Joe Fatima Velasquez (59) passed away quietly in his Las Cruces home on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
Viewing will be held from 1:00 to 6:00 pm, Monday, June 5, 2023 at Ballard Funeral Home with a rosary to follow at 6:00 pm. Funeral mass will be held at 10:00 am, Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at St. Peters Catholic Church. Burial will follow at South Park Cemetery.
Joseph was born in Roswell, NM on May 2, 1964 to Joe Velasquez and the late Esperanza Kamees Velasquez. Many knew him as Baby Joe and as time passed, he preferred Joseph or Joe F.
Joseph’s life began with a long list of physical barriers and a life expectancy of no more than 5 years. His first years would include many Dr’s visits. During one such visit, his parents were told they needed to accept his shortened lifespan, and the fact that he would be, in the Dr’s words, “retarded”. Physically he would struggle however mentally Joseph would prove that Dr. wrong!
At the age of 3, deaf, tube fed and unable to walk unassisted, he was already able to lace and tie his own shoes! Ability to do that at this age, another Dr. would state, “he might be a genius.” This statement proved to be true. As he aged, it became clear that he was a quick learner and definitely mechanically inclined! Many of us would half-jokingly say he was a mind reader. He was extremely intuitive and definitely had a sixth sense. Even with limited language skills, and very few family members who knew sign language, he seemed to know what you wanted or needed before you tried asking.
Joseph lived his life wanting to be a useful part of everyday life. He was blessed with family and friends who would provide him with that feeling of purpose and sense of normality. In his youth, he was taken in as a helper to many family businesses and at each, excelled in his abilities! He had the opportunity to work with his Grandpa Dave and Uncle Adan learning various body shop skills. He was meticulous in gathering the correct tools for various jobs and helping as needed. He also spent time with his Uncle Paul and Olivia Gonzales as a lock smith and key maker. He loved the responsibility of using the machinery to make keys and take care of problem locks. He also worked at his Uncle Homers mechanic shop, working alongside his cousin Alex Sarli (Sandy) in the body shop which eventually also included a Tow Wrecker Service. He was so proud to show off his ability to run every piece of equipment and was gifted with a plaque naming him Vice-President.
He also enjoyed time with his Uncle Ryc and Diane Velasquez irrigating, mowing, helping with carpentry and feeding the animals. There, he would typically say he was hungry before leaving so that he could complete the day with a family meal. Finally, he enjoyed going to church and took pride in dressing up and being part of passing the collections basket at St Johns Church.
Josephs hobbies included riding the four-wheeler and being the neighborhood watchdog, playing on his Xbox, and face timing family members several times a day. He also loved caring for and acting as protector to younger family members, especially toddlers.
On May 6th he celebrated what would be his final birthday and it was grand! Upon arriving in Roswell from Las Cruces, he opened the doors to his uncle Ryc and Diane’s barn and lit up seeing the beautiful decorations and many people he loved waiting inside. After greeting many with hugs, a few with lighthearted scolding’s, and a gentle nalgada or two, he quickly took the little ones for four-wheeler rides around the property he knew so well. While opening gifts he made sure pictures were taken and his iPad was videotaping. He loved the limelight and keeping record of every special occasion big or small!
Our deepest thanks to Sandra Zamora and all who helped in organizing such a beautiful event! Thank you also to everyone who attended! The joy he showed on his special day was priceless! It meant more than you know!
Joseph’s immediate survivors include his father, Joe Velasquez; sisters Corina Reynaud and husband Richard Reynaud and Lorina Lucas and husband, Dr. Matthew Lucas; nieces Taylor Reynaud, and Hannah Reynaud and nephews Anthony Samario Jr., and Donovan Lucas.
Honored to serve as pallbearers are Alex Sarli, Homer Sarli, Adan Velasquez, Alfred Velasquez, Fermin Velasquez, and Ryc Velasquez.
Our sincere gratitude to his aunt Martha Romero, who acted as second mom with many daily needs including home cooked meals and time away from home after his mother passed. Rick and Mary Ann Alvarado for countless opportunities to visit their home and making sure he could spend time with granddaughter, Emma Jade Acevedo. (They loved each other dearly) Loretta and Cecil Tomas for several trips away from home and a highlight visit to the Albuquerque Aquatic Center. Cruz Carrillo, Rosemary Lopez, Gloria Velasquez, Sandra Zamora, Alfred Velasquez, Fermin Velasquez, Jose Macias, Jeff Miller, and Rene’ Aymee’ for their help and compassion with any and all other needs, including many visits showing Joseph how much he was loved!
We appreciate all who called to express condolences or shared their own special stories through social media. It has been heartwarming knowing how much he touched so many lives!