Anita "Annie" Ruiz Chavez passed away Jan. 4, 2013. She was born March 28, 1920. Anita, fondly known as Annie, was born in the Mimbres River Valley at Dwyer on a spring day in March to Severa and Juan Ruiz. She grew up living a carefree life of ranching and farming along with her five siblings. There she learned the value of family dedication, perseverance and hard work. Visitation will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at Baca's Funeral Chapels and the rosary service will be recited there at 6 p.m. with Cristina Milo leading the service. Mass of the Christian burial will be celebrated Friday morning at 10 a.m. at St. Ann's Catholic Church. The rite of committal and interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery. Fr. Enrique Lopez Escalera, Pastor, will officiate. In 1946, while working as a waitress in a restaurant in Deming, Annie met the love of her life, Willie Chavez. Shortly after convincing her to marry him, they settled down to start their family and were blessed with two daughters, Patricia Ann and Nancy Ann. While raising her daughters, in 1961, Annie began a career working at St. Ann's Catholic Church under Fr. Stanley Alexsiejus. Already a member of the Sacred Heart Apostolado, she soon began teaching Catechism. She taught elementary students for close to 20 years. During this time as an Apostolado member, under the mentorship of Father Joseph Hermoso, she was elected secretary/treasurer and served for the next 9 years. She was presented an award by St. Ann's Apostolado for her outstanding service from 1967 to 1976. She was also presented with "The 3 Centuries of Faith Award" by Bishop of El Paso, Raymundo Pena, in recognition of dedicated service in the growth of our diocese. For many years she was a vital part of the annual St. Ann's Fiesta. Annie soon settled into a life of raising her granddaughters but continued serving St. Ann's in many areas, for many years under Fr. Jesus Arrilucea, Fr. Al Galvan, Fr. Richard Catanach and Fr. Enrique Lopez Escalera. In July 2012 she received an award as one of the "Pillars of the Community" for her service to the parish. She was among one of the recipients that were honored with a church service by Fr. Enrique Lopez. "Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart", Victor Hugo. That is best to describe Annie; so full of life and laughter. She always had a story to tell, a poem to recite or a song to sing. She will be greatly missed by many ages and generations. She was preceded in death by her husband, Willie P. Chavez; her parents, Juan and Severa Ruiz; sisters, Priscilla Romero, Margaret Ruiz, Eloisa Mendez and Isabel Gonzales; brothers, John Ruiz Jr. and Albert Aguilera. She is survived by two daughters, Patricia Guerrero, (Victor) of Deming and Nancy Coles (Daniel) of Las Cruces; three granddaughters, Lisa Chavez Benavidez (Martin) of Socorro, N.M., Simona Chacon and Nichol Chacon both of Las Cruces; great-grandchildren, Oscar Rey Guzman, Desirae Jojola, Brooklyn, Chandler and Abie Benavidez. Pallbearers will be Simona Chacon, Nichol Chacon, Victor Guerrero, Martin Benavidez, Oscar Rey Guzman and Abie Benavidez. Honorary pallbearer named is Daniel Coles. 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. Phone: (575) 546-9671.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Jan. 9, 2013