Mario A. Gonzales (1953 - 2018)

Obituary
4 entries
  • "In loving memory of Mario!"
    - Erin Berger
  • "I am truly sorry for your loss of Mario. May the peace of..."
    - A. W.
  • "Rest in peace my class mate 1971 we all miss ya your were..."
    - Joe Bustos
  • "RIP my old friend.. fair winds and following seas.."
    - Bob Wills
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Mario Antonio Gonzales, 64, passed away after falling while rock climbing on the eastern cliffs of the Canadian River on Sunday, April 22, 2018.
Mario was born on August 11, 1953, in Raton, N.M., and grew up at the ranch in Mills, N.M. He is survived by his partner, Maria Rodriguez, of Santa Fe, N.M., his father, Pedro Antonio "Tony" and mother Dorothy Gonzales of Mills, and his sister, Ramona Gonzales McVann of Las Cruces, N.M.
Daddy was the loving father of Amanda Rocchio (Chris) of Kremmling, Colo.; Gabriel Rocchio (Lindsey) of Florence, Colo.; Anita Rocchio Williams (Benjamin) of Lincoln, Neb.; Julia Gonzales (Ben) of Denver, Colo.; Mario Gonzales (Kaletha) of Albuquerque, N.M.; James Kent Campbell of Walsenburg, Colo., and John Romero Campbell (Diana) of Denver, Colo.; grandchildren Katie, Sofia, Gerominio, Landon, Sawyer, Sonja, Victoria, William, Jax and Alycia; great-grandchildren: Dalton and Ty; nephews: James Anthony McVann (Lisa), Phillip Mcvann (Katie); aunts Della Sharief (Anas) , Jennie LeDeoux, and Dolores Mitchell; uncle Lawrence Romero; brothers-in-law John Rodriguez (Edith), Fred Rodriguez (Geri), Frank Rodriguez, Max Rodriguez (Lecita); friends Julia Marchant and Wilfred Stanley; numerous other relatives and many friends.
He is preceded in death by his first wife, Joann Rocchio, and secnd wife Gloria Gonzales.
Mario graduated from Raton High School in 1971 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at the age of 17, married JoAnn Paxton, and achieved the rank of sargeant, and served as an airplane mechanic in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, and Laos during the Vietnam War.
Following his return to the U.S., he was stationed in Utah and was honorably discharged in 1975. Mario then enrolled at New Mexico State University and received his bachelor's degree in animal science on the GI Bill in 1979. After his graduation, he and JoAnn moved to Gardner, Colorado and ranched there until their divorce.
In October 1982, Mario married Gloria Rodriguez Campbell Gonzales. They moved to San Carlos, Arizona in 1983, where he served for the next decade as the manager for five massive ranches owned by the San Carlos Apache Tribe's Cattle Association.
In 1993, Mario and Gloria moved their family to the borderlands of south Texas, where he managed one of the largest ranches in Texas: the San Pedro Ranch in Carrizo Springs.
He left cattle ranching in 2000 and began a new career as a teacher. He obtained his Master's Degree in special education from San Antonio College in 2002, and taught middle school students as a special education and math teacher for the Crystal City Independent School District until 2004, when Gloria passed away.
Mario moved back home to Mills and quickly began a new adventure. He served on the Harding County Economic Development Board, participated in several volunteer projects at the Catholic Church in Roy, N.M. and in 2007 co-founded La Sombra Farms, LLC, alongside his father Tony where they grew organic hydroponic greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers for sale throughout the northeastern New Mexico farmers markets.
In 2008, he co-founded Budding Hope, Inc. alongside his son Mario, and in 2009, was licensed as the first medical cannabis producer in northeastern New Mexico, and the sixth producer to be licensed statewide.
Rock climbing was but one of his hobbies - whether it was fishing, hunting, bronco and bull riding, training horses, riding motorcycles, welding, politics, reading, traveling, watching basketball, roping, playing guitar, or hiking - Mario always had a story to share and another trip planned.
His partner, Dr. Maria Rodriguez of Santa Fe, N.M., accompanied him on many of his adventures, and they traveled together to Mexico, Italy, San Francisco, Hawaii, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. The week of his death, they had a trip planned to Austin.
Services will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at the Holy Family Catholic Church, 575 Saint George St. in Roy. Viewing will commence at 9 a.m. The rosary will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the eulogy and funeral mass.
Mario will be buried with full military honors at the Roy Cemetery and the family invites you to join us for a meal afterward at the Roy Community Center. Mario was a straightforward man, and so in lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to the Holy Family Catholic Church's volunteer projects fund or send condolences to Tony and Dorothy Gonzales at 130 Mesteno Road, Mills, N.M., 87730.
Arrangements are under the direction of Rogers Mortuary 600 Reynolds Avenue Las Vegas, New Mexico. Visit rogersmortuarynm.com to sign the online register book.
Funeral Home
Rogers Mortuary - Las Vegas
600 Reynolds Avenue
Las Vegas, NM 87701
505-425-3511
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Published in Las Vegas Optic on Apr. 27, 2018
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