Ubaldo Benavidez, Sr., resident of Silver City, entered into eternal rest at his home on June 20, 2013. The son of Lorenzo Lopez Benavidez and Juanita Chavarria Benavidez, he was born in Rodey, N.M. on Aug. 29, 1922. Several years later, the family moved to Hatch, where he grew up with his brothers, Bernardo, George and Oscar Benavidez on the family farm. He and his brothers helped their dad manage farming chile and cotton, run a dairy and manage other tracts of land. Ubaldo spent his early years learning from his father the traits that shaped his life; family values, to enjoy a "good drink," earn a good wage, be insightful and productive in his work, value friendship, respect the church and to live with honor. When Ubaldo was 15, he left school with his older brother to work the crops in Colorado. When the season would end, they would return home and pick up their duties on their own farm and dairy. At the age of 18, Ubaldo signed up for the U.S. Army
where he became a paratrooper (they would shout "Geronimo" when they jumped!). Ubaldo was part of the Third Infantry Division and served in World War II. During his tour of duty, he was the first man to land on Anzio Beach in Italy. He was in the war for one year, and later on in life, he was fond of saying that they were "trying to catch Hitler, but he was one step ahead of them, until he killed himself." When he was discharged, he met Josephine Estrada of Deming, in Los Angeles, Calif., fell in love and brought her back to New Mexico to marry her. They returned to L.A. for two years and relocated to New Mexico with two baby boys. He was employed by Kennecott Copper Corporation and was, at the time, the third generation of the Benavidez family to do so. Ubaldo's grandfather Victorio Benavidez and his son, Lorenzo had worked at the mines previous to Ubaldo working there. A total of four generations of the Benavidez family worked for Kennecott Copper/Chino Mines. A fifth generation is working there now, under the corporation that ultimately became the new owners, Freeport Moran. Ubaldo was a community-oriented man; he coached baseball, little league and boxing for many years. He was extremely active with the local VFW
Chapter and was very involved in family-oriented fun at the VFW Post in Bayard, N.M. He would coordinate Golden Gloves Boxing championships at the post as well as help set up carnivals for the children of the post members. As a "Cootie" (an off-shoot or club of the VFW Post) he and others would visit veterans who were hospitalized in Fort Bayard; they would have fundraisers for Cobre High School and help students by providing funds for school-related events and trips. Ubaldo loved to visit with people of all walks of life. He enjoyed a good cup of coffee and the company of another person. Anywhere he went, whether it was to the grocery store or somewhere out of town or out of state, he was greeted with affection and unbelievably ran into someone he had met years before or someone that was a friend or relative to someone he knew. He is preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, George and Bernardo, and two grandchildren, Kahlo Benavidez and Roberto Benavidez Garcia. He is survived by his loving wife, Josephine Benavidez and five children and their respective families, Ubaldo Benavidez Jr. and wife Rusie, John Benavidez and wife Teresa, Kathy Benavidez, Robert Benavidez, and Eddie Benavidez and wife Kim; his brother, Oscar Benavidez and wife Natalia. Other survivors include his grandchildren, Ubaldo III, Charlotte, Xavier, Isaac, Lourdes, Ruben, Magdalena and Daniel Benavidez, Yvette Pacheco Chavez, Camila Benavidez Garcia; Jeffrey Benavidez Morales, Joshua Serrier and Celine Benavidez Patton; his great-grandchildren, Ubaldo IV, Shane, Cierra, Isabella, Xander and Zeke Benavidez, Zachary and Zane Benavidez Chavez, Brianna, Jasmine, Mhia and Celeste Romero; and Haley and Christina Patton; his great-great-grandchildren, Ubaldo Benavidez V and Xaydrie Romero Ortiz; his nieces and nephews that he leaves behind, David, Margie, Michael and Cindy Benavidez, Nora Holguin, Victor Benavidez, LoVina Polomski, Debbie Winborn and Belinda Lucero. Too numerous to mention by name are the children of his beloved nieces and nephews Ubaldo and his wife Josie had the honor of seeing their family reach five living generations within his lifetime. One line of the five generations are all males named Ubaldo Benavidez-from Sr. to the 5th! And the other five generations are all females with the fifth-generation girl being Xaydrie Ortiz. It is with saddened hearts that we released our brother, father, uncle and grandfather to the hands of his Maker, nonetheless we celebrate his journey in life and treasure his memory, and rejoice that he is with God from now on. Visitation for Mr. Benavidez will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, 2013 in Baca's Funeral Chapels, Hwy180 East at Delk Drive where the prayer vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. Family and friends will join together to celebrate the funeral mass at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in Infant Jesus Catholic Church, 204 Cortez St. in Hurley with the Rev. Roberto Barreto officiating. The rite of committal and interment will follow at Fort Bayard National Cemetery with military honors accorded by a New Mexico National Guard Honor Guard and the American Legion Honor Guard. Serving as casket bearers will be Eddie Benavidez, Danny Benavidez, Ubaldo Benavidez IV, Zachary Chavez, Zayne Chavez and Robert Benavidez. Entrusted to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels of Las Cruces. 527-2222. Your exclusive providers for "Veterans and Family Memorial Care." For online condolences, log on to www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com.