Obituaries (02/13/14)


BRICE — When Jerry G. Brice became the first female Certified Purchasing Manager in New Mexico in 1981, she was already on her fourth or fifth career, not that she was counting such things.  Jerry always liked to stay busy, but more than doing an outstanding job, she enjoyed the people that she encountered along the way:  Hearing their stories, learning about their lives, leaving them with a smile.  She had worked in banking, run a dairy farm in Buna, Texas with her husband, moved to New Mexico with him to buy a motel in Socorro, then ran the Socorro Chamber of Commerce before moving into the male dominated world of technology purchasing for defense contractors, retiring after a combined 30 years with Dynalectron Corporation at White Sands Missile Range and BDM at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque.  For Jerry, it wasn’t about breaking new ground or shattering glass ceilings; it was about people and her love of them.  Jerry Grieg Brice, who was a modern woman before the term modern woman was ever coined, quietly passed away following a pulmonary embolism on February 7, 2014 at Lovelace Medical Center, at the age of 85.  She had been undergoing tests and had just learned that she had cancer.  When she heard the news, Jerry told her sons Corey and Hal and her doctor that very day that she was not interested in heroic efforts to extend her life.  “I’m very happy with the way things turned out.  I had 59 wonderful years with Dutch (her husband, who passed away in 2010), two great sons, grand kids and even great grand kids.  It couldn’t have worked out better.  Couldn’t have asked for more.”  As always, Jerry knew exactly what she wanted. Jerry also knew exactly what she liked and didn’t like.  She hated cooking.  Dutch did all that.  And she hated dessert, because she was always careful about keeping her weight down. She loved her miniature schnauzer, Ollie, an unexpected and initially unwelcome gift from her family—so much that she only would consider an assisted living facility where Ollie could come along. She also liked technology, although she didn’t like to turn on her mobile phone—ever.  She was a member of the Mac Users Group and was one of the first in line to pick up a new iPad 3 the day they went on sale. She was proud of the fact that every day since she had retired in 1998, she had been up early and out the door before 8:00am—to do the other things she liked:  Walking with Dutch and Ollie, Line Dancing, Water Aerobics and early Mass.  She made sure to schedule time with all her friends (recently excited to attend her 60th High School Reunion) and when someone shared that they were stressed or sad or confused, she always urged them to pray the prayer that she did every morning:  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Jerry was a woman of action and also of deep faith. Even though she always sounded like she never left Texas, Jerry Brice also truly loved New Mexico, her home for over 50 years.  She appreciated the mountains and the sunsets and although she looked forward to visiting family and friends, she would never consider moving from Albuquerque.  “This is my home,” is all she would say.   She never tired of taking visitors to the Balloon Fiesta or Old Town, and always enjoyed it as if it was her first visit too.  Jerry was born on August 30, 1928 in Port Arthur, Texas. She graduated from Jefferson High School and received a number of certifications in purchasing during her career.  She is survived by her two sons, Hal Brice and his wife Joni of Orange County, California, and Corey Brice and his wife Sarah of El Paso, Texas; sisters, Shirley and Patricia and brother, Carl.  Jerry loved her four granddaughters Jastyne and Jadian of Orange County, California and Kristin and Trista of El Paso, Texas as well as her two great grandsons, Devin and Deion McEllrath of El Paso.  Memorial services include a Rosary at FRENCH – University Chapel, Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 7p.m. The Funeral Mass and Burial Service will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 7999 Wyoming Ave NE in Albuquerque on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10 a.m. Please visit the online guestbook for Jerry at

French – University
1111 University Blvd. NE
Ann Christiansen, age 90 of Hayesville, passed away February 10, 2014 at Erlanger Medical Center.   Mrs. Christiansen was born May 14, 1923 in Watertown, SD to the late Clarence Sherwood  and the late Ruth Ann Daughtery Sherwood.  She was the oldest and the only surviving daughter.  She was united in marriage to Paige W. Christiansen, Ph.D. on December 27, 1950 in Madison, SD. She was preceded in death by father, Clarence Sherwood and mother, Ruth Ann Sherwood. Dorothy was a member of the St. Marks Methodist Church of Oro Valley, Tucson and a PEO member Chapter “CV” for 70 years.  She was very involved in both until her death.  Dorothy was a school teacher for most of her working years in Socorro, NM.  Once retired, she took up many hobbies, two of them with great passion, golf and painting.  She started out with water color and did acrylic and then oil with well over 300 works of art that she poured her love into. Survivors include: husband, Paige Walrath Christiansen, children; Scott Christiansen, Boulder, CO; Brian Christiansen, Tucson, AZ; and Becky Christiansen-Cashwell, Hayesville, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Red Cross in her name. She gave blood in order to help others. Paige, Scott, Brian and Becky wish to share the love, kindness and respect they have for their angel Dorothy.  She will be forever with us. Arrangements entrusted to the Cochran Funeral Home of Murphy, NC.  You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at

MONTOYA — Eloisa S. Montoya, 93, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Lemitar, NM on September 23, 1920 to Severo and Lugardita (Silva) Santillanes. She was a lifelong resident of Lemitar and the surrounding area. She was an assistant cook at Socorro Good Samaritan Village for many years. She loved to cook and her tortillas and salsa were definitely some of Socorro’s finest. She enjoyed watching her Novellas. But above anything else, Eloisa’s greatest love were her children, grandchildren, and her great grandchildren. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband, Max Montoya; her daughter, Rosie Montoya; her sisters, Becky Garcia; Lena Garcia; Fava Griego; and her brothers, Manuel Santillanes; Jose Santillanes; and Ralph Santillanes. Eloisa is survived by her devoted daughters, Mary Torrez and husband, Trevinio; Bernice Benavidez; Lina Cordova and husband, Manuel; Carol Lopez and husband, Joe; Gladys Opfer and husband, Henry; and Thelma Baca; 15 loving grandchildren; 35 great grandchildren; 17 great great grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and other loving family members. An urn visitation and time of reflection will be held on Monday, February 10, 2014 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at  Daniels Family Funeral Services – Socorro Chapel , 309 Garfield St, Socorro. Graveside Services will be held on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at11:00 am in the Lemitar Cemetery. The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Socorro Good Samaritan Society nursing staff and CNA’s, who provided exceptional care to our beloved Eloisa, Your kindness will always be remembered. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations and contributions may be given in Eloisa’s honor to Socorro Good Samaritan Village, PO Box 1279 Socorro, NM 87801. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit Eloisa’s care has been entrusted to:

Daniels Family Funeral Services
309 Garfield St
Socorro, NM 87801