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Marc (Marcelino) Prelo

Marc (Marcelino) Prelo Obituary
Marc (Marcelino) Prelo

Lincoln, CA - Marc (Marcelino) Prelo, an attorney in NM for over 40 years, died in Lincoln, CA on December 20, 2019. He was 85. One of seven children born to Josephine and Marcelino Prelo, in Alamogordo, NM, Marc spent much of his youth on and around the Mescalero Apache reservation. Marc served as an officer in the Navy after receiving his BBA from UNM, the only member of his family to complete a college degree. In 1960, he met and married Cecilia Ramos Prelo, the love of his life.

In 1963, he returned to UNM to complete his Juris Doctor. As a lawyer, Marc served his community. In conjunction with two other attorneys, he helped establish the first Federal Public Defenders office in NM. He was also an associate professor of law at UNM's American Indian Law Center where he taught tribal judges and prosecutors. In his private practice in Albuquerque and Ruidoso, he counseled countless individuals. In 1977, Marc successfully litigated an Indian sovereignty law case before the US Supreme Court. A highlight was when he practiced law with his daughter, Roxanna, who graduated from UNM law school in 1989. Marc was the city attorney for Ruidoso. In 2009, Governor Bill Richardson appointed Marc to the NM Gaming Control Board.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Cecilia Prelo, and Roxanna and Bill Friedrich, his daughter and son-in-law, two sisters, and numerous nieces and nephews. Marc and Ceci loved to travel the world with family and friends but his love of the people, culture and food of NM never faltered. Marc enjoyed playing golf, fishing, hunting, and playing gin rummy or poker. He loved to win! He was a diehard Lobo basketball fan with season tickets since they played at Johnson gym.

A celebration of life will occur in Rocklin, CA on January 18. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in his name to the UNM School of Law.
Published in Ruidoso News from Jan. 16 to Jan. 22, 2020
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