Cover photo for Thomas McReynolds's Obituary
Thomas

Thomas McReynolds

d. April 30, 2024

Santa Fe

Acclaimed and Beloved Northern New Mexico Educator, Administrator, and Coach Thomas H. McReynolds (Coach Mac) Has Passed Away

 

The man dubbed a ”Northern New Mexico icon” and the ”King of Tough Love,” Thomas Hiram McReynolds – known to countless many as Coach Mac, Uncle Mickie, Mr. Mac, cuñao, or simply Mac – has left us to find peace and rest in the Lord, passing away from this life on April 30, 2024. He was 82 years old.

 

Mac was born in Los Ojos (Parkview), New Mexico on September 22, 1941, to George Ellsworth and Isabel Fulgencia (Montaño) McReynolds. He was a great-grandson of Perfecto Esquibel, one of 100 delegates to the New Mexico Constitutional Convention of 1910, and distant cousin to the fractious United States Supreme Court Justice James Clark McReynolds. Mac’s parents met while his father was constructing Route 84 near Las Nutrias, NM. Macs first language was Spanish and while Mac was young his family lived in Tierra Amarilla, near many aunts, uncles, and cousins of whom Mac was fond. When he was in third grade, Macs parents relocated to Española. 

 

Mac is a 1960 graduate of Española High School, where he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. Mary Magdalene (Maggie) Sanchez and Mac were united in marriage on December 31, 1965, in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mac and Maggie’s courtship began after Mac hit a bull late one night on Highway 30 while traversing pueblo land. That bull belonged to Maggies father, Abel Sanchez or Oqwa Pi, a prominent artist and esteemed governor of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso. In their nearly sixty-year marriage, Mac and Maggie grew and deepened in love, endured more than their fair share of hardship, and were delighted to share two children together whom they loved dearly. Together, Mac and Maggie served as sponsors for the marriages of Dave and Gina Nashalook and Peter and Theresa Pino (now Thomas). The family resided in their home, just off of Highway 30, at San Ildefonso Pueblo.

 

Although pulled by the allure of easy money that came with the construction industry in good times, both his father and brother Dan admonished Mac to get his degree. Mac earned his B.A. from St. Michaels College in Physical Education and Science in 1964 and M.A. from New Mexico Highlands University in 1985. Mac enjoyed a 37-year career in education, teaching physical education and biology serving several places including Tierra Amarilla High School, Española Middle School, the Pojoaque Valley Schools, St. Catherines Indian School, and McCurdy School. His roles included teacher, principal, coach, and athletic director. 

 

In addition to his family, of whom he was most proud, Mac was also a mentor to teachers and proud coach to countless young men and women of Northern New Mexico. Those that knew Mac knew of his high standards and because of them, unsurprisingly, success followed Mac and his teams throughout his long career. With coaching, for example, in light of a winning championship season in 1982, Santa Fe Mayor Louis Montano commended Mac and the baseball team, declaring May 13 to be “Pojoaque Elks Green Machine Day.”  In 1992, Coach Mac was inducted to the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) Hall of Fame. The Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council awarded Mac with its appreciation for “assisting our people to your utmost” in 1997. He was named as NMAAs Baseball Coach of the Year four times and, in 2001, Mac received the New Mexico High School Coachs Associations highest honor via induction to the Hall of Honor. On February 25, 2001, Ben Luján, as Speaker for the New Mexico House of Representatives, honored Mac for his years of service to the schools and youth of Northern New Mexico through education and athletics. And, in 2005, the Northern Rio Grande Conference inducted Mac into the Hall of Fame, recognizing him for a lifetime of dedication to youth and commitment to maintaining the success of the conference. 

 

There’s no doubt that Mac was legendary. Few in the valley have not heard about his proclivity for being tossed from games or encountered many stories about Mac continuing to watch, and actively coach, from the roof of the school bus outside a game after he’d been tossed.  His list of accomplishments could go on and, if Mac were with us today, with a sparkle in his eye he’d remind us all of accolades we’ve failed to mention here. True to form, in his later years, Mac was tickled to tell folks that the baseball fields for both the McCurdy Bobcats and Pojoaque Elks were named for him. Levity aside, it was always the lives directly impacted behind each and every one of these honors that truly mattered to Mac, rather than the awards themselves. Behind his tougher-than-nails demeanor and high standards, Mac’s family, friends, students, and athletes knew how much he cared for each of them.

 

To his large San Ildefonso family, Mac was known as the bagged ice delivery man for each San I Feast Day and for any other given dance or family gathering at the Pueblo. During these times, because the intensity never really left him, Mac could be spotted vigilantly enforcing the Pueblo’s “no photography” policy, confiscating phones that dared to surface around the plaza. He remained a force of nature to the end.

 

Mac was preceded in death by his parents, brother Daniel Leslie McReynolds (Mabel), sister Mary (McReynolds) Martinez, sisters-in-law Annie Martinez (Frank) and Marie Martinez (Dennis), brother-in-law Ramos Sanchez (Gerdie), and grandson Jason Abel. Mac is survived by his wife Maggie; daughter Stephanie Diane McReynolds, son Thomas Jason (TJ) and daughter-in-law Maxine McReynolds, and step-son Russell Sanchez; his grandchildren Joseph Xabi and Tamsin Jennifer; his sister Sister Stephanie McReynolds O.S.F.; brothers-in-law Posté Sanchez and Gilbert Sanchez (Kathy); nieces Pearl McReynolds, Kathy Griego (Eduardo), and Shirley Martinez (Billy), and nephew Leslie McReynolds; brother-in-law Richard Martinez; and Godchildren Isaac Varela, Dawn (Than-Bee) Martinez, Branden McKenna, Shannon McKenna, Liana Sanchez, David Nashalook, and Felicia Martinez. He is also survived by so many additional nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family, and dear friends, all of whom meant the world to Mac.


Public visitation will be 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2024, with rosary and eulogy at 6:00 p.m., in the Sangre de Cristo Chapel of DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of Española Valley. Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Pojoaque, NM, with a reception to follow in the Parish Hall. Burial will be private. 

 

Honorary pallbearers include: Francesco (Pancho) Trujillo, Danny Lujan, Eduardo Catnach, Gerald Romero, Milner Manzanares, Dale Martinez, Sherman Martinez, Harvey Martinez, and Myron Gonzales.


The family would like to offer their gratitude to those who provided extra care for Mac in his final days, including Anna Cordova and the staff of Presbyterian Home Healthcare and Hospice of Northern New Mexico. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Coach Mac McReynolds Memorial Scholarship Fund at www.coachmacscholarship.org.

 

The family of Thomas McReynolds has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the beautiful Espanola Valley.  www.devargasfuneral.com   505-747-7477

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Monday, May 6, 2024

5:00 - 6:00 pm (Mountain time)

DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory

623 North Railroad Ave, Espanola, NM 87532

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Rosary

Monday, May 6, 2024

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory

623 North Railroad Ave, Espanola, NM 87532

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Mass

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church

, Pojoaque, NM 87506

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