Prese Atencio, 79, former Gilman miner, dies |

Prese Atencio, 79, former Gilman miner, dies

Daily staff report

Prese Atencio, a longtime Vail Valley resident, died at his home in Colorado Springs, Nov. 1. He was 79.

Atencio was born in Cottonwood, Colo., on Nov. 27, 1923. His parents were the late Joe. G. and Ruth (Archuleta) Atencio. Atencio went to school in Moffat, Colo., before joining the U.S. Navy. After four years of service and an honorable discharge, he moved to Del Norte, Colo., and married Maryann Baca on July 8, 1946.

Atenico and his wife had two children before moving to Minturn in 1955. The Atencios had their third child in Gilman, where Prese worked in the mine. After 38 years of mining, Atencio retired and worked in hotel maintenance at three hotels in Vail.

Atencio enjoyed gardening, carpentry and fishing. Friends and family say he especially loved listening to Spanish music and was found many times in front of his home, asleep in his truck with the radio playing.

Atencio is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Maryann; one grandson, Randy Garcia; and two brothers, Johnnie and Rudy Atencio.

Atencio is survived by his children, Geraldine “Geri” (Ronnie) Martinez of Colorado Springs, Cheryl (Michael) Martin of Germany, Bettye (Ernie) Romero of Albuquerque, N.M., and Eddie (Raynette) Atencio of Colorado Springs; his brothers, Max (Betty) Atencio of Del Norte, and Richard “Pogo” Atencio of Denver; his sisters, Priscilla (Gene) Sanders of Denver, Ruth Sanchez of Denver, Cecilia Torres of Chicago, and Frances (Jim) Boatwright of Milton, Fla.; grandchildren, Michael Romero of New Mexico, Lawrence (Anna) Romero of New Mexico, Bernadette (Elvis Caldwell) of New Mexico, Vicky (Tim) Negrete of Leadville, Mark (Kim) Garcia of Colorado Springs, Rhiannon (Brian) Metzger of Colorado Springs, Rachel Atencio of Colorado Springs and Sterling Atencio of Colorado Springs; and 13 great grandchildren.

The rosary and vigil service was held Nov. 5 and Mass of Christian Burial was held Nov. 6, both at Annunciation Catholic Church. Atencio’s daughter, Geri, played a special song for him, “Dance With My Father.”

Atencio was laid to rest next to his wife in St. Joseph Cemetery.

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