Hass Funeral Directors, Inc. - Clayton
324 Main St. P. O. Box 187
Clayton, NM 88415
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Albert Atchley

1923 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Albert Atchley Obituary
Atchley, Albert Eugene "Gene"

Albert Eugene "Gene" Atchley had a most humble beginning when he was born in a homestead dugout on February 8, 1923 in the Patterson Community some ten miles south and east of where stands the Sofia School House. He passed away December 4, 2016 in Clayton, N.M.

His parents W.T. and Etha Atchley came to Union County in a covered wagon in 1913. Gene was the youngest of the family. The story goes that Gene named himself. Gene had two sisters and four brothers. A sister Violet, died before he was born. He grew up idolizing his older brothers, being spoiled by his sister, and having for his best friend his brother just older than him, Bill. His oldest brother B.B. was 16 years older than Gene, when they would go places where people did not know them everyone thought Gene was B.B.'s little boy as he tagged right along beside him. When Forrest bought his own place and moved away from home Gene would beg to go home with him all of the time and would run calling after him when Forrest left. They worked hard and learned the importance of doing a day's work early on. It took all hands on deck to take care of the family farm and ranch. They played equally as hard and had great fun as close devoted family. Gene attended school at Sofia and later graduated from Clayton High School in 1939 at the age of 16. He entered the Army Air Force in 1943, serving with the 555th Air Transport Command, primarily as a radio man. He was discharged in 1946 and returned home to the homestead ranch near Sofia which now serves as the Headquarters for the Sunset Ranch.

On August 29, 1948 Gene married Beverly Jean Sebring in Raton, New Mexico. Beverly was a native of the Sofia community and had grown up only 10 miles from the Atchley homestead. Together they raised three daughters Durga, Janell and Leann. In 1962, Beverly was stricken with a rapidly progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis. This was a stunning blow to this family and Gene was left with the responsibility of raising these three little girls as well as find a way to care for Beverly. Beverly was an invalid for 19 years before passing away in 1981. After almost 18 years on the ranch, Gene started working with Weisbart Company, headquartered in Denver, Colorado; one of the largest cattle enterprises in the nation. Weisbart's were involved in feedlot and grazing operations. During this time he helped to build and manage a feedlot at Alamosa, Colorado; a feedlot at Tucumcari, New Mexico and four other operations in Colorado and Perryton, Texas. Gene left the Weisbart company in 1982 to return to Clayton, New Mexico wanting to return home. After returning home to Union County, Gene managed what was then known as New Mexico Cattle. Gene and his brother Forrest would later buy New Mexico Cattle and operate it under the name Double A Feeders.

Gene loved Clayton and Union County and was a tireless supporter of the youth and civic organizations. Gene served on the Board of Directors of Texas Cattle Feeders, and as Chairman of the New Mexico Beef Council. He spent numerous years serving on the Board of Directors of the United States Meat Export Federation. For a number of years he served on the Sofia School Board and when the school closed he served in a advisory capacity to the Clayton School Board on Rural areas. He was on the Board of Directors for Five States Livestock Auction and served many terms as President. He was instrumental in 1957 in organizing and helping to build the Des Moines/Folsom rural telephone cooperative, Inc., this brought first time telephone service to many rural areas. He served as President for several terms. It is currently known as the privately owned Baca Valley Telephone Cooperative. Gene was a member of the National Cattleman' Association as well as New Mexico Cattle Growers.

Gene never quit promoting his industry. He was featured and quoted in Amarillo Daily News, Albuquerque Journal, West Texas Livestock Weekly, Livestock Market Digest, Ag Journal and New Mexico Stockman. In 1986 New Mexico Cowbelles selected Gene as their Father of the Year. In 1998 Gene was the Distinguished Pioneer recipient. In 2004 Gene received the Phillip J. Leyendecker Award from NMSU. He was named Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year in 2006.

Gene married Verleen Ansley while living in Perryton, Texas. Together they raised a grandson of Verleen's, David Warren. Verleen passed away in 2011. David and his family live in Phoenix, Arizona.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents W.T. and Etha B. Atchley. His brothers, Benny Burdean, Forrest Stanley, John Darrell and William T. Jr. Sisters, Violet Verda and Geneive Lee. The mother of his daughters Beverly Jean. And an infant granddaughter Dana Marie Deason.

Gene is survived by his children: Danny and Durga Deason of Grenville, New Mexico; Jack and Janell Wiley of Alamosa, Colorado and Barry and Leann Poling of Texline, Texas.

Grandchildren: Chad and Kellie Deason, Micah and Julie Deason, Janae and Patrick Naranjo, Charmyn and Jeff Neumeyer, Shannon and Cody Williams, Brett and Sarah Poling, Corby and Gina Poling and Krista and Bradley Gard.

Great-Grandchildren: Danny and Jaycie Deason, Charles, Courtney and Dana Deason, Durae and Aubrey Naranjo, Wiley and Chay Neumeyer, Fynley, Brant and Cambri Williams, Abigail and Emily Poling, Barrett and Augustus Poling and Chelbee and Haddee Gard.

Many nieces and nephews that he dearly loved.

Jessica Guthrie his devoted and dedicated caretaker of the past 5 years.

And a host of friends that made his life complete.

The family asks that memorials be made to the Gene Atchley Memorial Scholarship fund at FNB New Mexico in Clayton for a graduating high school senior or current college student that is majoring in agriculture.

Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church in Clayton, New Mexico with Rev. Jeff Bayley officiating. Burial will follow in the Clayton Memorial Cemetery by Hass Funeral Directors of Clayton, New Mexico. Please visit


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Published in Albuquerque Journal on Dec. 8, 2016
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