Flor T. Luna, Sr., 85, of Truth or Consequences, NM, went to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, on December 25, 2016. He passed away at Sierra Vista Hospital after a long battle with diabetes. He was surrounded by his family and friends. Flor, Sr. was born on March 28, 1931 in Chloride, NM to Santos Villar Luna and Rafaelita Trujillo Luna.
He is survived by his loving wife, Olivia Luna, of the family home in T. or C., NM; Sons – LeeRoy H. Luna (Cheryl) of Belen, NM, Richard Luna (Marilyn) of T. or C., NM, Johnnie J. Luna (Tonya) of Las Palomas, NM and Andrew L. Luna (Yuko) of Las Cruces, NM; 13/Grandchildren – Flor Tino Luna III (Tracy) of T. or C., NM, Amanda Baeza (Robert) of Carlsbad, NM, Melissa Childress (James) of T. or C., NM, Sammi Luna (Mike) of T. or C., NM, Mathew L. Luna (Jen) of Louisiana, Rebecca Quiles (Matt) of T. or C., NM, Richard Eric Luna (Crystal) of Ft. Bliss, El Paso, TX, Tabitha Crawford (Tim) of T. or C., NM, Nicholas S. Luna of T. or C., NM, Karis Martinez of T. or C., NM, Cloyce Bishop of T. or C., Destiny R. Luna of Las Cruces, NM and Felicia Y. Luna of Las Cruces, NM; 24/Great-Grandchildren; numerous nephews and nieces; and brother, Donald Luna, of Chloride, NM.
He was preceded in death by two sons – Flor Luna, Jr. and Johnny Luna; his parents, Santos and Rafaelita Luna; brothers – Flavio Luna, Amado Luna and Santos Luna, Jr.; sisters – Simona Fletcher, Carolina Stanley, Ermiña Luna and Juanita Lucero; and great-great-granddaughter, Jizelle Trinity Luna.
Flor was the fifth born of nine children. He went to school in a one room school house in Chloride, NM. In the winter he would go early and start the fire in the stove to warm the room. While in the 6th grade, his dad took a job in Grants, NM to work in the mines like many others from the area. Upon returning to Chloride, his teacher bumped him up to the 8th grade. When he started 9th grade he went to T. or C.
While in T. or C. he worked at Carrie Tingley Children’s Hospital. At 17 he joined the National Guard under the command of Sgt. Lee Tafoya. He returned to Chloride to help care for his father after he was injured in an automobile accident.
He worked various jobs, mining and being a cowboy. He especially loved cowboying. He cowboyed for Mr. Yearwood for $5.00 a day. At the end of the week he would cash his check at the Winston Store which at the time was owned by Roland Johnson. He would spend his entire check on groceries for the family. In 1951, when Flor was twenty, his father passed away in the hospital in Socorro, NM.
Flor was drafted into the army in January of 1952. When asked about his previous occupation for his DD214 he put down “Cowpuncher”. He was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky for his basic training. After training he received orders to go to Korea in early July of 1952. He was shipped to Korea from California by way of Hawaii where he spent two weeks then on to Japan. While in Japan he was assigned to Company B, 6th Tank Battalion, 24th Division, 34th Regimen, 90mm gun. He was assigned as tank driver, in July, 1953, and received orders to go to Korea. He drove the “M34 armored tank”. In Korea, they fought and defended the 38th Parallel in some heavy fighting. The war ended in July, 1953. He was moved to a Korean Prison Camp where he was a prison guard. He was at the prison camp at the time of the prison riot. While on R & R in Japan, he met up with an old friend, Robert Silva, from Monticello, NM, and they didn’t see each other again until they got home. He then was sent back to the states and was honorably discharged from the Army in Ft. Bliss, TX.
He eventually moved to California where he met his wife, Olivia. They soon moved back to New Mexico. They were together for 62 years. Flor worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Beaverhead, NM. Around 1965 they moved to T. or C., NM where he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation, T. or C. Schools and the City of T. or C. He then went to work for the New Mexico State Parks where he became Superintendent at the Elephant Butte Lake State Park. He attended and graduated from the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy in Santa Fe, NM, transferred to Caballo Lake State Park as Superintendent until he retired in 1992. He was a Sergeant in the Army and State Park Superintendent, and Law Enforcement Officer. He and his wife moved to his hometown of Chloride, NM after retirement until May of 2015 when they moved back to T. or C. for health reasons.
He was a friend to everyone and stranger to no one. He loved hunting deer and elk, camping and mostly spending time with his family whom he loved dearly. His family is very proud of him and all his accomplishments and love him very, very much.
Visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday, December 30, 2016 from 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the Chapel of Kirikos Family Funeral Home, Inc. Followed by a Prayer Vigil at 7:00 P.M. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, December 31, 2016, at 10:00 A.M. celebrated by Rev. Marcos O. Reyna. Rite of Committal will follow in Santo Niño Cemetery in Chloride, NM. Serving as Casket Bearers will be Matthew Quiles, Isaac Lopez, Sam Harris, Richard Eric Luna, Gilbert Lucero, Jr., Larry Herrera, Flor Tino Luna, III and Nicholas S. Luna. Honorary Casket Bearers will be Raymond Garcia and Ernie Luna.
Arrangements are by Kirikos Family Funeral Home, Inc., 303 N. Cedar St., T. or C., NM 87901, 575/894-2574. For online memorial messages please visit www.kirikosfamilyfuneralhome.com.