Mary S. Anaya, 93, of Roswell, NM, passed away peacefully on June 26, 2017 surrounded by her loved ones in her home in Albuquerque, NM. where she had resided for the last twelve years. Mary was preceded in death by her father Reyes C. Sandoval, mother Elvira G. Sandoval, her husband Pete G. Anaya, and her daughter Cyndi Lou Adams.
Mary, a miner's daughter, was born on October 26, 1923 to Reyes C. Sandoval and Elvira Gamboa Sandoval in Bisbee, AZ. At the age of three her mother passed leaving the raising of Mary to her father and grandmother, Santos Carreaga Sandoval. Shortly after her mother's passing, the family uprooted and migrated to Wilmington, CA. where the men of the family found work as long shore men working the docks of San Pedro and Long Beach. The American dream was alive and well for the Sandoval family. Mary was raised as an only child in a very close-knit family environment, which helped her build a strong foundation of family values, values that helped Mary live through the Great Depression and WW II. Mary was very proud of her contribution to America's war effort by serving as a "Rosie the Riveter "in the manufacturing of B-52 bombers. It was in California that Mary met her husband, Pete G. Anaya, the man she dearly loved. Mary and Pete moved to Roswell, NM and married on June 6, 1946. This dynamic team created a union where the following came to be: 6 children, 12 grandchildren, and 24 great grandchildren.
Immediately upon her arrival in Roswell, NM, Mary was active in the fight for social justice and human rights. Hailed as the "Voice of the Poor", she worked tirelessly to better the Roswell community, and is remembered for the many letters she wrote and phone calls made on behalf of the people she served. Mary served as Director of the Poe Corn Center before leaving to serve on Roswell's City Council for 18 years.
Among her accomplishments, Mary sat on the Governor's Respiratory Advisory Board, the NM Endowment for the Humanities Board, the ENMMC Advisory Board, and served on the New Mexico Humanities Council. She assisted in organizing the American GI Forum, helped overturn the English only speaking policy in schools, pushed for the first Hispanic to the City Council and to the Roswell Police Force, and gained a new drainage system for the south side of Roswell.
She is recognized in the Congressional Record with the following citation: "Though her tenacity alone is commendable, there is much more that deserves recognition. Mary, who represented Ward 5, was an example of true representation, always putting her constituents' needs first. Comprised of many of the city's low-income, Mary was a champion of issues her constituents faced daily. She was an advocate of quality of life issues, such as health care, housing, and community development. She worked tirelessly to improve primary health care, and because of her hard work, a primary health care facility, La Casa de Buena Salud, was built in Roswell."
Mary was active politically, helping and befriending Governors, members of Congress and judges. Mary will be remembered for going door to door and house to house, getting people to the voting polls, to perform their duties to vote. She is honored for the work she did in her fight against racial and social discrimination. In 1981, Mary was inducted into the Democratic Hall of Fame, and in 1992, she and her husband were elected Don Y Dona by the Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce.
Mary brought great joy and happiness to her family and people she loved. She was her husband's anchor, both remembered for their service and many contributions to their community. Her grandchildren remember the boundless love she bestowed on each of them, always telling them how very special they were, and often going out of her way to do whatever they asked, from playing games with them to baking cookies or cooking their favorite meal.
Mary's faith was steadfast in her belief and trust in Jesus Christ, her Savior. She was a member of St. John's Catholic Parish, and was a member of the women's group, the Legion of Mary.
Mary is survived by her daughter M. Sandra Jonas, wife of Fred Jonas of Albuquerque, NM, John A. Anaya of Albuquerque, Pedro J. Anaya, husband of Lydia Ann Bell of San Antonio, TX, Elvira Carabajal, wife of Bobby Carabajal of Roswell, and Luana Dutchover of Roswell. She is survived by her grandchildren, Denise Denis, Melissa Chavez, Deidra McCracken, Andrea Willis, Jerrod P. Anaya, Michael Adams, Bradley Adams, Matthew Adams, Robbie Carabajal, Joshua Carabajal, Gilbert John Dutchover, Giovanna Dutchover and 24 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be at Ballard Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 from 3pm to 7pm with Rosary following from 7pm to 8pm. Funeral service will be held at St. John's Catholic Church at 10:00 am on Thursday, June 29, 2017 with burial procession following at South Park Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest next to her husband. Serving as pallbearers will be her grandsons, Michael Adams, Bradley Adams, Jerrod P. Anaya, Robbie Carabajal, Joshua Carabajal, and Craig Buzzard. A reception will be held at Fr. Juan Montoya Reception Hall immediately following services.
We will always be carrying your memory in our hearts. We will remember the verse in scripture you so much loved:
"In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."