Our precious Helen Lopez (Maese) Gaeta, 90, of Las Vegas, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family on Dec. 7, 2012, following a brief illness.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Pablo and Beneranda (Weathers) Lopez; her beloved husband of 28 years, Dante P. Gaeta; her dear brother Ben Lopez and sister Louise Valdez.
She was born in Las Vegas, on Sept. 16, 1922, graduated from NM Normal University High School.
Many remember Helen from her earlier days as Dr. Mortimer's office assistant and nurse-aide. In 1964, she moved to Albuquerque, where she met and married Dante (Danny) Gaeta. Helen was very involved with Our Lady of Fatima Parish while in Albuquerque. She immensely enjoyed her ceramics classes, and showered her children with her lovely ceramic wares which they cherish dearly.
She loved animals and they loved her also. Helen loved to garden and tend to her fruit trees. She returned to Las Vegas in 2006 to be closer to her children.
She is survived by her children Sallie Ann (Alfonso Jr.) Ortiz, Salomon Jr. (Dolores) Maese, and Elmo (Margaret) Maese. She loved all her grandchildren: Alfonso III (Carla) Ortiz, Rulene Ortiz, Kenneth Maese, Melissa (Gary) Gold, Donnie (Jacque) Guerin, Jonathan Guerin, Christen (Santos) Aragon, April Maese, Greg (Teresita) Maese, Amy Maez (Xavier); great-grandchildren include: Felicia (Josette C.) Ortiz, Monrey Ortiz, Alyssa Gold, Derek (Arissa C.) Gold, Sarah Gold, Carmelita (Chris) Nichols, Kamryn Aragon, Charollette Alarcon, Angel Maese, Jeramiah Urioste, Alexis Maese, Gregory Maese; great-great-grandson: Evan Gold. She is also survived by her brother, Albert Lopez of Santa Fe; and the father of her three children, Salomon Maese Sr. and numerous nieces and nephews who she loved dearly.
The family wishes to thank the many friends, families and acquaintances who have provided prayers, visits, food, and loving support during this time of loss.
Helen was loved by many and had many close lifelong friends who she loved visiting. We wish to also thank the staff of Meadows-Evergreen, Ponderosa Units, and Alta Vista Hospital who provided, not only great service to Helen but also showed her great love, dignity and honor in the way they cared for her until her very last breath. Thanks also to Fr. George Salazar and eucharistic ministers for their many prayers and blessings.
All Helen's grandchildren will be honorary pallbearers.
Funeral services for Helen will be held on Friday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church as follows: Rosary will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the funeral mass to be celebrated by the Rev. George Salazar at 9:30 a.m.
Burial will follow at 1:30 p.m. at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Family and friends are being received at the home of Alfonso and Sallie Ortiz, 324 Tecolote St. in Las Vegas.
Funeral arrangements for Helen have been entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home; 801 Douglas Avenue, Las Vegas, 425-6551.
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