Grover Xavier McSherry, 88, of Deming, passed away peacefully surrounded by family members on May 5, 2013. Known to most as G.X. or Xavier, he started his life on Nov. 23, 1924, in Dwyer, N.M., the son of Grover Cleveland McSherry and Mary Ellen (O'Connor) McSherry. Viewing will begin Friday, May 10, 2013 at 3 p.m. followed by the rosary service at 6 p.m., led by Suzanne Lundy at Baca's Funeral Chapels in Deming, N.M. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2013, at Holy Family Catholic Church. Bishop Ricardo Ramirez C.S.B. will officiate. The rite of committal and interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery. G.X. is survived by Clara Jo (Remondini) McSherry, his wife of 67 years and their seven children, Paul, Patricia, Michael, Marcia, David, Keven and Rod; their spouses, plus 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Two sisters, Rose and Vera Jo, also survive him. His parents; his sisters, Lena and Kathleen; and his brother, Regis, preceded him in death. G.X. grew up on the Mimbres River Valley during some of the toughest economic times in New Mexico, shaped deeply by the Great Depression and the fallout of the Dust Bowl. He was always proud of the acres of apple trees that he helped his parents plant in the valley, a traditional crop that followed both lines of his parents' families from Pennsylvania and West Virginia out to New Mexico. G.X. met his future bride during the trying years of World War II
. He and Clara Jo (Jody) married in December 1945, just after the war's end. They settled on the homestead of Clara Jo's parent's, about seven miles east of Deming, and set out to expand the farming and ranching operation. In the nearly 70 years that he farmed in Luna County, he increased his farming operation five-fold, moved from horse-drawn to high-tech methods, and was a constantly vigilant steward of the soil and water around his feet. G.X. was once quoted that his farm focused on producing the Three C's: cattle, cotton and children. Agriculture was G.X.'s passion until the very end of his life. He dedicated years to improving the marketing of crops and livestock (including serving on state and national commodity boards; being a founding member of the local cotton cooperative; and leading the New Mexico Hereford Association); he worked for 35 years on advising Luna County banks on agricultural financing; he was committed to sensible and balanced water use for agriculture and communities in the local, interstate and international arenas (serving on committees, commissions and holding national appointments to conservation bodies). He defended and expanded the rights and protection of New Mexico farmers and ranchers during his 16 years as a state representative, having been elected by voters from Luna, Hidalgo, Doña Ana, and Sierra counties over the course of his political career. Education was a close second focus of G.X.'s life. In a fitting tribute to a man who 'finished' high school at the age of 14 and lacked the financial wherewithal to attend college, G.X. received an honorary doctorate from New Mexico State University in 2003. He also received the Philip J. Leyendecker Agriculturalist of Distinction Award from NMSU's college of Agriculture in 1991. As a farmer/rancher and as a legislator, G.X. was one of the staunchest advocates of NMSU (and going back to the days of New Mexico A&M), participating in extension activities and eventually securing legislative funding for expansion of research and education facilities at the university. Another indication of his indelible support for education was his insistence that every one of his seven children received a university degree, something he and Clara Jo made happen. G.X. was a committed supporter of his community. He was proud to be part of a dynamic border community and used his bilingual and bicultural abilities to strengthen relations with business, political and service organizations in Mexico. His cross-border identity made him a much sought-after advisor to governors, congressmen and businessmen. One of his many important contributions to bilateral relations between the U.S. and Mexico was his work on the New Mexico Border Commission, which eventually led to the development of the international port of Santa Teresa, N.M. He was a past president of the local Rotary Club
and recently popped in on occasion for lunch with fellow Rotarians. He was baptized in San Jose Church in Dwyer, NM, was a strong supporter of Holy Family Catholic Church since 1945 when he married Clara Jo. G.X. was also a Knight of Columbus and a long-time contributor of beef to barbecue and cotton for auction at the annual Parish Klobase. G.X.'s family would like to thank the compassionate professionals at Mimbres Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home for attending to him in his final days. In lieu of flowers, a donation in GX's memory to the BorderBelles scholarship fund for young agriculturalists from Luna County would be appreciated. BorderBelles is a chapter of New Mexico Cowbelles. Memorials may be sent in care of Beverly Butler, PO Box 522, Columbus, NM 88029. Alternatively, memorials to the Luna County Historical Society (Deming-Luna-Mimbres Museum) at 301 S Silver, Deming NM 88030 are in order and greatly appreciated. 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. 575-546-9671.