Donald R. Gonzales, 59, Espanola, passed away Saturday November 13th, 2021, of natural causes. Donald was born on October 2nd, 1962, to his surviving parents, Severo and Aurora of San Pedro. He is also survived by two older brothers, Glenn, and David.
Donald graduated from Espanola Valley High School in 1980, moving to Las Cruces to begin college. He graduated from NMSU in 1986 with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering Technology. After receiving his degree, he moved to Alamogordo, NM where he worked for the Department of Defense at Holloman Air Force Base. Donald eventually returned to his hometown Espanola, where he worked for Los Alamos National Laboratory for over 25 years. His work family shared that Donald was known for always bringing a smile to everyone’s face and was someone who would help anyone at any time, doing so with patience, kindness, and a positive attitude.
It was in Alamogordo where he met his wife Frieda through a church softball league. Donald and Frieda married in 1996 planting their roots in Espanola. He is survived by his wife, two children, Elias, and Elena, stepdaughter Lucia and grandchildren. Donald took an active involvement in their lives. He passed on his love for baseball and softball to his children following them from T-ball through their senior seasons. The support Donald provided to his family through all their endeavors, was unwavering and enduring.
A love and admiration for outdoor adventure began as a young child with his grandfather Bences, his father, and his two brothers. He shared tender stories of fishing, camping, and scouting throughout the mountains of Northern New Mexico. Donald’s love for being outdoors and hunting flourished throughout his life, becoming an avid bow hunter while living in Alamogordo. This passion followed him to Espanola, where he looked forward to each year’s elk hunt and treasured the annual excursion with his closest friends. The mountains were where he found the most peace, sharing his most treasured moments with those around him. Donald bestowed his love of the outdoors with his family. He shared this knowledge and passion with his children teaching them to hunt, fish and explore nature.
Donald’s love for hard work, and pride in accomplishing his goals, was influenced by his grandfather and father. Together they instilled the foundation that carried Donald throughout his life. It was the property he lived on that Donald took the most pride in, spending much of his time working his land. Each year Donald grew a garden more ambitious than the last. He created a sanctuary full of fruit trees, and an abundant garden for his family to enjoy. Every day he would walk his land, one day mentioning to his son, “There is not an inch of this property that I haven’t worked on.” Donald’s presence and dedication to his family will forever be missed, and he will live forever in our hearts.
Serving the family as pallbearers are Glenn Gonzales, David Gonzales, Dennis Montoya, Byron Martinez, Ted Garcia, Chris Romero, Larry Gonzales and Eluid Salazar.
A rosary will be recited on Friday, November 26th at 6:00 pm at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Santa Cruz. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 27th at 11 am also at Holy Cross Catholic Church. The family of Donald R. Gonzales have entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home of the Espanola Valley. 505-747-7477