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Manuel I. Gomez

Manuel I. Gomez

Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church for Manuel I. Gomez of Artesia.

Gomez, 85, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, at his home, surrounded by his family.

Fr. Martin Cornejo will officiate at the services. Interment with military honors will follow at Twin Oaks Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Isaiah Carrera, Lawrence Gomez, Jonath Gomez, Jacob Mendoza, Dominic Gomez, Jason Mendoza, Jeremiah Mendoza, Saige Soto, Abram Mendoza, Ashton Gomez, Andre Gomez and Jorgie Avitia. Honorary pallbearers are his sons-in-law, Lalo Carrera, Luis Mendoza, Rick Mendoza and Jorge Avitia.

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Terpening & Son Mortuary. A rosary will precede the services at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Grace.

Manuel was born May 15, 1931, in Lake Arthur to Adolfo and Maria (Duarte) Gomez. He was a lifelong Artesia-area resident.

He served his country in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict as an active veteran. He was a combat medic with the 7th Infantry Division, and among other awards, he was awarded a Purple Heart. In 1953, he transferred to the Army Reserves with the 104th Quarter Master division and continued to serve for another 37 years until retiring from the reserves as a master sergeant in July 1990.

A quote from one of his performance reviews while in the military states, “SFC Gomez is a very aggressive worker who tries to exceed in everything he attempts. SFC Gomez has a deep interest in rifle matches and has contributed to the unit considerable experience and knowledge in the field of arms. He is an excellent NCO who consistently uses his ability to supervise subordinates and get the most of them.” It went on to say SFC Gomez constantly demonstrates professionalism in accomplishing his jobs and consistently displays the finest qualities of leadership and his sincere concern for the welfare morale at all times.

On Dec. 21, 1953, he married the love of his life, Susie Rodriguez, in Artesia. They were married for 63 years.

Along with his service to our country, Manuel worked as the Culligan Man for Artesia for 18 years, then became the property manager of the Abo Apartments with Monarch Properties, where he retired.

He was a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, a founding member of the Artesia Gun Club, and helped build the firing range that is now used by the FLETC. He was a member of the GI Forum and was the local family support coordinator during Desert Storm. Manuel was a member of the Army Rifle Team and won several awards during competitions. He continued to be a student of marksmanship and reloading, and later became a mentor and leader in the ballistic industry.

Manuel also belonged to the Knights of Columbus and the Moose Lodge of Artesia. He enjoyed hunting, camping and fishing, and loved to dance with his love, Susie. The qualities he showed during his military career carried over to his civilian life, as he loved to listen, mentor, and spend time with his family and grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, Susie Gomez, of the family home; children Sylvia Carrera and husband Lalo of Roswell, Armando Gomez, Basilio Gomez, Maria Mendoza and husband Luis, Cory Mendoza and husband Rick, and Connie Avitia and husband Jorge, all of Artesia, Manny Gomez and wife Yvonne of Hobbs, and Rosie Soto of Dallas, Texas; 18 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and siblings Ernest Gomez and Sammy Gomez and wife Dominga, both of Roswell, Arcelia Granado of Artesia, and Joe Gomez and wife Mary of Ruidoso.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Alpidia Garcia; brother Adolfo Gomez Jr., and his loving daughter, Alicia Gomez.

Arrangements are under the direction of Terpening & Son Mortuary. Condolences may be expressed online at www.artesiafunerals.com.