Donald Ray "Pug" Thigpen
January 22, 1940  -  November 23, 2017

Donald Ray "Pug" Thigpen

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First Presbyterian Church of Dexter
201 W. 5th St.
Dexter, NM  88230
Monday, November 27, 2017
10:30 am
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Ballard Crematory
910 S. Main Street
Roswell, NM  88203
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Reins for Life
370 Caddo
Dexter, NM  88230

I served in the Army.

Donald “Pug” Thigpen of Roswell, NM passed away November 23rd, 2017. Pug was born January 22, 1940 to parents James and Marjorie Thigpen.
He attended Cottonwood school through 8th grade and then continued school in Artesia until he graduated in 1958. He was proud and honored to have played on the first Artesia High School State Championship football team in 1957. After graduation, he went on to serve 6 months in the Army Reserve. He began attending NMSU in the Spring of 1959 and graduated in 1963 with a degree in Agronomy. Pug was then offered a Fullbright scholarship to study in New Zealand, which he turned down to go to Graduate school at the University of Nevada, Reno. He received his Masters degree in Plant Genetics from there in 1967.
In 1967 Pug returned to the family farm in Cottonwood where he became a 3rd generation farmer. He was a prominent hay broker as well. Pug served as a state delegate and testified before the United States House of Representatives on behalf of the American Agriculture Movement. He served on the Eddy County Fair Board and the Eastern NM State Fair Board for many years. His hobbies included hunting, following the Artesia Bulldog football team & traveling across the United States competing in Tractor & Truck pulls.
Pug leaves behind three daughters, Lyn Harrison (Jerry) of Artesia, NM; Kim Klein (Jeff) of Roswell, NM and Dawn Thigpen of Roswell, NM. Sisters Norma Lorang (Bill) of Socorro, NM; Suzi Burke (Jim) of Loveland, CO. Grandchildren T.J. Harrison (Allie) of Artesia, NM; Kacy Brown (David) of Roswell, NM; Meghan Kukla (Dan of, Sacramento, CA; Karly Durbin (Eric) of Houston, TX; Dustin Ford of Denver, CO; Tori Cockrum of Lubbock, TX and Lexi Cockrum (Kyle) of Ft. Worth, TX and 12 great grandchildren. Pug’s former wives, Penny Thigpen and Kathy Collier who both provided care and support to him when he needed it most.
The family would also like to express their appreciation to the people who work at Pug’s favorite restaurant…..IHOP, for your kindness, service and caring spirit.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 am on Monday, November 27, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church, 205 5th St., Dexter with Pastor Stephen Deutsch officiating. Reception following in the church social hall.
Donations can be made to Reins for Life, 370 Caddo, Dexter, NM 88230 or your favorite charity.


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  1. Ann Houghtaling
    Lake Arthur, NM

    Sharing your sorrow. Know what a giant space will be left in your hearts. His smile and laughter will remain in our minds, as well as his mischief. Wish we could be at his memorial.68630

    Ann & Sonny,
    Morgan Nelson

  2. Tres Moore Family
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Thigpen family.

  3. Jim Berry
    Roswell, NM

    Proud to have known Pug for many years, a remarkable man with wisdom beyond what most were aware of. My condolences to all the family. May you rest in peace, Pug.

  4. Taresa Hellums
    Roswell, NM

    What a wonderful dear friend you were to me Pug. I will miss you dearly. Rest In Peace my friend.

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