Jose Miguel Otero, age 81, passed away on Sunday October 6, 2013 in the presence of his family following a brief illness. ""Mike,"" as he was fondly known to family and friends, was a resident of San Miguel for the past 30 years and prior to that lived in Las Cruces. Mike was born in Manzano, NM on September 8, 1932 to Cruz and Lionor Otero. Mike served his country honorably in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 during the Korean War where he earned the Korean Service Medal serving as a Tech Sergeant. Following his military service his career path started with Civil Service at White Sands Missile Range. From 1965 to 1984 he worked for General Services Administration (GSA) Interagency Motor Pool System where he was commended for his excellence in leadership and management practices in fiscal efficiencies while maintaining superior quality in operations. He was a true role model of Servant Leadership. He retired in 1984 after serving as a fleet manager in Las Cruces and El Paso. After his retirement he remained active in the community and worked as a transition coordinator with the Circle of Life Program, Gadsden Independent School District assisting high school students in finding summer employment and he also worked with the Elephant Butte Irrigation District. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3242 and served as Post Commander from 1964–1965. Mike never met a stranger. He loved people and was so proud to call someone his friend. He was known for always thanking and praising people and often wrote letters or notes to recognize accomplishments. Even on his last day on earth when he had little strength, he managed to smile and thank all the healthcare staff who cared for him. He was a talented singer, played the harmonica and to the delight of his friends and family he frequently entertained them with an outburst of yodeling or a Hank Williams Sr. ballad. He served Jesus Christ our Lord by showing love, kindness, and never passing judgment on others. His patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel, was his guide that he states brought him to San Miguel where he met Dora, his wife. He was a member of San Miguel Catholic Church where he served as an usher, Finance Committee member and led many projects for the church including the church fiesta and the annual trek to the desert to acquire palms for Palm Sunday. He is survived by his wife, the love of his life, Dora Martinez Otero of San Miguel. They would have been married 57 years on October 20th. He is also survived by his daughters Yolanda Otero Inman of Albuquerque, Dr. Diana Otero of San Miguel, Ruth Otero of San Antonio, Texas and his granddaughter, Erika Otero Inman whom he called the sunshine of his life and she lovingly called him Pa Bear. Other survivors include three sisters, Jessie Lucero and Sarah Baca of Albuquerque and Lupe Manley of Oklahoma, his brother-in-law Victor Martinez and wife Celia of San Miguel, sisters-in-law Benita Garcia of Las Cruces and Carmen Martinez of San Miguel, nieces, nephews and many friends who were very special to him. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Juan Pablo, Manuel and Albert Otero and a sister, Ruth Otero. There is a deep sadness in knowing that Mike is no longer with us yet there is joy and happiness that he has journeyed to heaven. Calling hours will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 10, 2013 in San Miguel Catholic Church, 19217 Hwy 28 in San Miguel where Recitation of the Holy Rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, October 11th at 10 a.m. in the same church. The Rite of Committal and Interment will follow at the San Miguel Cemetery with military honors accorded by a New Mexico National Guard Honor Guard and Marine Corps League – El Perro Diablo Detachment. Serving as casket bearers will be Mark Butler, Leroy Candelaria, Ricardo Castaneda, Rudy Garcia, Larry Martinez, Victor Ray Martinez, George Maya Jr., and Charlie Otero. Honorary bearers will be Ramon Armendariz and Santiago Gonzalez. The Otero Family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels, 300 E. Boutz Road, Las Cruces. 527-2222 Your exclusive providers for ""Veterans and Family Memorial Care"". For on line condolences logon to www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com
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Baca's Funeral Chapels
300 East Boutz Las Cruces, NM 88004
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Oct. 9, 2013