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CORDOVA -- John Cordova Sr., 94, long-time president of the local typographical union, died Wednesday. He was a master craftsman of the printing trade. He joined the union in 1935 in Pueblo, CO and remained a member until his death. He was president of local ITU 304 in Albuquerque for twenty-seven years through the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He retired from the Albuquerque Publishing Company in 1975. He loved his craft and was regarded as one of the most productive and accurate of printers. He proudly showed his family and anyone who would take the time the intricacies of the "hot metal" Linotype machine. He successfully negotiated for higher wages and increased benefits for members with the Albuquerque Journal, Tribune and commercial print shops. He shepherded the union through the transition from hot metal machines to computers and "cold type." However, it was his love of reading that most attracted him to the printing trade. He was a voracious reader of newspapers, books and magazines. In the last months of his life he still read both the Albuquerque Journal and Tribune cover to cover. Often he would call his son to note some item buried deep in the classified section of the paper. He said his most enjoyable job was working for the UNM Press where he was able to type and read academic reports and books published at UNM. The association with UNM fed his love of history and of his own family's history of migration from New Mexico to Colorado in the mid 1800s. John and his family returned to New Mexico in 1946. John loved his church and the many friends he made there. He served for many years as a Eucharistic minister and lector. Until illness slowed his step, he attended mass every day at Holy Ghost Church. He and his wife Helen attended Holy Ghost when it was a mission church located near Pennsylvania Ave. They were founding members of the parish. In later years, he kept informed of church activities through regular visits with his friend and Eucharistic minister Larry O'Connell and neighbor Mary Chavez. He received the sacraments regularly and was given the last rites before his death. After his wife Helen's death in 1969, he found solace in his family and particularly the support provided by his four granddaughters, Sharon, Katherine, Deborah, and Rosemary. He was married to Helen Lopez Cordova for thirty-five years until her death. They met at a dance in Burnt Mill Colorado. He was immediately attracted to the shy and beautiful, country girl with, as he recounted, 'lips like Clara Bow's.' In the mid '70s he fell in love with fellow printer Katye Waters. He and Katye remained companions until her death almost three years ago. She and John will rest near one another in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. After retirement, John was appointed to serve on the City of Albuquerque Library Board by Mayor Harry Kinney. He loved the opportunity to serve and saw the construction of three new libraries in the Northeast Heights. He served with Margie Hernandez whom he recalled fondly. Although popular and well respected, he declined to take a direct interest in politics. He was fond of U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez with whom he shared libations at the Federal Bar. He was a life-long Democrat who was a strong supporter of U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and Mayor Marty Chavez. When David Cargo announced his intention to run for New Mexico Governor he made his announcement at a meeting of the printers' union. Of course Dave became governor and always reminded John that he "kicked off" Dave's successful campaign. John loved his extended family. He had nine sisters and a brother. All but one (Flora Cordova) has passed away. Helen also had a large family - eight brothers and four sisters - two members of her family are still living (Josephine Lopez Marquez and Bobby Lopez). He had eighty-one nieces and nephews and had special memories of each and every one. He had a special Thursday telephone date with his niece Rosie Ruiz and his niece Rita Baca had red chile and menudo delivered to him by Mrs. Keller from Pueblo. John's special joy and the one thing that death would cause him to miss is seeing his great grandchildren grow up. They were the joy of his life and he reveled in their energy, intelligence and beauty. Throughout the years, the good doctors and staff at Lovelace on Gibson have cared for the Cordova family. Dr. Randy Lovelace treated John Sr. and John Jr. Special thanks are extended to Dr. Charles Benton, Dr. Wesselman and the nurses and staff on the third and fourth floor at Lovelace. The kind and considerate care of Vista Care Hospice is deeply appreciated as is the long-term care provided to John by Barbara Perea. He died as he wished, in his own home and in his green recliner. His two children, John Jr. and Vera Little, were at his side along with his daughter-in-law, Carolyn Mountain. Vera lovingly consoled her father in his final days. He is survived by his children, John Cordova, Jr. and Carolyn Mountain of Albuquerque and Vera and Robert Little of Torrance, CA; his grandchildren, Sharon and Jeff Buckwell of Huntington Beach, CA, Deborah and Chris Berry of Phoenix, AZ, Katherine Cordova and Andrew Dalton of Gloucester, MA; and Rosemary Cordova and Francisco Rivero of Berkeley and Middletown, CA; and six great-grandchildren, Grace Buckwell, Lauren and Carsten Berry, John and Isabel Dalton, and Lazaro Cordova-Rivero. His sister, Flora; sisters-in-law, Josephine Marquez and Rose Lopez; and brother-in-law, Bobby Lopez; as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, and friends, also survive him. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elvira Chacon Cordova and Candido Cordova; his wife, Helen Lopez Cordova; and his eight siblings. Mass will be celebrated on Monday, 9:00 a.m., at Holy Ghost Catholic Church, 833 Arizona SE. Pallbearers for the Funeral are family members. They include Andrew Dalton, Jeff Buckwell, Chris Berry, Carlos "Cookie" Sisneros, Charles Davis, Rudy A. Lopez, Ben Gettler, Bob Little, Rudy P. Lopez, Leo Romero, and Rick Lopez. Ennichement of cremated remains will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. John requested that Mariachi Tenampa provide entertainment at his celebration of life. French Mortuary 1111 University Blvd. NE 843-6333
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

GAMBLE -- Frances E. Gamble, 72, a part-time resident of Corrales for the past several years, passed away on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 after a brief illness. Fran, daughter of Frank and Margaret Guilfoyle, was born in Boston, MA. She married Norman J. Gamble and moved to Pottersville, NY in the Adirondack Mountains. Fran was always a "city-girl" and very proud of being a "Boston Irish Catholic Democrat." Over the past 20 years, she has been a frequent visitor to the Albuquerque area. Fran is survived by her son, Joseph E. Gamble and wife, Dr. Lorraine Sanchez of Corrales; her daughters, Joan Viele and husband, Brent Faulkner of Santa Fe, Judy Riccio of Queensbury, NY, and Jane Gamble; beloved grandchildren, Sara, Nicolas, Hanna, and Emily; her sisters, Dotty Hanson and husband, Rod of Somerville, MA, Peggy Mehigan of Billerica, MA; and numerous nieces and nephews. Fran was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband; her sister, Rita Barber; and brother, Sonny Guilfoyle. Friends may visit French Mortuary - Westside Chapel on Tuesday evening, May 23, 2006 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. where a Memorial Reception will be held. A Mass and interment will be in Pottersville, NY on Thursday, June 1, 2006. In lieu of flowers, Fran requested any memorial contributions be made to Amanda's House, P.O. Box 472, Glens Falls, NY 12801. French Mortuary 9300 Golf Course Rd. NW (505) 897-0300
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

GARCIA -- Roberta Garcia left our earth on Thursday, May 18, 2006, at her home surrounded by her loving family. Born on July 15, 1952 to Margaret Hight Cuthair and Julian Hight in Towaoc, CO. In 1954 at the age of two, she came to live with Walter and Josephine Goff who became her foster parents. She grew up in Mancos, CO where she attended public school. Growing up she was good in school and loved Doo-Wop music and growing up on the ranch. She moved to Denver, CO and on June 15, 1972 she married Albert Garcia. To this union were born two children, Richard and Tina. Albert and Roberta shared 34 wonderful years of marriage. Roberta loved her children and her and Albert were very active with their children in baseball. Together they coached the West Mesa Little League baseball team. Even after coaching, she remained very active in supporting the baseball team. Roberta also enjoyed being a cheerleading coach and helped young girls become great cheerleaders. She received many plaques and awards from the West Mesa Little League teams. Roberta and Albert loved to travel all over the United States and they collected and traded baseball pins with other teams. They seldom missed a Little League World Series. She worked for the Albuquerque School District and retired after 25 years of service. She loved her work in the school district as she loved all of the school children. Roberta had such a loving, king, gentle nature and she always had a smile and could always make you laugh. She loved her grandchildren. She enjoyed watching them grow up and was always at their baseball games. Her favorite time of year was Easter, and she loved to watch her grandchildren color eggs and hide them. One of her favorite hobbies was collecting bears. She had all kinds of bears. Every place she visited or traveled to she always had a new bear added to her collection. Surviving family members who are so beloved to have shared her life are her husband, Albert; daughter, Tina Padilla and husband, Fred; son, Richard Garcia and Darlene Churchill; grandchildren, Freddy, Jade Monet, Cruz Padilla, Ricky and Faith Garcia; sister, Ruth Valdez and husband, Steve, all of Albuquerque, NM; mother, Josephine Goff; sisters, Delores Daniels and Dorothy Goff of Montrose, CO; sister-in-law, Galinda Prince of Ignacio, CO; very special sister, Martha Padilla; and many nieces, nephews, and a host of many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Julian Hight, Margaret Hight Cuthair, and Walter Goff; a special brother, Willard Price; as well as other numerous brothers and sisters. A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 5:00 p.m., at French Mortuary, University Blvd. Chapel. Cremation will follow Services. French Mortuary 1111 University Blvd. NE 843-6333
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

HEINECKEN -- Robert Heinecken, born October 29, 1931 in Denver, CO, passed away Friday, May 19, 2006. He is survived by his wife, Joyce Neimanas; children, Geoff Heinecken, Karol Mora, and Kathe Hull; and three grandchildren. He liked to smoke and make art. He will be missed.
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

HILL -- James Merle Hill, age 71, peacefully passed away at his home on May 19, 2006 in Albuquerque, NM. He was born in Briscoe, TX to James and Addie (Vick) Hill on April 11, 1935. James enjoyed reading and spending time with his family, especially his two granddaughters. He enjoyed traveling with his children. His passion was history and he enjoyed reading on the Civil War Era. James Graduated from UTEP with a Bachelor's Degree in Geology and was employed with the State of New Mexico. His two children: son, Jeff Parker Hill and daughter-in-law, Fawn Coriz of Albuquerque, NM; daughter, Ann Meyer and husband, Jeff and two granddaughters, Lauren and Katlyn Meyer of Phoenix, AZ; his former wife and abiding friend, Fran Hill of Santa Fe, NM; and his sister,Willetta Price and her husband, Bill of Glover, OK, survive James. There will be a Memorial Service on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at the French Mortuary - Wyoming Chapel. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the Friends of the Indian Pueblo Culture Center of Albuquerque, 2401 12th street, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104. On behalf of the family, we would like to give a special thanks to Heartland Hospice for all they have done. French Mortuary, Inc. 7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE (505) 823-9400
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

JIRON -- Heidi (Lina) Jiron, 80, a resident of Albuquerque since 1967, passed away Thursday, May 18, 2006. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Joe S. Jiron; son, Frank Jiron and wife, Diana of Annandale, VA; brother, Erich Oetzel and wife, Helga of Frankfurt, Germany; sisters-in-law, Sostia Baca of Albuquerque, Betty Silva and husband, Gilbert of Belen, and Dilia Giron of Albuquerque, and numerous dear friends, nephews, and nieces. She was preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Karolina Oetzel; brothers-in-law, Frank Giron and Paul Jiron; and sister-in-law, Soccora Jiron. Mrs. Jiron was an active member of the German-American Club, Edelweiss am Rio Grande and also member Mountainview Kirtland AFB Officers' Club and American Legion Post 49. Rosary will be recited on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. at French Mortuary, Lomas Blvd. Chapel, 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE, with Deacon Byron Wicker reciting. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2006, at Shrine of St. Bernadette, 11401 Indian School Rd. NE, with Fr. Norbert Choong, Celebrant. Interment will take place at Santa Fe National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. Friends may visit French Mortuary, 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE, Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 5:00 p.m. to Rosary. French Mortuary 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE 275-3500
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

KARPINSKI -- Michael "Mickey" Karpinski, 87, beloved father and grandfather and a longtime resident of Rio Rancho, and previously of Passaic, NJ, passed away on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at the Village at Alameda, Albuquerque, NM. Mickey was born November 26, 1918, the son of Stanley and Helen Karpinski in Passaic, NJ. Mickey served in WWII as a member of the 432nd Bombardment Squadron, 17th Bombardment Group in the U.S. Air Force. He was the former owner and president of New Jersey Iron & Steel Fabricators, Inc. in Passaic, NJ. He was a past officer and founding father of the American Legion Post 118 in Rio Rancho. Mickey was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, and the Meadowlark Senior Center of Rio Rancho. Mickey was preceded in death by his wife, Cecilia in 1999. He is survived by his two sons, Larry Karpinsky and wife, Dixie of Toms River, NJ, and Michael Karsen and wife, Carol of Montville, NJ; six grandsons; and five great-grandsons, all of New Jersey. A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Vista Verde Mortuary, Sara Rd. at Meadowlark Ln., Rio Rancho. Military honors will be presented by the American Legion Honor Guard. Arrangements by Vista Verde Mortuary Rio Rancho, New Mexico 892-9920
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

MODE -- Julia H. Mode, 84, a resident of Albuquerque, passed away on Friday, May 19, 2006. She was born at Howards Ridge, MO. She moved to New Mexico as a young woman and graduated from Belen High School in 1941. Mrs. Mode is survived by her daughter, Trish Snipes; her granddaughter, Nicole Bonilla and husband, Mario of Plano, TX; and sisters, Noma Patterson of Tulsa, OK and Ruth Jackson and husband, Curly of Robertsville, MO; she is also survived by many close friends whom she loved dearly. She was preceded in death by her husband, William M. Mode. She proudly served her country in WWII and retired from civil service. Mrs. Mode was an avid quilter and spent many happy hours quilting with her friends at the Bear Canyon Senior Center. Her quilting group made and donated many beautiful quilts to the Ronald McDonald House - Mrs. Mode personally made over 100 quilts. She was a very special person and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Celebration of her Life will be Wednesday, May 24, 12:00 noon, French Mortuary, 10500 Lomas Blvd., NE. Interment will be at 3:00 p.m. at Santa Fe National Cemetery with military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to Air Force Memorial Foundation, P. O. Box 97026, Washington, DC 20077-7193. French Mortuary 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE 275-3500
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

OPSTEDAL -- Mary I. Opstedal, a resident of Albuquerque for 52 years, passed away Thursday, May 18, 2006. Mary was born October 23, 1921 to Charles and Loretta Gideon in Bozeman, MT. Mary was preceded in death by her son, Anthony M. Opstedal. She is survived by her loving husband, Anthony J. Opstedal of Albuquerque; daughters, Mary Lee Brians and husband, Donald D. of Albuquerque, Theresa Joyce Lyons and husband, Steve of Iowa, Frances Irene Christianson of Iowa, and Barbara Ann Goddard of Albuquerque; son, Joseph W. Opstedal and wife, Noemi of Mexico; sisters, Leetta Funk of Washington and Betty Decker of Washington; 16 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. Mary was a member of Shrine of St. Bernadette Church. A visitation will be held Monday, May 22, 2006 from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Strong-Thorne Mortuary with a Rosary to follow. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. at Shrine of St. Bernadette Church with interment to follow at 11:30 a.m. at Santa Fe National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make contributions to any Catholic Charity of your choice. Services are under the care and direction of: Strong-Thorne Mortuary, 1100 Coal Ave. SE. 505-842-8800
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

PRATT -- Helen L. "Aunt Heno" Pratt, 85, a resident of Albuquerque since 1954, died Friday May 19, 2006. She is survived by nephews, Robert B. "Tom" Thompson and Curtis Roberts; nieces, Frances Trentham and Bettiann Roberts; great-niece, Laura E. Martinez and husband, Gino; great- nephew, Patrick M. Thompson; great-great-niece, Audra L. Thompson. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Elizabeth Loesch; sisters, Lillian E. Thompson and Eileen Roberts and husband Roy; and brother, William Loesch; and nephew, Scott W. Thompson. Aunt Heno retired from Civil Service in 1980. She enjoyed her retirement, family, and dogs. Cryptside Services will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. at Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul Blvd. NE, in Albuquerque. Should friends desire, contributions may be made to the Animal Humane Association, 615 Virginia SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108 or to the American Lung Association, 7001 Menaul Blvd. NE, Suite 1-A, Albuquerque, NM 87110. French Mortuary 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE 275-3500
Left-red    Print Obit   Email-red   Published on: Mon May 22, 2006

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