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BEN "Mr. Ben" VIARRIAL Age 78, a resident of the Pueblo of Pojoaque, passed away on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at home after a battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 54 years, Flora V. Viarrial; parents, Fermin and Feliciana Viarrial; paternal grandparents, Fermin and Ceferina Salazar-Viarrial, maternal grandparents, Jose Antonio and Senobia Tapia; godparents, Guadalupe and Juanita Jiron; brothers: Gabriel, Margarito and Governor Jacob Viarrial; sisters: Mary Agnes and Frances Viarrial; sons: Robert, David, Leroy, and Ben Jr.; daughter: Gloria Viarrial and twin babies; great-granddaughter, Amorita Gallegos; brothers-in-law: Santiago, Tobias, Liborio Lopez, Teofilo Medina, Abe LeDoux, Manuel Romero, Virgil Petty, Gilbert Mascareñas, and Randy Gomez; sisters-in-law: Belen LeDoux and Clara Saiz, and other relatives. Ben, born July 31, 1932, was the first-born child on the Pueblo of Pojoaque. In April 1932, with his parents, maternal grandfather Jose Antonio Tapia, and five siblings, were the first family who returned to the Pueblo of Pojoaque. Grandma Senobia and other family returned three or so months later. They traveled from Kearns, Colorado for almost two weeks, their transportation being five horses and two covered wagons. Upon their arrival, it marked the beginning of re-establishment of the Pueblo of Pojoaque. Ben served as the first Tribal Sheriff for the Pueblo of Pojoaque, a Lieutenant Governor, supervisor in various fields, and a longtime Tribal Council member up to the time of his death. In the early 1970s when the pueblo began their traditional dances, Ben lead his fellow tribal members with the Comanche dance. In addition, he and his wife Flora were volunteer EMTs with the Nambe Ambulance service. On his off time, Ben enjoyed the casinos; it was a place where he could visit with many of his friends. Everywhere he went Ben was greeted by many of his friends who he loved to either pick on or tell them a joke. In Ben's eyes, what made his life complete was the love he held for his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all his family and friends. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him. Mr. Viarrial is survived by his daughters: Gabriella "Gaby" Viarrial, Betty Jean Viarreal, Annette Hooper and husband, Tommy; his son, Joseph Viarrial and wife, Donna all from the Pueblo of Pojoaque; sisters: Cordilia Gomez, Josefina Villarreal, Phoebe Petty and companion, Milton, and Dora Martinez; brothers: Ralph and Jimmy Viarrial all from the Pueblo of Pojoaque; 20 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and many godchildren; a special brother-in-law, Arthur Saiz; sisters-in-law: Epimenia Medina, Juanita Martinez, and Rosita Esquibel, and numerous other relatives and friends. Ben and Flora also raised Jeff Montoya, Gabriel Montoya Sr., Juanita Lopez, Rosita Lopez, Tommy Lopez, and Rhoda Phillips. Public visitation will begin on Monday, October 11, 2010 at 6 p.m. in the Sangre de Cristo Chapel of DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory with a Rosary to be recited at 7 p.m. A second Rosary will be recited on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the family home in the Pueblo of Pojoaque. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 11 a.m. at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Pojoaque. Burial will follow at the Pojoaque Catholic Cemetery with his grandchildren serving as pallbearers. The family of Ben "Mr. Ben" Viarrial has entrusted his funeral arrangements to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espanola Valley. 505-747-7477 or

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Published in Santa Fe New Mexican from Oct. 12 to Oct. 13, 2010.
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14 entries
November 25, 2010
Hi Annette,
What is your e-mail?
Peter Duran
Peter Duran
November 4, 2010
Very Sorry for your great loss.
Frank & Kim Gallegos
October 20, 2010
Annette, it's been so long ago that we saw each other on a daily basis. Those were the days. I remember you and your whole family so vividly and felt like we were a part of it. I know it's going to be a tough time getting through this loss but your dad is right there with you in the wind and in your children's and grandchildren's hearts and souls. Bless you, and our love to the rest of the family!
Sabra Kuykendall
October 19, 2010
Sabra and I are saddened to hear of Mr. Ben's passing. Although we know he is happy in being with those gone before, he will be missed by many who had the honor of knowing him and learning from him. God bless.
Randy & Sabra Kuykendall
October 19, 2010
Annette, I am so sorry to hear about your father. Seems like just yesterday when we were all eating Frito Pies and trying to hook my grandma and your dad. LOL great memories. Love you my Friend and know he is your special angel watching of you.
Claudette Grinage
October 17, 2010
I love you and miss you Tio Ben..No one will ever be able to make me laugh like you did. My heart still aches. Thank you for keeping me up when my daddy passed away. You had a heart of GOLD just like my Grandpa did..R.I.P
Veronica Varela
October 17, 2010
Ben will be misssed by everyone.My hita Dias, JJ and I enjoyed spending time with him throught the summer and listening to stories about his life family and friends & also his jokes. Ben had faith till the very end. I will miss our special times together! LOVE U & MISS U SO MUCH
Donna Viarrial
October 16, 2010
Ben, a one-of-a-kind man! I remember Ben as a kid and my dad would always say, "Ben is a man who will never pass someone in need." What a word to have as a child about someone and over my life, I found that to be exactly true!

I went to school knowing his children, Gabby, Annette, Ben Jr. and know how much he cared about them.

My deepest condolences to the family and rest in peace, Ben.
Peter Duran
October 16, 2010
Mr Ben was such a wonderful, giving man. He treated all with respect, I hope his legacy lives on through all who knew him.
Sheila De La Rosa
October 16, 2010
Grampa Ben was the love, laughter and smile in my life I will miss him so much.
May God give him the peace he deserves
Carol Montoya
October 13, 2010
To the Family of Ben Viarrial:

Our deepest sympathy at this time of great loss to the family and the community of Pojoaque. May God keep you and those you hold most dear in the palm of His hand.
Chris Sandoval & Angela Montoya
October 12, 2010
So Sorry to our family on the loss of a wonderful man. Wishing we could be there, but sending you all of our love.
Tanya, Mary Jane, Feliciana and Yeya.
Tanya Lopez
October 12, 2010
Mr. Ben, Pojoaque will not be the same without you. Now, you can reunite with your wife. May God bless you and keep you, until we meet again.
Alvin Lujan
October 12, 2010
I love you uncle Ben, rest in peace. You were a tower of strength for all of us. I miss you, I'll always miss you.
Angie Viarrial
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