Rebecca Diane Spires was born in Texas in 1951. She passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 20, 2013 while on holiday in England. She is survived by her fiancé David Medina and his family as well as her former husband Shannon Spires and his family Nancy, David, Clay, Crystal, Barbara, Tammerie and their children. Rebecca was preceded in death by her former husband Richard Connelly, her father Joe B. Hill, and her mother Louise Walker Perry, all of Texas. She loved all her relatives, especially her nieces Julie, Harper, and Jennifer Spires, nephews Austin and Chandler Spires, and goddaughter Estrella Lucero. Rebecca moved to Albuquerque with her husband Shannon in 1986 after earning her MBA from the University of Texas. She retired from a career in the employee benefits department at Sandia National Labs in 2011. She was received into the Catholic faith in early 2011 and relocated to Las Cruces where she was an active member of Immaculate Heart of Mary parish. She was nominated for Albuquerque Women on the Move in 2002 and she had served on the board of San Pedro Creek Homeowners' Association. Rebecca was a visiting professor who taught Employee Benefits at the University of New Mexico, and she was a nationally recognized speaker, often invited by women's groups to speak on basic investing. In early 2001, Rebecca was featured as one of the leading national 401(k) plan sponsors in Institutional Investor, a prominent investment magazine. Rebecca was a mentor to women in our community. Rebecca considered it her mission to encourage women, regardless of their age or circumstances, to continue to reach for their dreams. Rebecca had an artist's soul, which found expression in gardening, sewing, quilting, cooking, stained glass, repoussé, and feathering her nest. She took great joy in her garden's beauty and abundance, and in the hours she spent creating meals to enjoy with family and friends. She was written up in the early 1990s in the Albuquerque Journal for her "front yard vegetable garden." Her kitchen was a gathering place, and every room of the house showed her touch, in painting, arts, lush physical comforts, and of course a decorated tree for every season -- not just Christmas, but also the Fourth of July, Easter, and Halloween. Her beloved cats , many rescued, were lucky to have landed in the lavish affection of life with Rebecca. She traveled widely in Great Britain during retirement, gracing with her presence the lives of the many friends she made there. Rebecca was a beautiful, loving woman with a generous and thoughtful spirit. She was a woman of brilliant insight, persistence in living through hardship and pain, and passion for the next joy. There will always be a Rebecca-shaped emptiness in the hearts of those who loved her. Rosary, Funeral Mass and meal will be given November 18, 2013 at the Cathedral of Immaculate Heart of Mary (1240 S. Espina) at 10:00 a.m. in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Rebecca loved flowers and they would be welcome at the service. Donations to the Myelin Repair Foundation in lieu of flowers would be equally appreciated. At a later date a memorial will be held by friends and family in the Albuquerque area to celebrate Rebecca's life. To leave memorial thoughts please go on-line to http://rebeccaspires.tumblr.com/
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Nov. 14, 2013