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Andres Avelino Salas

1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Andres Avelino Salas Obituary
Salas, Andres Avelino

December 23, 1925 - March 16, 2016

Andres Avelino Salas, born in Torreon, NM on December 23, 1925 to Francisco Antonio and Cleofas (Lujan) Salas, died peacefully at the age of 90, on March 16, 2016 in Amarillo, TX at the VA Community Living Center where he had resided for the last five years.

Andres spent his early years in the village of San Mateo, NM where he enjoyed the outdoor life as a shepherd in the summers with his father and attended grammar school until he graduated from eighth grade. He continued to help his father until he was drafted in 1944 to serve in the Army during World War ll. In March 1945 he was shipped to the European theatre with the 97th Infantry Division. On April 15, 1945 he was severely injured when his platoon was hit by a mortar resulting in the loss of his right leg and shrapnel injuries he carried the rest of his life. He was awarded a Purple Heart and after months recuperating in hospital in England he was sent home for further rehabilitation spending nearly a year in Brigham City, Utah where he learned to dance with his new artificial leg. Many people never knew he wore a prosthesis because he was such a good dancer.

He met his future wife, Theodorita (Tita) Romero at a dance and they married, May 26, 1947 in Albuquerque, NM, where they built their first home themselves. After 59 years of marriage, she preceded him in death in 2006.

Andres took advantage of the GI Bill right after his discharge and was accepted into the Albuquerque Business College and later St. Joseph College where he studied accounting. He spent a number of years working as an agent for the Internal Revenue Service in the Las Cruces, NM office where he and Tita raised their four daughters. In 1956 he transferred to the Department of the Army at White Sands Missile Range as an auditor where he worked until his retirement in 1974 and then moved back to Albuquerque.

Andres had always loved music and taught himself and his daughters how to play the guitar. Although he could not read music, he also played the piano and entertained himself and others while living at the VA CLC.

He is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, Eleyto "James" and Rose Salas; a sister, Juanita Anzures, both of Albuquerque; his four daughters and their husbands, Saundra (Salas) and Dr. James Guest of Garland, TX, Freida (Salas) and David Krupnick of Amarillo, TX, Evangeline (Salas)and Victor Telles of Albuquerque, NM, Barbara Salas, CNP and Jake Rodriguez of Santa Fe, NM; nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, all of which he held dear to his heart.

A memorial is scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2016 at the VA Community Living Center in Amarillo at 2:30pm. Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Albuquerque at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary on Saturday, April 9 at 11:00am. A Rosary will be conducted prior to the Mass at 10:15am. Interment will take place on Monday, April 11 at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM at 12:45pm.

"Death, but a sleep, is followed by a glorious awakening in the morning of an eternal realm."

- David O. McKay
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Apr. 7, 2016
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