It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved wife, mother, sister and grandmother, Maria H. Barela Leslie, 56, lifelong resident of Las Cruces on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 at Mountain View Regional Medical Center surrounded by her loving family. She was born Nov. 21, 1956 to Pascual and Rita S. Barela. Maria was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and formerly served as Madam President. She enjoyed her Harley Davidson rides with her husband; and was also known as "Biker Mama." Those left to mourn her passing include her loving husband of 21 years, James Leslie of the family home; one son, Jose L. Melendez; two daughters, Patricia Melendez and Josie Melendez, all of Las Cruces; two stepdaughters, Mary Ann Raulston and Kristy Armstrong, both of Odessa, Texas; her mother, Rita S. Martinez, two brothers, Donald and Thomas Barela and two sisters, Anita Morgan and Sally Salazar, all also of Las Cruces. Other survivors include 11 grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and extended family members. She was preceded in death by her father, a daughter, Dolores Melendez and one sister, Yolanda Salas. Visitation for Mrs. Leslie will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 in Baca's Chapel of Prayer, 300 E. Boutz Road where the prayer service is scheduled for 12 p.m. At her request cremation will take place and inurnment of cremains will be held at a later date. The Leslie family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels and Sunset Crematory of Las Cruces. 527-2222. For online condolences, log onto www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Jan. 30, 2013