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Las Cruces, NM 88005
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Michael C. Avilucea

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Michael C. Avilucea was born Aug. 25, 1956, in Las Cruces to Procopio S. and Clarinda Avilucea, natives of Las Cruces. At approximately 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, 2008, his life was tragically ended in a fatal accident. 
A native Las Crucen, Michael graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1974. In 1993 he continued his education at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, graduating magna cum laude in criminal justice and sociology. Michael enjoyed spending his spare time ranching, hunting, fishing, camping and working alongside his son Lucas as a part-time cattle rancher.
As a young man Michael's desire was to attend the New Mexico State Police Academy. In 1981 he joined the ranks of the New Mexico State Police. Lieutenant Avilucea is honored as "A policeman's policeman." He unselfishly served the state of New Mexico for 26 1/2 years, which fostered his passion for service to the citizens of New Mexico. Lieutenant Avilucea was also an active member of the New Mexico State Police Association, National Rifle Association, New Mexico Cattlemen's Association, American Quarter Horse Association, the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, and the Bomb Commanders Advisory Group.
Among his comrades, Lieutenant Avilucea never knew a stranger, demonstrating a thorough, generous and caring concern for all. As commander of the New Mexico State Police Bomb Team, Lieutenant Avilucea participated in numerous support missions relative to presidential visits in New Mexico and visits of other high level political leaders and dignitaries. Particularly important to Lieutenant Avilucea was his involvement in the New Mexico State Police Association supporting grieving families when they lost a loved one in the line of duty serving as New Mexico State Police officers. Lieutenant Avilucea, because of his exemplary compassion, has been the recipient of their unending love and support.
Michael is survived by a son, Lucas Avilucea, of Las Cruces; his parents; seven siblings, Fidel Avilucea and wife Sadie Ann, of Las Cruces, Lila Neher and husband Ron, of Brush, Colo., Gloria Avilucea, of Las Cruces, Patsy Martin and husband John, of Dallas, Robert Avilucea and Laura, of Las Cruces, Ida Fingado and husband Frank, of Albuquerque; and Virginia Lattion and husband Bud, of Las Vegas, Nev. Other survivors include a special nephew, Matthew, as well as other nieces and nephews.
Lieutenant Avilucea will be reposing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, 2008, in Baca's Chapel of Prayer, 300 E. Boutz Road. The rosary will be held the same evening at 7:30 p.m. in Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, 1240 S. Espina. Family and friends will join together to celebrate the funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 4, 2008, at the same church with the Rev. Ray Flores officiating. The rite of committal and interment will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, where he will be laid to rest.
Serving as casket bearers will be Lt. Darren Soland, Sgt. Eugene Bess, officer Wesley Cox, officer Robert Eshom, officer Antonio Gonzalez, officer Leonard Ornelas, officer Jose Salazar and officer James Tolan. Honorary bearers will be members of the New Mexico State Police Bomb Team.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the New Mexico State Police Association, P.O. Box 13249, Las Cruces, NM 88013.
The Avilucea family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapel to direct the funeral services. The chapel can be reached at (575) 527-2222.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from June 3 to June 17, 2008
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