Saltiel, Maurice LAS CRUCES, N.M. Maurice Saltiel, 97, of Las Cruces, died peacefully on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at Mesilla Valley Hospice (La Posada). He was surrounded by his loving family and the wonderful staff of La Posada. Maurice was born on May 5, 1915 in Thess-aloniki, Greece, the oldest of three brothers and son of the late Hiam and Esther Saltiel. He was educated in Italy and France and was fluent in five languages. Maurice was a holocaust survivor
, serving in the Greek army during World War II
. He was captured in Italy and held as a prisoner of war before escaping to Switzerland. After the war, he owned and operated a small textile and knitting factory in Thessaloniki. In 1955, he and his family immigrated to Albany. After working many years for the New York State Department of Criminal Justice, he retired and traveled throughout the United States and Europe, finally settling in Las Cruces in 1995, where he shared the remainder of his life with his devoted wife, Galina. Many loved Maurice, especially for the interesting life stories he enjoyed telling. He led a long, full life filled with many adventures. His passions included reading, writing, discussing politics and traveling. He deeply believed in social justice, peace and equality for all and throughout the years, he was involved in activities advocating these causes. He is survived by his loving wife, Galina; and his daughters, Esther Nina (Eugene) Gadomski of Columbia, Md. and Rhea (Jack) VanDermark of Schenectady; his brother, Jacques (Malou) Saltiel of Montreal, Canada, and his two grandsons, Joshua (Honeylee) Temblador of Washington, D.C. and Michael Temblador of Tulsa, Okla. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his brother, Nathan Saltiel of Athens, Greece. Maurice's life will be celebrated on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 2000 S. Salina Drive, Las Cruces. His family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff of La Posada for their compassionate care and love given to Maurice for more than two years. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Maurice Saltiel to Mesilla Valley Hospice, 299 Montana Ave., Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88005.