John Gonzales
1927 - 2019
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John A. Gonzales

John A. Gonzales, age 92, passed on to Jesus on Friday, September 6, 2019. He was a devoted husband and father. John was born in Ribera, NM on Friday, June 24, 1927, attending school there and at Highland High in Las Vegas, NM.

In 1944 John was called to active duty assigned to the Army part of the Army Airforce and was Honorably Discharged in 1946, when he joined the National Guard. When the Korean War broke out, members having three plus children could opt out. John opted out with an Honorable Discharge, he moved his family to Los Alamos in 1957, received his security clearance, and joined the Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD) until retirement in 1978, having risen in rank to Motor pump Operator and lastly Captain.

On off days from LAFD, John worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in casual status as both electrical technician and mechanical technician, retiring from LANL in 1991.

John met Barbara Bales in Los Alamos, where they were married in 1968. They moved to the wonderful community of La Puebla (between Espanola and Chimayo) in 1976, where John and community members started La Puebla Volunteer Fire Department in 1980. By the time John retired as Chief, he had La Puebla fire station and a sub-station in Arroyo Seco, fully equipped and equipped with a water tower to supply the engines and tankers.

John was nominated as Chief, remaining so until retiring from the position in 1997. They moved to Rio Rancho in 2002.

John had four children from previous marriages, Lourie, James, John, Pat, and Marie, aiding them as needed even to their 50' and 70's. James John preceded his father in death.

John had served on the Santa Fe County Road commission, getting the La Puebla road paved from the LPVFD to the highway. He also served on the La Puebla Ditch Commission, aiding in getting the acecia paved.

John loved animals, especially his German shepherd "Jason", John greatly enjoyed the outdoors-fishing, boating, hunting, camping, and snowmobiling. On his land in La Puebla he raised alfalfa for Barbara's horses.

A Viewing will be held on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 9:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial to follow at Church of the Incarnation, 2309 Monterrey Road NE Rio Rancho. Interment will follow at Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM. Please visit our online guestbook for John at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Sep. 15, 2019.
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2 entries
December 28, 2019
It was my great pleasure and honor to meet John and Barbara before and subsequent to their move to Rio Rancho. I was impressed by the breadth of his knowledge and experience, and the casual storytelling way he had of sharing extraordinary memories. He made me feel like an accepted member of family, and I will be forever grateful for this kindness. I love this man... as I knew him.
Sylvester Gaston
September 13, 2019
Our condolences on the passing of John.
He was such a gentleman with such a kind voice and always happy to see us.
May he Rest In Peace and May his memories
Be with you in this time of grief.
Our prayers to you and the family!
Helen and Phil Archuleta
Los Alamos, NM
Helen and Phil Archuleta
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