Edward "Smokey" Nunn Jr., 91, passed away Wednesday June 12, 2013 at the Arbors of Del Rey in Las Cruces.
Visitation will began at 9 o'clock in the morning Tuesday June 18, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church with a funeral service to follow at 10 o'clock. The graveside service will take place at 2 o'clock in the afternoon at the Family Nunn Ranch Cemetery. Pastor Ernie Vineyard will officiate.
Smokey was born on Macho Creek on April 29th, 1922 to Ed Nunn Sr. and Francis Nunn. He was raised near Lake Valley, NM on the Sierra Land and Cattle Company, originally formed by his Grandfather Harvey Ringer of Lake Valley. Smokey attended Lake Valley School during his early education. He rode his horse to school most days. His siblings and he would ride in a wagon to school some days. As it came time for higher education, the family moved into Las Cruces for the school week. Both Smokey and brother Harvey graduated from the Las Cruces Union High School. Smokey's graduation date was the 23rd of May 1940. While in high school Smokey was in FFA and won many judging contests in the area. The old medals and ribbons are many; for Swine, Beef and Horses. The High Point Individual judging medals are to be treasured.
Before the drought and bad economic times of the 1930s the SLC Cattle Company was vast, running 15,000 head of cattle from Emory Pass to Rincon. Later, the Three Nunn brothers, Ed, Emmett and Pryor split up the remaining ranches and Smokey moved with his family to the Flying Y Ranch in 1938.
While at college Smokey met the former Eunice Dean Wright. He and Eunice hit it off and were married. After the birth of their son Joe Bill, Smokey and Eunice purchased the Barksdale ranch. The family expanded with the Plain and Simpson ranches in the early 1960's and the Magdalena Ranch in 1988. Smokey leased country for summer grass in the NE corner of the state for half of the year. His friendships with his fellow ranchers over the state were treasured. His son and grandkids carry on that particular tradition to this day. Smokey was known for his good quality Hereford cattle. Smokey raised many young men, teaching them values and strong work ethics. They have all gone on to be good horsemen and sound cowmen.
Smokey was a humble man, not "Braggy", and he LOVED kids. Smokey always helped the young-uns. He loved horses and cows and always saw to it that his only child and two grandchildren had a good horse under them. Smokey's last horse Blackie was borrowed by his great granddaughter Shandi Treadwell. Her pigtails flew at the Magdalena Old Timers rodeo and her first all around saddle was won on that old horse Blackie. Smokey spent many years riding with his son and entertaining Justin and TamiJo followed by keeping great grandchildren Kelsey, Starlyn, Tristan and Shandi working cattle slow, and easy.
His awards and accolades are many. He was constantly elected by his peers to serve on the BLM district grazing advisory board. He was recognized by New Mexico State University as one of the true rodeo hands that formed the first 1942 NMSU Rodeo team. They didn't have much cash to rodeo on, but those boys caught rides to get to the rodeos representing New Mexico A and M. Smokey was a top notch roper. He was inducted into the N.M.S.U. Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2002.
He loved music and loved to dance. Forest Delk and the Gulley Jumpers would rarely miss seeing Smokey waltz to the old tune "Marie". A favorite of Smokey's was the Strawberry Roan.
Smokey received NMSU recognition plaque for contributions to New Mexico agriculture, and he served on the Deming Public Schools Advisory board. He was inducted into the Luna Country Cowboy Hall of Fame, also serving the Old Timers Association Presidency with son Joe Bill.
The most prestigious award that Smokey Nunn received was the Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman's Award of Honor. It was presented to Smokey in Midland, Texas at the Haley Library in 2007. This award is given to few true stockmen. It recognizes the top Cattlemen in the Southwestern livestock industry. Smokey was lucky to have known Foy Proctor personally, through Proctor's purchase of Nunn cattle, and was able to share a story during the award ceremony.
Smokey was preceded in death by his wife, Eunice Dean Nunn; his parents Ed Sr. and Francis Nunn; his brothers, Harvey and Doyle Nunn and brother-in-law Kirk Wimberly. He is survived by his sisters, Eleanor Wimberly, Mabel Graves and husband OC Graves. Also surviving Smokey is his son, Joe Bill and wife Lauren, Grandson, Justin D. Nunn and wife Michelle; Granddaughter, TamiJo and husband Phil Treadwell; Smokey's great grandchildren, Kelsey May, Starlyn and Shandi Treadwell and Tristan Nunn.
Pallbearers will be Jim Hyatt, David Miller, Sonny Nunn, Tim Muncy, Dave Lowry and Matt Chavez. Friends and neighbors, too many to mention are his honorary bearers.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests you make a donation to the Dubois Rodeo Award. Make the check out to NMSU Foundation and mail to: Frank Dubois, P. O. Box 999, Mesquite, N.M. 88048.
Entrusted to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels. Exclusive provider for "Veterans & Family Memorial Care". To sign the online guest book or to send a card, please visit our website at www.bacasfuneralchapels.com.811 S. Gold Ave., Deming, NM 88030. Phone: 575.546.9671
Published in Deming Headlight on June 20, 2013