Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Grandma Rise's Obituary

Grucella Gallegos 1921-2013
GALLEGOS, GRUCELLA, 92, a longtime resident of Las Vegas, died peacefully in Albuquerque on April 20. She finally joins her beloved husband, Carlos Gallegos, who preceded her in death in 1980.

Grucella was born in January 1921 and baptized at Our Lady of Sorrows. She lived a happy childhood in Las Vegas as the third of 12 children born to the late Antonio DeTevis, who worked for the railroad, and Emilia Alires, who took in four foster children in addition to raising her own children. Grucella once said her mother went “straight to heaven” as a result of her selflessness. She recalled riding the train one weekend with her father, who bought the kids candy in Albuquerque before returning to Las Vegas.

Grucella met Carlos in school and admired his intelligence. They married in Las Vegas in 1942, while Carlos and his brothers trained for war. She remembered traveling by train with her husband throughout the country before he deployed to Europe during World War II. Following the war, Grucella, her young son and infant daughter moved with her husband to Los Alamos, where they lived until 1968.  She talked admiringly of her son, Gilbert, a student at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, and her daughter Martha, who attended Highlands University. Grucella eventually moved back to Las Vegas with Carlos, where he worked for the post office until his death in 1980. Grucella quietly remembered her wedding anniversary every March 14 for 33 years without her husband by calling her grandson, Gil, Jr., whose birthday was the same date.

Grucella spent the final few years of her life at the Rehabilitation Center of Albuquerque, where she enjoyed the company of new friends and often displayed her sense of humor, even playing April Fool’s jokes on the staff and friends earlier this month.

In addition to her parents and her husband, Grucella is preceded in death by brothers, Tony Jr. and Juan DeTevis; and sisters Lena Cde Baca, Amelia DeTevis, Emelita DeTevis, Alice DeTevis, Gloria DeTevis and Rose Sanchez.

Grucella is survived by her son, Gilbert Gallegos Sr., and wife Beatrice; and daughter, Martha Bustamante, and husband Dale. She was known and loved as Grandma Rise and Nan, by her seven grandsons, now her Pall Bearers:  Gilbert Gallegos, Jr. and wife Yvette, Jonathan Gallegos and wife Lee Ann, Adelio Bustamante (Phyllis), David Bustamante and wife Teresa, Dion Bustamante, Carlos Bustamante and wife Dawn, and Mark Bustamante (Amanda.) She is survived by 17 great-grandchildren: Carin, Isabella, Alek, Derrick and Tanner Gallegos, Jaleisha Bustamante, Cory Madrid, Adelio Jr, Machale, Diego, Luis Antonio, Daniel, Carlos Jr., Santos, Ava and Marko Bustamente; brother Joe DeTevis; sisters, Pita Lucero and husband Buddy, Marie DeTevis and Jane DeTevis; sisters-in-law, Grace Ulibarri and Claudia Gallegos, and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by a special nephew Richard Tafoya and wife Darcy, who Grucella and Carlos helped raise, and a special niece Barbara DeTevis, who was close to her Aunty Rise. Grucella’s grandsons will serve as her Pall Bearers and her great-grandchildren will serve as Honorary Pall Bearers. A Rosary will be recited on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. at Risen Savior Catholic Community, 7701 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM. Interment will be at the Santa Fe National Cemetery at 3:00 p.m.

(A condensed version of this obituary will appear in the Albuquerque Journal and the Las Vegas Optic)

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