Services are scheduled for 10 am Monday, May 8. at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church for Reuben P. Baca of Artesia, New Mexico.
Mr. Baca passed away on April 30, 2023 at Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico after a lengthy illness.
Father Vijay will officiate at the services with burial to follow at Twin Oaks Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Tino Hernandez, Mernie Cauhape, Rudy Sifuentez, Mike Lara, Matt Hernandez, and Cilio Hernandez. A rosary is also scheduled at 9:30 am on Monday at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church. Visitation will be at Terpening & Son Mortuary from 2 t 6 pm on Sunday.
Reuben was born in Dexter, New Mexico on October 7, 1933 to Juan Cordova Baca and Anna Padilla. He was married to the late Mary Bouvet for 35 years. After her passing, he moved back to Artesia from El Paso, Texas.
Reuben came from a poor working family, yet accomplished so much in his lifetime. After graduating from Artesia High School in 1952, he became a telegraph operator for the Santa Fe Railroad. In 1954 he was drafted into the United States Army and was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska as an anti-artillery control specialist. After an honorable discharge from the Army, he went on to earn his Bachelor's Degree from the University of New Mexico. After graduation, he worked as an Assistant Director of the American Red Cross in Fort Riley, Kansas and South Carolina.
He continued his education at Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico State University and the University of Texas - El Paso earning his Masters and PHD.
Reuben loved teaching. He taught 3rd grade at Roselawn Elementary; 6th grade at Lucero Elementary in Las Cruces and elementary schools in El Paso. He was assistant principal at Burleson Middle School in El Paso, Director Title I programs for State of N.M. in Socorro, NM. He was superintendent of schools for Lordsburg Independent School District and finally taught at Ysleta Independent School District until 1999 when he retired after 35 years as an educator.
While attending UNM in Albuquerque, Reuben had the honor of playing biliards with Willie Mosconi, 15 time world champion for American Pocket Billiards.
Aside from billieards, he loved music, playing his guitar, sports, weightlifting, bicycling and spending time with family and friends. He was proficient in computer skills, spending much time on his laptop.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother Johnny Baca.
Survivors include sisters Petrita Baca of Rio Rancho, Helen Salgado of Las Cruces, Isabel Acosta and Erlinda Briseno of Artesia, and also by many cousins, nieces and nephews.
We remain eternally grateful to Murnie Cauhape and family, Rudy Sifuentez, Diana Nunez, Lorraine and Tino Hernandez, John and Julie Baca, his caregiver D'Mar Ortega, Lakeview Nursing Home, Lovelace Hospital, Enhabit Home Care Services, Artesia Meal Site staff, for their love and care of our brother.