Cover photo for Simona Ponce Montez's Obituary
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1933 Simona 2024

Simona Ponce Montez

February 18, 1933 — March 17, 2024

Simona Ponce Montez, 91, passed away at home on March 17, 2024, in Roswell, NM.

Simona was born on February 18, 1933, in Vado de Piedra (“El Vado”), Chihuahua, Mexico to Pedro Estrella Ponce and Juana (“Juanita”) Carrasco Ponce.  At around the age of 12, Simona traveled to Loving, NM, to live with her beloved aunt, Heriberta (“Betita”) Ponce Salmon (her father’s sister) and uncle Herculano Salmon.   Simona spent many years surrounded by their younger children.  To support her family in Mexico, Simona worked in the farm fields near Loving.  One day, she spied a farm hand, Amador Salazar Montez, a familiar face from El Vado.  They reconnected, fell in love and decided to get married on August 18, 1953 in Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico.  

From Loving, the couple made their way north to the area known as Cottonwood, near Lake Arthur, NM.  There the family worked and lived on the local farms owned by Buddy Taylor, Melvin Pearson and Ralph Pearson.  Eight of the couple’s children were born at Artesia General Hospital.   The family later moved to Ralph Pearson’s farm in Hagerman, NM, and then settled in Roswell in December 1976.  

Simona was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Lake Arthur, Saint Catherine Mission in Hagerman and later St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (Comunidad Catolica de San Juan Bautista) in Roswell.  She was a member of the Crusillo Movement and a long-time member of the Spanish Choir (Coro Español) at St. John’s.  She enjoyed spending time with her children and her grandchildren, who affectionately called her “Lita.”  She made friends wherever she went.  She loved playing Bingo at various locations in Roswell.  After a night at Bingo, she would often come home to say she had won “el camino para la casa” – the road home.  She enjoyed cooking, dancing and singing.  She was a great storyteller and had a great sense of humor.  She was most proud of having all of her eight adult children graduate from high school – a huge feat for someone who had to leave her school in El Vado at an early age to go work in the United States.  She loved telling the story of seeing the school bus in Cottonwood picking up kids in the morning along the country road facing her home.   When her oldest child, Jesus, was old enough to go to school, she flagged down the driver and put him on the bus.   Later in the day, to her surprise, a school official visited her at home to let her know that she needed to have first registered him.  

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband (on July 27, 2002), daughter Veronica Montez, son Manuel Montez, daughter-in-law Antonia Montez, sister Agricola Ponce Rodriguez, sister Irene Ponce Orona, grandson Omar Joseph Montez and granddaughter Eddika Duarte.  

She is survived by her brothers, Manuel Ponce and Alfredo Ponce, of Hobbs, NM; Reynaldo Ponce of Midway, NM; Ramon Ponce and Diego Ponce, and her sister, Elva Carrasco, all of Lovington, NM.  She is survived by her sons, Jesus Montez (wife Socorro), of Roswell; Eladio Montez (wife Melissa), of Wylie, TX; Martin Montez (companion Cruz Escobar), of Roswell; and Abel Montez (husband Jeremy Winell), of New York, NY.  She is survived by her daughters, Aurora Jimenez, Delia Montez, and Zenaida Silva, of Roswell.  She is also survived by her grandchildren Veronica Jimenez Chavez, Richard Silva, Roman Silva and Israel Duarte of Albuquerque, NM; Monica Aguilar and Amador Jesus “A.J.” Montez of Roswell; Anna Montez of Hagerman; Brianna Montez Lopez of Sachse, TX; Isaac Montez of Ft. Worth, TX; and Marco Montez Winell of New York, NY.  She is also survived by 17 great-grandchildren and dozens of godchildren to whom she served as their “Madrina.”  The family is especially grateful for the love, devotion and care that was given and shown by her cousins Maria Aguilar, Cuca Mendoza, Margaret Darrough and her former home aide Ivonne Castañeda.   The family also acknowledges her cousins - the children of Betita and Herculano - for all their constant love and support of her.  

The pallbearers are her grandsons Richard, Roman, Amador Jesus “A.J,” Israel, Isaac and her son-in-law Richard Adam Silva. The honorary pallbearers are Frank and Elida Rincon.

A visitation will be held from 2:00 – 5:00pm, Thursday, March 21, 2024 at Ballard Funeral Home with a rosary to follow at 6:00 pm at St. Peters Catholic Church. 

Mass will be held at 2:00 pm, Friday, March 22, 2024 at St. John's Catholic Church with a graveside to follow at South Park Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Simona Ponce Montez, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Viewing

Thursday, March 21, 2024

2:00 - 5:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Thursday, March 21, 2024

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

St. Peters Catholic Church

109 E Deming St, Roswell, NM 88203

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Friday, March 22, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

St. John's Catholic Church

506 S Lincoln Ave, Roswell, NM 88203

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Graveside Service

Friday, March 22, 2024

3:30 - 4:30 pm (Mountain time)

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