Jose C. Velasquez, longtime Red Cliff resident, 1921-2010
Jose C. Velasquez passed away Tuesday at his home in Leadville. Mr. Velasquez was 89 years old.He was born in El Valle, N.M. on Oct. 28, 1921. His parents were the late Manuel and Casilda (Burciago) Velasquez.Mr. Velasquez grew up in New Mexico and on July 21, 1942 married the former Sara Cruz in Penasco, N.M. Jose then enlisted in the United States Army. He received an honorable discharge and returned to New Mexico. Jose and Sara raised a family of 14. For a while, Jose worked as a sheep herder in Wyoming before moving to Red Cliff in 1955, where he went to work for New Jersey Zinc at the Gilman Mine. Red Cliff was home until about three years ago, when Jose moved to Leadville.Jose loved watching TV, especially soap operas during the day. He enjoyed eating all the foods he probably shouldn’t have liked so much, but Sara was a wonderful cook and family gatherings always included food. At these events, Jose liked serving some of his homemade “brew.” To say that Jose shoveled a lot of snow would be an understatement. His family says that most of their photos are of Jose shoveling snow. He loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time feeding the wildlife around his home in Red Cliff.Mr. Velasquez is preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Sara, who died in 2005.He is survived by his children, Robert (Gerie) Velasquez, of Leadville, Donald Velasquez, of Alamosa, Susan (Doug) Oliver-Bowen, of Grand Junction, Emily (Herson) Medina and Ida (Roger) Avila, both of Leadville, Nancy (Daniel) Sullivan, of Indiana, Walter (Lorraine) Velasquez, of Grand Junction, Jerry (Angel Mondragon) Velasquez, of Gypsum, Vern (Lizbeth) Velasquez & P-Wee Velasquez, both of Leadville, Theresa Velasquez, of Denver, Jodene (Randy) Flores, of Leadville, Jackie (Tom Barela) Velasquez, of Gypsum and Becky (Augie) Barraza, of Leadville. Mr. Velasquez is also survived by his puppy, Tanner, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.The Rosary will be recited on at 6 p.m. today and Mass of Christian Burial will be noon Saturday, both at Annunciation Catholic Church in Leadville. The Rev. Father Jesse Perez will officiate, with the Rosary being recited by Jose’s nephews. Jose will be laid to rest next to his wife in St. Joseph Cemetery with military honors by Fort Carson Army Base. Musicians will be Joan Dawson and Jean Elliott. Pallbearers are Juan and Christopher Velasquez, Lee Medina and Herson Medina Sr., Lil Randy Flores and Augie Barraza. Honorary pallbearers are Nadine Castillo and Andrea Flores and ushers are Ben Flores and Michael Velasquez.Following the services, a reception will be held at the National Mining Hall of Fame.Arrangements are being handled by Bailey Funeral Home in Leadville.
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