines in the Bataan Death March. Mr. Baca continued his teaching career in rural Socorro County schools and Catalina went to work for George and Lori Baca at Georgie’s on the Plaza in Socorro.
By 1948 Adrian and Catalina had saved enough money to build some apartment units on School of Mines Road, which helped supplement their income. They also owned land and farmed in Luis Lopez. In 1956 Catalina and Adrian adopted Paul Thomas, who was Catalina’s great-nephew. Paul brought great joy to Catalina and Adrian. Catalina lost her husband, Adrian, to cancer in 1970 and son Paul Thomas passed away in 2009.
Catalina was gifted with a phenomenal memory, easily recalling dates and vividly describing past events. She was a prayerful and full of faith woman. She would say that sometimes she would get frustrated and mad at God because she could not always understand his ways, but in the end, her hope, her faith and her love never wavered.
She went to bed every evening clutching her prayer beads because that was the way her mother taught her. She prayed for everyone, and especially “for health and peace on Earth, nothing more.” She was never alone, she said, because she spent a lot of time “hablando con Dios,” conversing with God. Dios la tenga.
Catalina is survived by her sister Clara Torres, of Pacific Grove, Calif.; daughter-in-law Mary Baca; many generations of nephews and nieces; and many dear friends. Catalina was immensely grateful to her great-nephew Francisco Sisneros and his wife, Inez, for assisting her in the last few years of her life, and to nephew Florencio Saavedra and his wife, Juanita.
Thanks to all the caring staff at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Socorro where Catalina resided in the last year of her life.
A rosary will be recited on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. at the San Miguel Catholic Church, 403 El Camino Real, Socorro, with Mass of the Resurrection to be celebrated at 9 a.m. Celebrant is Father Andrew Pavlak. Burial will be in the Luis Lopez Cemetery. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit Catalina’s care has been entrusted to:
Daniels Family Funeral Services
309 Garfield St.
Socorro, NM 87801

MONTANO — Benny  Arthur Montano, 78, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Socorro on Oct. 1, 1935, to Estanislado and Lize (Cuellar) Montano. When Benny was 5 years old, his mother passed away and he and his siblings went to live with their auntie Lucaria Aragon. He was a lifelong resident of Socorro.
Benny, a jack of all trades but especially a master plumber, retired from Jacob Sedillo Plumbing after about 30 years of service. He enjoyed camping, fishing, shooting pool with his brother and occasional visits to the casino. Benny enjoyed his dogs and the walks they would take along the river. He was a devout Catholic and, above all, Benny loved his family very much and enjoyed just simply being with them.
Benny was preceded in death by his beloved parents; his auntie Lucaria; brothers Eloy and Damacio; sister Emma; his son Benny Jr.; and his grandson David Jr. He is survived by his devoted sons David (Norma) and Chris Montano and Michael Fajardo; his loving grandchildren Cynthia, Elisa, Jocelyn, Stanley, Christopher, Daineane, Natisha and Brandon; his brother Joe Leonce; his sisters Angie, Rosemary and Anna; his cousin Jenny; and many other loving family members and friends.
The holy rosary will be recited on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Daniels Family Funeral Services – Socorro Chapel, 309 Garfield St., Socorro. Inurnment will take place  in the San Miguel Catholic Cemetery. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit Benny’s care has been entrusted to:
Daniels Family Funeral Services
309 Garfield St.
Socorro, NM 87801