With profound sadness we announce the passing of Theresa J. Sanchez on July 12, 2021, at the age of 90. She was the Matriarch of the Sanchez family. She was a loving and devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. But, above all these, she was as a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, a daughter of the most High God. She left this earth to spend eternity with Jesus. We now have an eternal angel in heaven.
Theresa was born on October 17, 1930 to Frank and Francis Chavez in Chamita, NM. She grew up in Los Luceros with five brothers and sisters all working the family ranch. She married Gilbert Sanchez and they raised five children in Espanola, NM.
She had many jobs and offered her service generously. She served as a cook for the Espanola Public Schools for 30 years, and as a Pink Lady volunteer for Presbyterian hospital for 25 years. She was a devout Catholic and taught catechism to elementary students at Holy Cross Church where she was also the Celadora of the Holy Family for 40 years. She had great devotion to her holy family and adored it. We all had to kneel to pray when she had the holy family in her home.
Mom always had her priorities straight. It was always God first, then her family. Her love for God and her constant willingness to point others toward Him shined brightly. She faced many difficulties in her life, but she never wavered in her faith. She trusted the Father with her life and she was confident He knew what was best even when it didn’t make sense. If you came in contact with her, chances were good that she said something to the effect of, “What can we do? All we can do is hold on to God and keep on going.”
Theresa was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Francis Chavez, her husband of 45 years, Gilbert Sanchez, sons Simon, Gilbert Jr. and Robert (Bobby) Sanchez, grandchild Ginger Esparza, and brothers Frank Jr. and Julian Chavez.
A very much loved mother, she is survived by her daughters, Charlene (Jim) Esparza, Virginia (James) Ellington, and daughter-in-law Mary Sanchez. Her cherished and loved her grandchildren; Rodney and Kim Sanchez, Mardel Esparza, Fernando and Lynette Sanchez, Mark and Amber Ellington, and David Chavez. She has eighteen great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and five God-children.
She adored her sisters Beatrice (Leonard) Abeyta and Claudia Rene (Joe) Pallett. Her sisters-in-law are Flora Chavez, Josie Ramirez, and Lupe Chavez.
The public visitation will be on Wednesday, July 28th from 10:00AM to 10:30AM at La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Canada, followed by the rosary at 10:30AM and the mass celebrated at 11AM. Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday the 29th at 10:30AM at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe. The pallbearers are Jim Esparza, James Ellington, Rodney Sanchez, Fernando Sanchez, Mark Ellington, and Andrew Romero.
The family is deeply grateful for the loving care given to her by long time caregivers and friends Liz Schmitt, Cerina Armijo, and Concha. Thanks to Del Corazon Hospice.
We remember her reciting the following prayer daily since we were little, and until the night before she died:
Lord, I need you every day.
I stumble so along the way.
I need the faith that you can give
Every single day I live.
I need more strength for I am weak,
And it’s your strength that I seek.
Give me hope when things go wrong,
And let my heart hear your sweet song.
The road is long and the hill so steep.
I even need you when I sleep.
Let’s face it, God, what can I do
If I can’t turn to you?
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7)
The family of Theresa J. Sanchez has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espanola Valley. 505-747-7477
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