Jose R. Sanchez, age 77, of Belen, NM went to meet the Lord God our creator on April 26, 2021 just 11 days after receiving his first COVID-19 vaccine.
Our father took over the responsibilities of his father at the age of 21, when his father, Fidel was killed in a vehicle accident. He raised six children from what he created from dirt. Jerry, as many knew him, was a farmer, he served in the Army National Guard and was a ditch digger when his first son was born. Jerry was never without a job, he worked for the Lunas Training School, Leon Othart's Dairy, Allen Douglas Construction, Bud Stone, Leonard Castillo Sand and Gravel, and Gregorio Castillo Construction. At the age of about 30 he became self employed as an Adobe Manufacture, Adobe Mason, and later established a sand and gravel business. Our dad did some of the hardest back-breaking work to support his family.
In his younger days Jerry worked hard and also liked to drink, fight, and raise hell on his Harley Davidson chopper. The crazy times came to an end shortly after his first born son came to be. He gave up the drinking, the fighting and the Harley to take up the responsibility of being a father of six children whom he loved. Our father sacrificed to send his children to St. Mary's School to receive a Catholic education. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He had a great love for God and an unwavering loyalty to the Catholic Church. He was instrumental in rebuilding many old Catholic Churches in New Mexico by donating his skills and adobes. He also donated adobes to Native American Kivas and was made a special guest of honor at Acoma. He donated his time and adobes to Habitat for Humanity of Taos, in partnership to build hope and community.
Jerry had many accomplishments in his life time. He built the first adobe structure at our Nations Capitol in Washington DC for the Smithsonian Institute and was on the TV show, "How It's Made" featured on the Discovery channel. With only a high school education he published an adobe news publication. He also advised contractors with the US Military on Adobe structures for the wars in the Middle East. Jerry was a builder, he left his mark on this world and his homes and structures will stand the test of time.
Jerry lived an extraordinary life. He traveled to Uganda Africa where he lived and married his wife, Namayanja Gertrude Sanchez. She loved and respected him the way he always expected a wife to be. He loved her and her three children very much. The people of Uganda were very good to him, they treated him with great respect. In his life time he took many people into his home, even a Russian that ended up being investigated by the FBI. He knew what it was to be homeless and offered his home to people in need. Up to the day of his passing he was sharing his home with his son Anthony Sanchez, his son Luke's friend Guillermo and Guillermo's son Alejandro.
Our Father was an imperfect man living in a tough world. He could burn bridges of relationships at times and was not an easy man to get along with if he felt disrespected. Jerry was a hard worker, no one can say any different. He was self educated, generous, charismatic, said what he thought, misunderstood by some, helped others and lived life the best he was capable of. No matter how hard life got, he always kept his faith and love for God and never stopped trying. We loved our father and I wish him eternal peace. When he gets to Heaven's Gates may my Marine brothers that guard those gates and the Angles of Heaven welcome him to his eternal home.
Jose is survived by his loving wife Namayanja Gertrude Sanchez of Uganda, her three children Ssesanga John Mary Vianney, Nabbaale Vivian Bridget, Nayiga Proscovia, his sister Josephine Sanchez, his son Luke Sanchez wife Heather Sanchez, his daughter Theresa Sanchez who helped him in his old age, his son Anthony Sanchez, his daughter Jennifer Sellars, husband Ira Sellars, his daughter Laura Gibbs, husband Tony Gibbs, his daughter Marie St. John Sanchez. His grandchildren John Sanchez, Emily Gibbs, Alathea Sellars, Cheyenne Sellars, Cadence Sellars, and Rayleigh Sellars. Cousin Mathew Sanchez whom he considered a brother, Fr. Albert his friend, trusted worker and friend Margaro Chavez, many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
He was proceeded in death by his grandparents, his father Fidel R. Sanchez, mother Valentina G. Sanchez, brother Dennis R. Sanchez wife Francis Sanchez, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Sometimes in life the good we do is out shadowed by our hurt and anger. Let go of your hurt, forgive. Those who leave everything in God's hands, will eventually see God's hands in everything.
Due to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's CV-19 restrictions and delays waiting military funeral finalization, arrangements for services thru Noblin Funeral Home have not been scheduled at this time. Special thanks to Noblin Funeral Home for their compassion during this family loss.
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