WELLINGTON-Lucio Cruz, beloved father, grandfather, great and papa-great grandfather died Monday, May 17, 2010 of natural causes. Lucio's family can only envision and imagine the glorious and grand reunion between Lucio and his loving wife Carlotta.
He was born Feb. 13, 1920 in Dulce, N.M., the fourth child of Liandro and Rafelita Martinez Cruz. On Oct. 12, 1942, Lucio married the love of his life, Carlotta Valdez in Lumberton, N.M. and they were married for 58 years before her passing on Dec. 5, 2000. His devotion and admiration for this woman was unsurpassed and together they had seven children.
Throughout his life, Lucio possessed a strong work ethic. Being born on a farm along with five brothers and three sisters he quickly learned the meaning of hard work. By 1929 and during the Great Depression, Lucio knew the perils of poverty and being "dirt poor". Countless times he kept us all mesmerized with stories of survival. He proudly proclaimed that although the kids did not have shoes on their feet nor tires for their little family truck, the family never suffered hunger or starvation as so many of his country's fellow men. Lucio helped his brothers and sisters tend the herd of goats and sheep to provide meat on the table and the garden provided plenty of potatoes, squash and other vegetables. At age 16, Lucio stood in line to get onboard President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal", Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program. He was denied employment being under age and under weight. A few days later he tried again, filling his pockets with rocks to weigh heavier and lied about his age. He was hired and thus began a very long list of jobs and employers. He married and began a family. He left his pregnant wife and went to Las Vegas, Nev. to work on construction. His first child was born and he came home to be with wife and child. He moved his family to the coal mining community in Carbon County, Price, Utah, where he started working in the coal mines in 1944. Lucio was a member of the United Mine Workers of America Local # 8003 for 38 years, where he worked and retired from the U.S. Steel/Horse Canyon Mine where he was respected by all.
Lucio was a member of Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and being surrounded by family at camping outings. The greatest enjoyment came from playing his guitar. In his younger years he joined his older brother and his fiddle and jammed the hours away. He loved dancing and he enjoyed Mexican music.
Lucio is survived by two daughters and two sons, Lucy (Orlando) Sanchez, Stella (Randy) Thinnes, Joe (Susan) Cruz, Roy (Dana) Cruz; 15 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren; one brother and two sisters; countless nephews and nieces. Preceded in death by his wife, three children, four brothers, and his loving grandchildren Candice and Jason Cruz.
The family wishes to express their thanks and gratitude to Hospice Care Source and the loving and caring staff at Christus St. Joseph Villa. Deepest heartfelt thanks to Lucio's special friend and confidant Ruben Jaramillo.
Funeral Mass, Friday, May 21, 2010, 10 a.m., Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Price. Vigil service, Thursday evening 7 p.m., at Mitchell Funeral Home in Price. The family was at Mitchell's Thursday evening at 6 p.m. and Friday from 9-9:45 a.m. Committal service, Price City Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to Mitchell Funeral Home of Price where friends and family are welcome to share memories of Lucio online at www.mitchellfuneralhome.net.