Lilly Ana Valle-Furphy, devoted mother and cherished wife, died peacefully at her Ruidoso Downs home on Wednesday, June 5, with her husband, Chris, and her children, Sean and Caitlin, at her side.
She was 49 years old and waged a valiant battle against cancer.
Lilly provided unselfish service since 1996 as Director of Religious Education at St. Eleanor Catholic Church, overseeing grades one through 12, plus directing a lively and spiritual annual Vacation Bible School.
Her management style was characterized by a fun sense of humor, a loving nature coupled with no-nonsense leadership.
"We've lost one of the most talented and dedicated members of our parish," said Father Al Galvan, pastor of St. Eleanor. "Her work was a gift to us and to the diocese at large. We have lost a cherished member of our family."
Lilly was born in Bisbee, Arizona to Raymundo and Estela Valle. She was raised in Alamogordo where she attended Alamogordo High School, graduating in 1981.
Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from New Mexico State University, Lilly went on to work in Santa Fe at St. Vincent's Hospital. Lilly and Chris married in 1988, having met at NMSU. "Pretty soon I knew in my heart this was my guy and I was comfortable with that because I knew Chris to be a steady, careful man and a man of God," Lilly once told a friend. She chose to be a stay at home mom when Sean was born in 1989.
The family moved to Lovington for a short time before relocating to Ruidoso in 1990.
She was preceded in death by her paternal and maternal grandparents, and her father-in-law Jack W. Furphy. She is survived by numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
In addition to her parents, she is survived by a sister, Lidia, a brother, Ray and his wife, Heidi Valle, her mother-in-law, Marie Furphy, and the Furphy family.
A rosary followed by a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 22, at St. Eleanor Catholic Church. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, her family has requested donations be made to St. Eleanor Catholic Church or cancer research.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.lagroneruidoso.com.
Published in Ruidoso News from June 14 to July 13, 2013