Johnnie A. Quintana, 92 years old, from Upper San Pedro Road was called home by his Lord on May 25th surrounded by his loving family. Johnnie was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Tomas and Maria Rita Quintana; maternal grandparents, Juan Pablo and Cloefas Fresquez; parents, Jose D. and Adelita Quintana; stepmother, Maria Quintana; wife and mother of his children, Mary Quintana; infant son; sister, Priscilla Myers; second wife, Emma Quintana; and several in-law’s.
Johnnie was originally from Cuartelez until he married Mary Montoya and they built a home in Upper San Pedro Road. They were married 21 years before he was widowed. After raising his 6 children by himself for 10 years, Johnnie married Emma Lopez. They were married for 23 years before he was widowed again.
Johnnie earned his living as an independent trucker and if you were going on a road trip, he could tell you exactly what roads he helped pave and who the contractor was at that time. He also managed his apple orchard and garden. When there was an abundance of apples, you would hear him telling family and friends to come pick apples. He was a very generous person. He was patient, quiet, and trusting. He did have a sense of humor making his family laugh even up to the end. He was well known in the independent trucker community. When CB radio’s were the rage, that is how truckers communicated. They all had “handles” and Johnnie’s was “Blue Jay” because his tandem dump truck was blue. Johnnie often shared stories about his trucking days. His children now know what “Smokey Bear is giving out green stamps” meant. When the neighborhood children saw Johnnie’s truck coming down the road, they would motion him to sound the air horn and he was only too happy to oblige! Johnnie worked in trucking for about 55 years.
Johnnie was the oldest of 3 children. In 1951, he was drafted into the Army. Bootcamp was in Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, which was close to home so he and his buddies would make quick trips home on occasional weekends. Private First Class Johnnie A. Quintana was sent to Germany after bootcamp. Before he was drafted, Johnnie drove a dump truck for his father who was working in Los Alamos when the US Atomic Energy Commission was being established. In those days people had to get a pass at the gate to enter Los Alamos. Johnnie tells the story of his being so young that the guards would question his license to drive. He was sixteen when he started driving a dump truck.
Johnnie was an active member of the Knights of Columbus Council 3314. He was involved in their various social functions in addition to being there for any of his Brother Knights praying the rosary at their funerals.
Johnnie and Emma were very involved in the Espanola Senior Citizens attending most every day, going on several trips, and participating in their Christmas programs. One year, they were Senior King and Queen for the Espanola Fiesta. Both Johnnie and Emma loved to dance. He could dance the jitterbug and enjoyed country music. His children remember while visiting him, he would have the radio on and would start dancing. When he went out, he usually dressed in western fashion with one of his cowboy hats.
During Johnnie’s illness, he never complained or got angry because he was sick. He told his children he had experienced a good life and was ready whenever God called him home. He knew he was going to a better place and spoke of having to “carry his cross” here before entering eternity.
Johnnie is survived by his children, Yvonne Armijo (Steve), Walter Quintana (Carmella), Martha Estrada (Robert), all from Santa Fe; Annabelle Espinoza from Cuartelez; Martin Quintana from Arroyo Seco; and Christine Holguin (Ray) from Las Cruces. He is survived by one brother, Elias Quintana (Tillie) from Albuquerque and one sister-in-law, Nettie Maestas from Dallas, Texas and his very special loving companion, Angie Roybal. Johnnie had 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild.
Johnnie leaves the legacy of being a good husband and father. His faith was very important to him so he and Mary made sure their children had a good foundation about God. His faith was strong in that he accepted the trials that came into his life believing God would help him through it all.
A rosary will be held on June 5th, 10:15 a.m. at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz, New Mexico with a mass to follow at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at the Santa Fe National Cemetery and take place at a later date. All Covid precautions are still to be followed and are expected to be used during all services.
The family would like to thank Ambercare for the wonderful, quality care Johnnie was given especially his nurse, Anna Dixon, who was so attentive and is now considered family.
Thank you to all the friends and family who reached out with love and support during this difficult time. God bless you all. The family of Johnnie A. Quintana has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espanola Valley. 505-747-7477-www.devargasfunerla.com