Amos Andres Atencio, 83, a beloved father, community developer, and loyal norteno, passed on December 5, 2022, joining his cherished wife of 60 years, Joann. He is survived by his daughters, Gina Atencio Rodriguez (TJ) and Eva Atencio and grandchildren, Roman Rodriguez and Anisa Perno. He was predeceased by his parents, Tomas Atencio and Bernardita Roybal Atencio, his brothers: Tomas, Ernesto, and Octaviano and his sisters, Bernardita, Hilaria and Andrea. Amos, known to his family as Andy, was a devoted and loving father and husband, meeting his wife Joann at Allison James Middle School and later becoming high school sweethearts at Menaul School. Amos was a loving and loyal brother and uncle, often sharing stories of the traviesuras the Atencio boys got into growing up in Dixon, New Mexico. Professionally, as a community organizer and Latino leader, Amos always worked to uplift the most vulnerable of his beloved pueblitos of Northern New Mexico. Amos dedicated his life to using community development work to lift families in Northern New Mexico out of poverty and increase their access to health and education. He was an early innovator in community based economic development, piloting a variety of successful programs in northern New Mexico. Throughout his career, Amos worked alongside some of the greatest Latino leaders in the civil rights movement, including Raul Yzaguirre and César Chavez. After graduating from UNM with a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology, Amos began his career with HELP in northern New Mexico before helping to found Siete del Norte in 1973 where worked for 38 years, spending the last 35 as President of the corporation. At Siete, he directed the implementation of various rural, community-based economic development strategies including a cooperative community development fund, venture capital assistance for small, mostly Hispanic-owned businesses, and community owned real estate development. These initiatives spanned generations, from workforce programs for high school students to foster grandparent programs, and included key services like substance use disorder treatment. Together with their daughters, Amos and Joann traveled the country to his many professional commitments, demonstrating finding work-life balance far before its time. Following his father’s legacy as a minister, Amos was active in national Hispano and racial justice centered Presbyterian Church activities. He also served on many other boards at the state, regional, and national level to include Unidos (then National Council of La Raza) for 9 years where he served as Vice Chairman. In that role, he helped to elevate the power and visibility of Latinos throughout the United States while always ensuring New Mexico, our people, and our unique history were not forgotten. In addition to his work, he served his community of Dixon, New Mexico in many ways, including serving on the Dixon Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association where he was elected as president in 1998 and remained in that role until this year. Amos was happiest when he was with his family, building his schedule around his daughters and later his grandchildren so that he could always be present for them. They, along with his nieces and nephews, friends and mentees, will profoundly miss him, but thanks to his life, his legacy will live on in their love for each other and in generations of New Mexicans and Latinos throughout the United States who will benefit from his work. People who wish to honor his legacy may do so through contributing to either HELP NM https://helpnm.com/donate/ or the Cesar Chavez Foundation https://chavezfoundation.org/donate/.
Services will take place on January 21, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Dixon
The family of Amos Andres Atencio has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espanola Valley 505-747-7477 www.devargasfuneral.com