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Mary Jhel Leon

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Mary Jhel Leon Obituary
Mary Jhel Leon, was born born, raised and lived in Alamogordo most of her life, has gone home to be with her lord and savior. She had lived many years in California with her daughter, Olga Villarreal, and for the past 1 1/2 years at Lifehouse Retirement Center in San Jose, Calif.
She was preceded in death by her husband David; son Michael; and daughters Olga and Yvonne, who are all buried at the Monte Vista Cemetery.
She leaves behind four children, Ramona (Fritz) Hellings, of Fountain Valley, Calif., Olga (Jesse) Villarreal, of San Jose, Arnold (Carmen) Leon, of Mountain View, Calif., and Jerry Leon, of Singapore. Mary also leaves behind 12 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. She has a granddaughter and grandson plus several nieces, nephews and friends that live in Alamogordo.
Although moving to California after her husband's death, Mary's heart was always linked with her beloved New Mexico, especially Alamogordo. She often told stories of life on her dad's farm, prior to World War II, where they grew corn, watermelons, peaches and raised livestock.
Mary was the first in her family to attend college (in Abilene, Texas, and Las Vegas, N.M.), eventually becoming a teacher at the former Dudley School. Her teaching career was cut short due to illness.
She ran a local bookkeeping and tax preparation service for many years. Mary loved to share stories of her grandfather, who came to Mexico with the French Army under Maximilian. Her grandfather chose to stay in Mexico after the French-Mexican War ended. His son, Michael, moved to New Mexico Territory and became foremen at a local railroad tie plant, along with running a farm.
Mary's last years were difficult due to declining health and loss of eyesight shortly before moving to the Lifehouse Nursing Home. Yet, God blessed her with a wonderful roommate, Hortencia Cisceros, who became her eyes while Mary became Hortencia's Spanish/English translator. They became the best of friends.
Graveside memorial services will be conducted 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at Monte Vista Cemetery. A reception will follow at the funeral home.
The family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m. Monday, April 4, 2011, at the Alamogordo Funeral Home chapel.
The Leon family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the funeral services.
To sign the online register book, please visit
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Apr. 1 to May 1, 2011
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