John Noble Bilderbeck of Las Cruces, born March 24, 1945, passed away peacefully after a long illness on the afternoon of July 18th, 2012, at the age of 67. Preceded in death by his wife Zulema, he is survived by his eldest son and daughter-in-law José H. and Erica Bilderbeck, and by his younger son John A. Bilderbeck, of Los Angeles, Calif. The son of Hermann Casper and Hazel Mildred Bilderbeck, John grew up in Denver, Colo. and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Economics. He later attained his Master's degree in Economic Theory from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. John led an exciting and international life, highlighted by a decade in the Peace Corps serving underdeveloped communities in Bolivia, where he met his late wife, Zulema. He also spent several years working with credit unions and promoting agricultural development in rural Malawi, Africa. Moving with his family from Bolivia to Africa, Colorado, Arkansas, and finally New Mexico, instilled in his children an appreciation of diversity and a deeply multicultural background. John was always proud of the work he did with the Mesilla senior community, serving as the director of the senior center for many years. John was an avid aficionado of jazz and latin music, and had a vast collection of classic vinyl records. During his retirement he discovered new passions such as writing and cycling. He was an active participant in the annual Border Book Festival in Mesilla, N.M. and a member of the Mesilla Valley Jazz and Blues Society. John was a tireless storyteller and enjoyed sharing his many life experiences with his family and friends. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 21st at the Mesilla Community Center, 2251 Calle de Santiago, Mesilla, NM 88046, at 1 p.m.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on July 20, 2012