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Ernest S. Stapleton


1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Ernest S. Stapleton Obituary
Stapleton, Ernest S. "Ernie"



Ernest S. "Ernie" Stapleton, age 89, a life-long resident of New Mexico, died Tuesday, April 12, 2016. He is survived by his wife of fourteen years, Rose Mary Stapleton; daughters, Dawnelle Askew and husband, Travis and Leslie Gonzales; four grandchildren, Maya Gallegos and husband, Daniel, Alexandria Askew and husband, Steven Davidson, Caitlin Gonzales, and Patrick Gonzales; two great-grandchildren, Ingrid and Imoen; brother, Conrad Stapleton and wife, Linda; nieces and nephews, Myra Rollins, Anna Hernandez, Eric Stapleton, Tracy Ray, and Colin Stapleton; sisters-in-law Grace Andrade and Pat Pierson; and numerous other relatives and friends. Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Beatrice Baca Stapleton; wife, Elsie Barboa Stapleton; and sister, Marilyn Stapleton Vasquez.

He was born in 1927 in Albuquerque and loved Socorro where he grew up. Ernie graduated from Socorro High School, class of 1943, and then entered UNM before going into the United States Marine Corps during WWII. He obtained his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in history from UNM and then did Doctoral Studies in Educational Administration at Columbia University. Ernie received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Albuquerque in 1972.

He served Albuquerque Public Schools for thirty years, as teacher and administrative assistant at Jefferson Junior High; principal at Mark Twain Elementary; counselor and principal at Valley High School; and then served in Administration as Director of Instruction; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction; Associate Superintendent of Instructional Services; and Superintendent from 1971 to 1977. Ernie also served as president of Albuquerque TVI (now CNM). He then served from 1977 to 1993 at the UNM as Special Assistant to the Provost; Lecturer in the College of Education and the Department of Educational Administration; and Academic Director of Latin American Programs in Education. Ernie also served as Chairman of NMEA Quality Education Commission, Vice-Chairman of NMEA Finance Commission, President of New Mexico Secondary Education Principals, President of New Mexico Directors of Instruction, Executive Director and President of the New Mexico Council on Economic Education. He served on the New Mexico Boys School Board at Springer, NM, as Chairman of the Harwood Girls Board of Trustees, Chairman of Bernalillo County Library Board, on the Board of Trustees for Southern Methodist University, and President of Albuquerque Historical Society. Ernie was awarded Educator of the Year in 1995, and was inducted into the New Mexico Association of School Administrator's Hall of Fame.

He was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church with service to the Harwood Spanish Methodist Church in Socorro, El Buen Samaritano Church in Albuquerque and St. Andrews Methodist Church in Albuquerque where he enjoyed teaching for many years in the Sunday School Programs of the churches. He also enjoyed serving on the various boards such as Finance, Education and Pastor Relations, of the churches. The United Methodist Church awarded him the Laity Living Archives Award at the New Mexico Annual Conference in 2013.

Ernie was a life-long lover of history and especially New Mexico history. He loved reading and collecting books, enjoying a 10,000-volume personal library with universal taste: politics, history, education, mystery, science, and religion. You can say he collected everything and loved books including his very first books given to him as a child, "Freddie the Detective", a book called "The Man Nobody Knows" (a book about Jesus), and a Big Little Book called "Joe Louis the Brown Bomber" and many more. Ernie co-authored a book on New Mexico Education with Dr. John Mondragon entitled "Public Education in New Mexico" published by UNM Press and authored numerous education articles in his career on varied subjects such as reading, counseling, and vocational education. Ernie was honored to have a school named Ernest Stapleton Elementary in Rio Rancho, originally part of APS, in 1990.

He had a great love for his family and friends and dearly missed his mother, Beatrice; father, Ernest; wife, Elsie, sister, Marilyn, grandfather, Edward Stapleton, second mom, Adeline Barboa; father-in-law, Floyd Barboa; and friends Bennie Baca, Warren Smart, John Mondragon, Ed Marinsek and Joe Sanchez. In Ernie's own words, "I love New Mexico, its grand history and its people. I only wish I had a second lifetime to tell its stories." Ernie was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Services will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016, 11:00 a.m. at Central United Methodist Church, 201 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Interment will take place at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery, 924 Menaul Blvd NE. Pallbearers will be Steve Davidson, Patrick Gonzales, Daniel Gallegos, Art Hernandez, Gary Rollins, Eric Stapleton and Travis Askew. Honorary Pallbearers will be Louie Cordova, Leo Griego, and Joe (Luigi) Cordova. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be in Ernie's name to Joy Junction, 4500 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105; the Storehouse, 106 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102 or Roadrunner Food Bank, 5840 Office Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Please visit our online guestbook for Ernie at www.frenchfunerals.com.

FRENCH - Lomas

10500 Lomas Blvd. NE

(505) 275-3500
Published in Albuquerque Journal from Apr. 14 to Apr. 15, 2016
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