History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
Welcome to DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory web site. We are Española’s only hometown owned funeral home and are family operated. Being born and raised in Espanola, we attended the same schools as our clients, graduated together, live in the same community, thereby gaining a reputation for compassion and trustworthiness. We extend our service throughout all surrounding communities and beyond if requested as well. Johnny C. DeVargas, founder and principal Funeral Director began his career in his early teens. Johnny has a passion for the work he does and recognized at a tender age that he wanted to devote his life in service to families during the most vulnerable time in a person’s life. At the age of 13, he began his apprenticeship and mentoring at the skilled guidance of a local funeral home owner.
Johnny was soon identified as having the desire, empathy, people skills, and artistic talents necessary to succeed in this very specialized field. Johnny’s career experience spans over 40 years, primarily in the Española Valley and in Santa Fe. In humble beginnings, he founded DeVargas Funeral Home in March of 1999 in a very small structure, formerly the Forestry Service Building on the Los Alamos Highway in Española. Not long after, Johnny was blessed with realizing his dream of today’s more modern, larger and state-of-the-art facility. We are conveniently located in the heart of the Espanola Valley, we have 3 beautiful chapels to accommodate multiple services at the same time, an entire fleet of stately new vehicles, ample parking, and beautiful serene surroundings. DeVargas Funeral Home is proud to offer the Española Valley's newest crematory facility designed for comfort when witnessing is requested. Johnny has passed the New Mexico State Board of Thanatopractice and the National Conference of Examining Boards and is certified with both .
Place your trust in the DeVargas Funeral Home, a local owner and staff that intimately know the customs and traditions that are so familiar and important to us all. Because we are the only funeral home owners in service today in the Española Valley that have been doing so for the longest period of time, we understand how important culture and familiarity are to our clients. Most importantly, when you trust your loved ones to the care of DeVargas Funeral Home, you rest assured that we take that trust most seriously. We are proud members of the National Funeral Directors Association and the New Mexico Funeral Service Association, but more than that, we are proud native members of this community. We offer competitive and affordable prices, and no one is ever turned away. Most importantly, we make the promise to never sacrifice quality when accommodating your needs.
Our Valued Staff
Johnny C. DeVargas, Owner/Funeral Service Practitioner
Johnny C. DeVargas, founder and principal Funeral Director began his career in his early teens. Johnny has a passion for the work he does and recognized at a tender age that he wanted to devote his life in service to families during the most vulnerable time in a person’s life. At the age of 13, he began his apprenticeship and mentoring at the skilled guidance of a local funeral home owner. Johnny was soon identified as having the desire, empathy, people skills, and artistic talents necessary to succeed in this very specialized field. Johnny’s career experience spans over 40 years, primarily in the Española Valley and in Santa Fe. In humble beginnings, he founded DeVargas Funeral Home in March of 1999 in a very small structure, formerly the Forestry Service Building on the Los Alamos Highway in Española. Not long after, Johnny was blessed with realizing his dream of today’s more modern, larger and state-of-the-art facility. We are conveniently located in the heart of the Espanola Valley, we have 3 beautiful chapels to accommodate multiple services at the same time, an entire fleet of stately new vehicles, ample parking, and beautiful serene surroundings. DeVargas Funeral Home is proud to offer the Española Valley's newest crematory facility designed for comfort when witnessing is requested. Johnny has passed the New Mexico State Board of Thanatopractice and the National Conference of Examining Boards and is certified with both.
James R. Martinez, Funeral Service Intern
James Richard Martinez a native of the Española Valley. He is a 1996 graduate of the Española Valley High School; James is a native of La Puebla. Through a continuation of education he received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from New Mexico State University in 2002. Within the past 7 years he has obtained a position in the funeral industry part time by doing recovery calls and tending to families after hours. He has recently converted to full time to take the steps to become a Funeral Service Practitioner. Through obtaining his Funeral Service Intern Licensees in directing, arranging and embalming and continuing his education through mortuary schooling he will be assisting Johnny C. DeVargas and the DeVargas family in co-management by providing our families with the utmost care, compassion and professionalism needed at a time of loss. His dedication to serving his community and surrounding areas with his compassionate personality will ensure the trust that your loved ones will be cared for and loved as one of our own.
Jason DeVargas, Assisting Manager
Jason DeVargas, son to Johnny C. DeVargas, is a lifelong resident of the beautiful Espanola Valley. With over 16 years of service to the Espanola Valley and other surrounding communities, Jason has worked alongside his father since the start of DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory and for several years prior. He has many years of extensive experience in the assurance of safety and equipment setup and maintenance for cemetery services, as well as vehicle, grounds and building maintenance. With more than 5 years of experience in management and quality assurance, Jason is currently co-managing DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory along with James Martinez.
Santiago (Jim) Salazar III, Funeral Service Practitioner
Santiago is a fully licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer with over 30 years experience in the funeral industry. He has been employed with DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory since 2005. Santiago is a Scholastic Achievement graduate of the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service in Houston, TX and is licensed in three states including New Mexico. He has also served as a clinical embalming preceptor or instructor with the Commonwealth Institute for 10 years. He is a Vietnam era Veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Santiago and his wife Linda are parishioners of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Ohkay Owingeh, where he is a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus, San Juan de Los Caballeros council 13684.
Michael S. Montoya, Funeral Service Intern
A native of the Española Valley, Michael served and retired from the Española Public Schools after 28 years of service. He has been with DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory since its beginnings in 1999. He began as a rosary attendant and assisting Mr. DeVargas with funeral services. In February of 2002, he obtained and continues to maintain his Funeral Service Intern license through continuing education. Michael and his wife Connie are parishioners of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Ohkay Owingeh and for the past 6 years he has been actively involved with the Knights of Columbus and is currently the Deputy Grand Knight of Council 13684 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
Lorraine Vigil, Funeral Service Intern
Lorraine Vigil was born and raised in the Espanola Valley. She has been a resident of Velarde, NM for 31 years, along with her husband Fidel Vigil, and their 3 children. She takes great pride in working for and with her brother Johnny DeVargas, along with other DeVargas family members, and friends. Prior to leaving her employment with Los Alamos National Laboratory after 30 years, she began as an evening service Attendant in 2002, and continued in this position for 4 years. Needless to say, she became passionate and compassionate about the position, and chose to pursue it further by becoming a Licensed Funeral Service Intern, a position she has held for approximately 6 years. She continues to maintain her license by continuing education. Lorraine feels truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to minister to our grieving families and friends in our surrounding communities, and is here to serve.
Justin J. Salazar, Torrez – Funeral Service Intern
Justin J. Salazar -Torrez is a life long resident of the beautiful Española Valley. He is a 2009 graduate of the Espanola Valley High School. Through his high school years, Justin has always known there was a special calling on his life, and got the call in 2006 to begin a journey, with the Lord by his side, into what he likes to call his ministry. He has been in the funeral business since the age of 15. He started by doing night calls, evening and funeral services and clerical work. He just recently completed the training to become a Funeral Service Intern to meet with families, and is on his way to getting his General Supervision license as an Embalmer as well. He is a member and the Media Director of El Buen Pastor church here in Española. Justin has some Bible college credit and will be taking Mortuary Science classes, not only to better serve his community but also all of Northern New Mexico. He is dedicated to assisting you in your time of need with the utmost care, dignity, respect and compassion. 1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young, be an example to all believers, in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”
Janel Ortiz, Office Manager
Janel Garcia, Administration
Patricia Lopez, Funeral Home Chaplain/Grief Support
A native of the Española Valley, Patricia Lopez joined the team at DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory in December of 2009. Coming on board as the Funeral Home Chaplain, Patricia has been dedicated to assisting families and individuals who may be in need of after care grief support. Her professional goal is to offer the members of our community, as well as all surrounding communities, the utmost professional, quality and caring support and service. As our Chaplain, Patricia realizes that the journey that begins with the loss of a loved one is very challenging and difficult, and as a guidance counselor in grief support, it is her wish that people who are struggling in a time of mourning know that she is always here for you during this time to comfort you, to help you, to hold you, to pray with you; and to support you through your grieving process.
15 years serving in Ministry
· Received Pastoral Ordination and Clinical Pastoral Education at the Church of Signs & Wonders in Albuquerque, NM
· Received a BA in Christian Counseling through Signs and Wonders International School of Theology
· Presently taking Continuing Education Classes towards her certification as a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains
Jessica DeVargas, Pre-Need Counselor/Funeral Service Intern
Jessica De Vargas is a native from Northern New Mexico she was raised in Youngsville and has lived most of her life in Española. She attended Jemez Mountain School district in Gallina as well as the Española Public Schools where she graduated in 2000. She was previously employed with Century Bank here in Española for 7 Years and prior to that, with Valley National Bank for 5 years. She is married to Jason DeVargas and they are blessed with 4 beautiful children. She is a New Mexico Licensed Life Insurance Agent and has been providing services to families in Northern New Mexico since 2010 with DeVargas Funeral Home as their Preneed Counselor. She loves meeting with families and helping families and individuals take care of prearranging for future needs. Should you have questions on prearranging or would like to schedule an appointment with her, please don’t hesitate to call the funeral home and she will answer any questions you may have.