Earlier this week heaven welcomed an angel, BESTINA SANCHEZ (March 27, 1924- April 1, 2014.)
Señorita Bestina Sanchez was born to Carlos Carreon and Rosenda Gutierrez Sanchez and was the second eldest of 10 brothers and sisters. She was a devoted daughter who lovingly cared for both her parents and her younger siblings. She helped raise and entertain a flock of young nieces and nephews. Visiting with "Auntie Bestina" or "Nini" as she was called, was always a treat. As the family historian, Bestina fondly recounted stories of growing up in the City of the Crosses at a time when there was only one Main Street, when her beloved "Daddy" Carlos was a City/County Commissioner, and when she attended Lucero Elementary and would walk to the Old St. Genevieve's Church every single morning at 6 am sharp. She loved Las Cruces and would brag to many that it was the most beautiful place in the world. Bestina loved keeping in touch with all the "primos" and friends of the family, including the Gutierrez, Carreon, Marquez, Frietze, Carrillo, and Butler families to name a few of the many.
As the shopkeeper and proprietor of Sunshine Grocery (founded by her parents in 1931), she was somewhat of an icon in the Mesquite Street Historic District, and is affectionately remembered by many people who have known her for decades, and who knew her when they were growing up. Bestina was a vivid businesswoman who successfully ran and operated the grocery store for over 70 years. She was recognized in 1997 and awarded the "Sunshine Community Service Award" by Ms. Denise Chavez as part of the Border Book Festival, for her longtime commitment to the community. Miss Sanchez ventured to educate the neighborhood children and young relatives who visited the Sunshine Grocery by routinely quizzing them on geography; making them recite the 7-Continents of the World, and state capitals, and by testing their mathematical and spelling skills and jokingly calling them "burros" if they could not properly add and subtract. She urged the younger generations to learn to speak proper English, but to never, ever forget the beautiful Spanish language! Bestina will be remembered for her business savvy, unique humor, witty and famous one-liners, her frugality, and for being the ultimate night-owl--she could often be found searching for her favorite AM Spanish radio station, reading newspapers and medical text books at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. This perhaps explains why she was always quick and able to offer a good "remedio" (remedy) for any ailment. More impressive, and something that we shall never forget was her incredible faith in God and all his Saints, particularly El Niñito Jesus de Prague and La Santísima Trinidad. Bestina's core belief was that through prayer, anything was possible, as she often reminded everyone that reciting 3 Apostle Creeds would solve any problem. Bestina will be greatly missed and is survived by her cherished brothers and beloved sisters-in law, Louis and Carmen Sanchez, Alex and Linda Sanchez, sisters-in-law and dear friends Lydia Alexander and Estella Sanchez, and brother-in-law Daniel Ortega, Niece and nephew Marisa and Harry James Sanchez along with a host of many special nieces and nephews, cousins, friends and other relatives. Although, Bestina never had children, she often provided counsel and advice to many children, and she was affectionately regarded as a mother / grandmother and dear friend to many.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and sisters Viola Loya, Gloria Provencio (Walter), Rosenda Ortega (Inez), and Virginia Ortega, brothers Patrick, Carlos, and Harry Sanchez. The family would like to extend our gratitude to her many caretakers provided by Mountain Shadows home care; Irma Urdialez, Michelle Flores, and Hope Ruedas who faithfully assisted and cared for Bestina over the years. Visitation for Ms. Sanchez, will begin at 5 PM Sunday, April 6, 2014 at Baca's Chapel of Prayer, 300 E. Boutz Road where the Prayer Vigil is scheduled for 6 PM. The Funeral Mass will be held at 10 AM Monday April 7, 2014 at Our Lady of Health Catholic Church, 1178 N. Mesquite Street with the Reverend Martin Cordero, Celebrant. The Rite of Committal and Interment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, 100 N. Espina Street where she will be laid to rest. Serving as Casket bearers will be her nephews: Gerald, Mark, Eric, and Christopher Sanchez, Carl Don Ortega, and Robert (Bobby) Loya. Honorary bearers will be Carlos Sanchez III, Louie Lane, and Alex Frederick Sanchez and long-time friend, David Campolla.
From the Prayer to the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague: "Grant me the grace of possessing You eternally, with Mary and Joseph and of adoring You with the holy angels in Your heavenly court." The Sanchez Family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels of Las Cruces. 527-2222 For online condolences logon to www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Apr. 5, 2014