MICHAEL F. SANCHEZ, SR. died peacefully at home on his La Villita ranch on Tuesday, December 4, 2018.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Avelino and Mary Frances Sanchez, Jr. and father-in-law, Frank La Badie Sr.
Michael attended Holy Cross Catholic School in Santa Cruz and was an Española Valley High School graduate. He was a school bus contractor for the Española Public School District for 28 years. Many across the valley will remember him as the operator of bus #10. Michael was well known for his avid ranching and farming in La Villita and Tres Piedras. He served the Acequia de Alcalde in many capacities including commissioner and mayordomo for over 30 years. He brought major water infrastructure to nine of the acequias along the Rio Grande as an original steering committee member of the Nueve Acequias del Rio Grande. Michael was awarded Soil Conservationist of the year in 1984 for his accomplishment in best practices in natural resource methods. For over 30 years, Michael volunteered his time and ranching expertise by serving on the Upper Rio Grande Watershed District Board of Supervisors of the East Rio Arriba Soil and Water Conservation District. He loved spending time with his family and teaching his children and grandson how to raise livestock, grow alfalfa, irrigate and tend all things related to farming and ranching. He thoroughly enjoyed conversations and visits with friends and was generous to many in different ways.
Mr. Sanchez is survived by the love of his life and wife of 40 years, Irene; children, Theresa, Anna, Lucia, and Michael Jr.; grandson, Santiago; mother-in-law, Eufelia La Badie; brothers, Andrew and Randy (Renee); sister, Bernadette Wiegel (Phil); God-son, Andrew Sanchez, Jr.; close cousin, Sandra Sanchez and many dear friends too numerous to list by name.
Public visitation will begin on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Ohkay Owingeh with a rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian burial to be celebrated on Monday, December 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. also at the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Ohkay Owingeh. Burial to follow at La Villita Cemetery. Pallbearers carrying this amazing cowboy to his resting place are, Edwin Gurule, Edward Romero, Ernesto Garcia, Eddie Ortiz, Joe Romero, and Reyes Martinez. Honorary pallbearer is Archie Velarde. The family of Michael F. Sanchez, Sr. has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley.