Cover photo for Richard Daniel Baca's Obituary
Richard Daniel Baca Profile Photo

Richard Daniel Baca

d. February 14, 2023

Richard Daniel Baca


In loving memory of our father, Richard Daniel Baca, who passed away on February 14th surrounded by loved ones after a short but fierce battle with pneumonia.

Richard was born in Grants on June 14, 1957, to Diego Baca and Margaret (Pena), the second youngest of nine children. He lived in Grants for most of his life. Early in life, he worked at Homestake Mining Co.  He later settled into a career as a Correctional Officer at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility, where he worked for 22 years before retiring as a lieutenant in 2012. He was employed at the Rio Grande Resources/Mt. Taylor Mine before he fully retired in 2022.

Richard married the love of his life, Rhonda (Medina), on June 19, 1976. In marriage, he gained a mother, Margaret (Lovato), and step-father, John Noriega, as well as four more siblings. Richard was a devoted husband to Rhonda and a loving father to their 4 children.  He enjoyed coaching baseball, basketball, and football as his boys grew up and was involved in any activities his baby girl was interested in. Friends of his kids were his kids, they were welcome in his home and privy to his slightly inappropriate but funny stories and unsolicited and unedited advice and opinions.  Richard welcomed his son and daughters-in-law into the family as if they were his own, and loved them deeply.  His greatest pride was being a Tata. He loved being surrounded by his nine grandbabies, and even though he would tell you otherwise, he even loved his grand-puppies.

Richard was a beloved brother, uncle, and cousin.  He baptized, confirmed, and was a padrino in the weddings of several of his nieces and nephews. He enjoyed being involved in their lives and was present for most events and milestones. He was a faithful Catholic and made many friends as a member of St. Teresa of Avila Parish and the Knights of Columbus.

Our dad loved the outdoors. He made so many memories of camping, hunting, fishing, and golfing with his family and friends. He loved to laugh and make others laugh. He enjoyed riding his Harley and loved beaches and swimming pools. He was hard-working and stern. He pushed you to do your best but was there to catch you if you fell short.

Richard was preceded in death by his mother Margaret and father Diego; and his siblings: sonny Baca, Archie Baca, Frankie Baca, Jean (Baca) Freddie Baca, Leroy Baca, Anthony Baca, Satch (Baca), Ray Medina, and Manuel Medina.

He is survived in death by his wife Rhonda; his children Angela (Baca) and Rodger Brunson, Richard Baca Jr., Jacob Baca, Alicia (Vigil), and Jesse Baca and Candace (Rodriguez); his grandchildren Jacob Brunson, Domonic Brunson, Krysta Brunson, Audrey Baca, Jacob Baca Jr., Uriyah Baca, Jonah Baca, Mackynzi Baca, and Madi Jae Baca; mother Margaret and step-father John, his siblings Hazel (Baca), Diana (Baca) and Sal Marez, Larry Baca, Becky (Medina) and Rodney Martinez, and Martin Medina and Hailey (Glacken); as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews.

Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Tuesday February 21, 2023 starting at 11:00 am at the St Theresa's Catholic Church in Grants.  Richard will be laid to rest in the Grants Memorial Park following the mass.  Pallbearers will be: Rodney Martinez Sr., Martin Medina, Daniel Baca, Aaron Baca, Alex Baca, Archie Baca Jr., Rudy Gallegos, Steve Sena, Joe Archuleta, and Joe Valencia. Honorary Pallbearers: Sal Marez, Larry Baca, and all his nieces, nephews and cousins.

 Our family would like to thank everyone for the love and support we have received in our dad’s passing. The generosity of our family, friends, and community has been truly humbling.  We would like to thank the amazing staff at Cibola General Hospital for taking such good care of our dad and being so compassionate to our family. We would like to thank the DeVargas Funeral Home in Espanola as well as Father Matthew Keller and St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church- you were both so comforting and accommodating to our family during this most difficult time.

Dad, we love you so much and will never stop missing you. There is a little bit of comfort in knowing you will have no more pain or suffering and are resting with the Lord and all your loved ones who went before you.  Rest in peace knowing you left us all with no doubt about how much you loved us with “all your heart and all your soul.”

The family of Richard Daniel Baca has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home of the Espanola Valley. (505) 747-7477 or you can log on to our website at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Daniel Baca, please visit our flower store.


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