Guillermo (Willie) M. Espinoza, age 89, a long-time resident of Chimayo, passed away on April 30, 2019, peacefully at his home. Guillermo was born June 25, 1929 in Chimayo, New Mexico to Juan F. Espinoza and Sabina Vigil Espinoza.
Guillermo served proudly in the United States Army, and he enjoyed talking about his experiences abroad, especially while stationed in England and Germany. After his service in the military, he returned home and worked many jobs––one specifically that would later play a prominent role in his political career––the Santa Fe Bakery. To many in the Rio Arriba and Santa Fe County, he was known affectionately as “el panadero,” selling pastries throughout the valley and making lifelong friends. It was this job, his quick grasp of numbers and ability to remember names and faces, and his friendly and caring disposition that propelled him into a political career under the Emilio Naranjo years. Guillermo served as both County Treasurer and County Assessor, eventually retiring in the early 1990s.
Guillermo was married to his loving wife Celerina DeAguero Espinoza for 63 years until she passed away on August 5, 2015. He is survived by his children John G. Espinoza and wife Shahira, Camilo J. Espinoza and wife Brenda, Lorraine B. Espinoza, Audoro Espinoza and wife Jennifer, Raphael J. Espinoza who preceded him in death, Mario J. Espinoza, Emmanuel A. Espinoza, and Lucille Espinoza DeVargas and husband Ron; grandchildren, Camille, Sharleen and Vanessa Espinoza, Ignacio, Christina, and Alexandria Sanchez, Erica and Ralph Espinoza, Jr., Nicolette and Victoria Espinoza, and Leah and Mateo DeVargas; great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Charlotte DeAguero Smith; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Guillermo was preceded in death by his parents, Juan F. Espinoza and Sabina Vigil Espinoza; sisters, Flavia Espinoza and Juanita Espinoza Garcia; brothers, Camilo and Miguel Espinoza, sisters-in-law, Bertilda DeAguero, Eliza, Fedelina, and Rosana Martinez; brothers-in-law, Silviano, Eliseo, Rubel, and Ricardo S. Martinez.
Guillermo grew up in Chimayo. After serving in the military, he returned home, and later married Celerina––and together raised eight children, nurturing in them a relationship with God, family unity, education, and a strong work ethic. After he retired from his political career, he along with his wife Celerina, worked on their rose and vegetable garden, spending many nights enjoying their home and beautiful Chimayo vistas, visiting with family, and relaxing in their sun room, watching their favorite television programs. Guillermo was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and a relative, friend, y conocido to many.
Public visitation will begin on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. in the Sangre de Cristo Chapel of DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory with a rosary to be recited at 6:00 p.m. A second rosary will be recited on Monday, May 6, 2019 at 7:45 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church in Chimayo. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church with burial to follow at 10:30 a.m. at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Serving the family as pallbearers will be Mateo DeVargas, Ralph Espinoza Jr., Ignacio Sanchez, Roshawn Morgan, Joe Garcia, and Richard Martinez. Honorary pallbearers will be Ronny L. DeVargas, Miguelito Espinoza, Alfonso Martinez, Edmund (Perry) Martinez, Nick Martinez, Donald Martinez, and Alan Storey. The family of Guillermo (Willie) M. Espinoza has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley.