Cover photo for Silvestre Gustamantes's Obituary
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1933 Silvestre 2016

Silvestre Gustamantes

May 14, 1933 — December 29, 2016

Mr. Gustamantes passed away on Thursday, December 29, 2016 at the age of 83. Silvestre was born on May 14, 1933 to Procopio and Emerenciana Gustamantes in Arabella, New Mexico. Both of his parents have preceded him in death.

Silvestre grew up in the small mountain community of Arabella with his large family of brothers and sisters. Helping his father as a boy he learned ranch life and how to be self-reliant. As Silvestre grew into adolescence the family left Arabella and traveled out of the Hondo Valley to resettle in Roswell NM. In 1953, as the new year was getting underway, Silvestre was working up north in Aztec New Mexico when he walked into the Bean Bowl Café for lunch. The atmosphere was loud, the food was ok but the waitress was what got his attention. She was a beautiful young lady by the name of Aurelia Cordova. The moment the two began to interact in the café would become a pivotal moment in both of their lives. The undeniable connection was both immediate and swift and within a handful of months the two were married.

Mr. and Mrs. Gustamantes came home to Roswell and within the first year of marriage Silvestre received his draft papers and headed to Korea. He arrived shortly after the major fighting had ended and spent his enlistment time moving equipment and driving the upper echelon of officers, to and from where they needed to go, and within two years came back home. His focus became starting a family and supporting his household. His brother owned a ranch 30 miles north of town and Silvestre worked with him. He was an amazing and disciplined worker, wrestling sheep to the ground and shearing a hundred plus in a single day, fixing fences that had broken, hauling large amounts of water, branding calves, and repairing just about everything that needed to be repaired. Years later he became involved in construction and worked masonry but his grit and gift would always be for the ranch.

Silvestre had hard working and dedicated work ethic written into the core of his being. It was instilled into him by his father as a child and he, in turn, instilled these values into his own children. He could seem serious and stoic in one moment but then could surprise you in the next with a joke, or making the unwary a recipient of his anecdotes, if you weren't expecting it. He never spanked his children, leaving that to mom instead but always made sure they knew he was in charge. He never condoned violence but always told his children that if someone started a fight then don't back down. He expected everyone to follow through on their word and he made sure that he always did. He was a hard worker and a honest man but the legacy that he leaves is so much more than this. His legacy is what he leaves his family: the love and commitment that he has given to them; the insight and life he has learned and passed down; and the foundation of faith and spiritual leadership he has laid in his home.

Mr. Gustamantes is survived by his daughters Hopie Espinoza of Roswell, NM and Emma Jean Hutcherson of Roswell, NM; sons Robert and Brenda Gustamantes of Roswell, NM, Levi and Adrienne Gustamantes of Roswell, NM; grandsons Paul and Jessica Espinoza, Sylvester (Gus) Hutcherson, Jason and Cintya Gonzales, Tristen Gustamantes and Terrence Mayes; granddaughters Allison Gustamantes, Tabitha Armenta, Tracy Hutcherson and Merle, Megan Colby; special nephew LeRoy Trujillo; 18 great grandchildren; 2 great great-grandchildren (on the way). He is preceded in death by his wife Aurelia Gustamantes; son Sylvester Gustamantes; brothers Richard and Frank Gustamantes; sisters Carolina Gonzales, Teresa Martinez, Valentina Trujillo; 6 infant sisters and 4 infant brothers.

Serving as pallbearers will be Paul Espinoza, Jason Gonzales, Sylvester Hutcherson, Eric Espinoza, LeRoy Trujillo and Sebastian Herrera. Honorary pallbearers will be all remaining grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Visitation will be held at Ballard Chapel on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 from 9am to 5pm, a prayer vigil will follow at 7pm with Deacon Howard Herring officiating with a Funeral Ceremony at St. Peters Catholic Church on Wednesday January 4, 2017 at 10am with interment to follow at South Park Cemetery.


Ballard Funeral Home
910 S. Main St.
Roswell, NM  88203
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
9:00 am to 5:00 pm



Ballard Funeral Chapel
910 S. Main St.
Roswell, NM  88203
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
7:00 pm

Funeral Service

St. Peters Catholic Church
109 E. Deming
Roswell, NM  88203
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
10:00 am


South Park Cemetery
3101 S. Main St.
Roswell, NM  88203
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Silvestre Gustamantes, please visit our flower store.


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