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Albuquerque, NM 87110
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Cleo J. Werner

1923 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Cleo J. Werner Obituary
Werner, Cleo J.

Cleo J. Werner, born Cliofas Julianita Baca, 92, passed away July 15, 2016. Her sister, Eva, the only surviving sibling of a family of five said, "She lived life until she died" and that is exactly what she did, for all of her nearly 93 years. She did it with positive energy and grace, laughter, creativity, love and incredible strength. Her physical strength was challenged by the pancreatic cancer that took her quickly and mercifully from this life.

Born August 28, 1923 in an historic Las Vegas, NM home, she was a great-granddaughter of Jose Miguel Romero y Baca and Maria Josefa Gregoria Delgado de Romero, both descendants of Capt. Cristobal Baca, a Spanish colonist who came to NM in 1600. And although her great-grandparents were wealthy merchants, there was little money growing up in the 1930's in Santa Rosa and Santa Fe, NM. Her father, Euplio Baca, found work where he could. When Cleo, the oldest of the children, was 12, Euplio died and her mother, Maria Casaus de Baca became a single parent. They may not have had plumbing or electricity or anything but beans to eat, but they were brought up with a love for art, music, education and devotion to family.

Cleo was the first to volunteer for school plays and she and her talented siblings would sing and dance together for fun. She graduated from Santa Rosa HS in 1941 as Salutatorian. She left NM Highlands University after a year to take Eva, Lucella and Rudy (Euplio Jr.) to Los Angeles, California to finish school and find work. Her youngest brother, Hector, stayed in Santa Rosa with their mother. Cleo worked for Douglas Aircraft, studied commercial art and attended secretarial school. She also worked at Walter Lantz Studios and Columbia Screen Gems.

Having had enough of the 'big city', Cleo returned to New Mexico, settled in Albuquerque, and married her husband, Robert Werner, in 1952. She would have been content to be a stay at home mom to her infant daughter, Michele, but that wasn't meant to be. She, like her mother before her, raised her daughter as a single parent. She went to work as a legal secretary in the 1960's, bought a little house in Nob Hill, and finished out her career with the Office of the NM State Public Defenders, retiring in 1990. By this time, she had inherited a son-in-law, Ralph Chapman, and was a proud grandmother of two grandsons, Kyle Chapman and Brent Chapman.

Retirement gave Cleo time to do the things she loved: draw, paint, letter, sing with the Our Lady of Fatima choir, serve as Chaplain of American Legion Post 99, travel, study genealogy, go to the Highland Senior Center, perform volunteer and board member duties plus dance and sing karaoke at the Solo Club, listen to classical music, and help. Cleo always was a help to her family and friends, always giving and forgiving. Never in a bad mood, even on her most difficult days, she was asking how we were, caring, loving unconditionally. She wasn't just religious, she lived her religion, in thought word and deed; she embraced and embodied love and kindness. We are so going to miss her!

Cleo's family would like to thank all of her family, friends, and medical care providers for the great deal of help and support they provided to Cleo and to us during her illness.

Donations in Cleo's name may be sent to Our Lady of Fatima Church, American Legion Post 99, or the Solo Club of Albuquerque.

Please join us for all or any part of the services honoring Cleo's fully lived life.

A Rosary will be recited for Cleo Tuesday July 26, 2016, 12:30 p.m. followed by the Mass at 1:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 4020 Lomas Blvd NE, 87110. Interment will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, 1900 Edith NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102. A Reception will be held at The Solo Club, 2500 Candelaria Rd. NE 87107 following the interment. Please visit our online guest book for Cleo at


FRENCH - Lomas

10500 Lomas Blvd. NE

Published in Albuquerque Journal from July 23 to July 25, 2016
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