Mave Valdez was born Sept. 22, 1915, in Chamita, N.M., to Jose and Elena Valdez.
In 1918, when he was three years old, his family moved to Coyote Park. During his childhood, he learned the ways of hard work and ranch life. He spent summers on Archuleta Mesa, at the age of 10 years old.
On Nov. 4, 1941, he married Josie Martinez.
In November 1942, he left behind his wife and one-month-old baby, Arthur, when he went to serve his country in WW II.
He completed basic training at Camp Clayborn, La. From there, he went to North Africa, Italy and then the invasion of South France with the 45 division. He was overseas for 29 months. Mave was honorably discharged in November 1945. He received a good conduct medal and five silver stars.
When he returned three years later, they resumed their lives and had 61 years together.
Mave was a member of the American Legion for 30 years. His name first appeared on the roster in 1947 when he was elected senior vice commander. Rose Ramon Chacon was commander that year.
He ran a sheep and cattle farm on Hwy. 84 for Woodrow Dunlap for four years. After that, he resided in Pagosa Springs, which is still his home. He worked for the REA for four years, and San Juan Lumber Co. for three years. He retired from Archuleta County after 20 years as a heavy equipment operator.
Mave has been an avid wild game rifle hunter for 47 years.
He enjoyed being a husband and father to their two children, Arthur and Marcia.
When his wife became sick with Alzheimer’s, he took exceptional care of her for 10 years until she passed away. When his grandchildren came along, he loved them with all of his heart.
Mave joined his wife, Josie, Feb. 2, 2009. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jose and Elena Valdez; his brothers, Speedy Valdez, Press Valdez, Ruben Valdez and Joe A. Valdez; and grandson, Michael Valdez.
He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Arthur and Dorothy Valdez; his daughter and son-in-law, Marcia and Richard Garcia, of Pagosa Springs; Fedilino Valdez, of Denver; sister and brother-in-law, Claudita and Abel Martinez, of Pagosa Springs; sister and brother-in-law, Jenny and Celestino, of Pueblo; grandchildren, Beatrice Quintana, of Alamosa, Lawrence and Mary Valdez, of Lindale, Texas; Leon Valdez, of Allison, Colo., Shanda and Mike House, of Allison, Colo.; Misha Garcia, Troy Valdez, Daniel and Hannah Valdez, of Pagosa Springs; great-grandchildren, Brittany, Justin, Jesse, Sarah Valdez, of Lindale, Texas; Felecia and Nicholas Quintana, of Alamosa; Ruger Valdez, of Allison; John, Adam and Abby House, of Allison; and Gus Valdez, of Pagosa Springs; great-great-grandchildren, Colton and Ethan, of Tyler, Texas; as well as beloved nieces and nephews.
Rosary will be held Friday, Feb. 6, 2009, at 6 p.m., with the funeral to be held Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, at 10 a.m., at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.