Christa Helga Cloyd Panetti was born Aug. 29, 1929 in Germany. Raised by her maternal grandparents who adopted her at birth, she grew up in Berlin, Germany. In 1947 she became engaged to an American soldier, James Thomas Cloyd (Jim). Her parents insisted she become proficient in English so she could pass the state test as a translator of the English language. Her college time ended after one year when she married her fiancée, Jim, and moved to the United States. Christa continued her education at other institutions as she traveled to the many assignments of her military husband. After settling in Las Cruces she continued her education at NMSU doing most of her studies in Mass Communication, particularly in photography. Christa had a lifetime career in Federal Service. Her most rewarding and enjoyable work was at WSMR with her immediate supervisor, Wilbur B. Payne. This included working with the German Ministry of Defense. After Jim's death in 1992 she became a real estate agent with Drue Self Real Estate. In 2002 Christa married Don E. Panetti. Don became her mainstay and loving life companion. Don's love and care helped her overcome many adversities. During her lifetime Christa staunchly believed in the American system of working diligently to accomplish a set goal. She believed America was indeed the "Land of Opportunity." Christa took great comfort from the love of Vicky and Al Holmes and Nancy Ann Warner and their children whom she considered as her family, and from her many friends. Most of all she was comforted by the steadfast love of her husband, Don. Christa was preceded in death by her first husband, Jim Cloyd and Billy, their infant son. Visitation will be at La Paz - Graham's Funeral Home Chapel on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by a service conducted by Pastor Paul Duerksen of St. Paul's Methodist Church. Burial will be at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery. In memory of Christa donations may be made to Mesilla Valley Hospice, 299 E. Montana Avenue, LC, NM 88005. Funeral arrangements are with La Paz - Graham's Funeral Home. To sign the guest book log on to www.lapaz-grahams.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Dec. 30, 2012