Donaciano (Don) Lopez died on May 1, 2020, at the age of 88. He was born to Manuel Lopez and Juanita (Benavidez) Lopez on March 5, 1932, in Montoya, New Mexico. For the first part of his life, he lived in Guadalupe County north of Newkirk, in an area known locally as El Valle, until he moved with his family to Tucumcari, New Mexico.
He attended school at El Valle, Newkirk, Santa Rosa and graduated from Tucumcari, High School in 1951. From 1951 to 1955, he attended New Mexico A & M College (now NM State University) and graduated with honors, with a B. S. degree in agriculture. He was very proud of the fact that he was a member of Alpha Zeta, an agriculture honorary fraternity. He later attended NMSU to work on an engineering degree. Again, he was an honor student and member of Eta Kappa Nu, an honorary engineering fraternity. He left school to get married and start a family.
On November 17, 1962 he married Eleanor Estrada and together they raised three sons; Ralph, Ronald and Richard.
His work history spanned many years and involved careers in several different fields. He served in the USAF for four years, from 1955 to 1959, serving in several locations such as; San Antonio, Biloxi, Mississippi, El Paso, Turkey and with a detachment in Phoenix, Arizona. After leaving the Air Force, he worked in electronics for several years. One of his jobs was with General Electric. He was part of a team of many workers building the ballistic missile early warning system, in Thule, Greenland. He also worked for General Electric at a radar site in Trinidad, British West Indies.
In 1965 Don went to work with the Soil Conservation Service and worked for them until retirement in 1989. He served in five places throughout the state.
Don's first love was farming and ranching. Don often joked that he and his brothers were addicted to farming and ranching. Even while working for someone else, he did part time farming and ranching. He and Eleanor returned to Tucumcari after Don retired from the Soil Conservation Service to farm and ranch full time. In 1990, Don went to work for the Arch Hurly Conservancy District where he served as assistant manager for one year and then as manager thru 1995.
Don was preceded in death by: his parents and five brothers; Jose Maria, Margarito, Manuel, Jose C. (Joe) and Freddie. He was also preceded in death by one grandchild; Elena Lopez, brothers in law; Gabriel Quintana and Marvin Cordova, and two sisters in law; Rita Lopez and Gonie Lopez.
He is survived by: his wife; Eleanor, his three sons, two daughter-in-law's, five grand children, one great grandson, five sisters; Carmelita, Albinita, Candy, Delfie and Mary, and three brothers; Pablo, Carlos and Rudy.
A Celebration of Don's life will be announced later in the future.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Muffley Funeral Home, 575-762-4435, www.muffleyfuneralhome.com.