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June 2024

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Written By:

Ellen Gonzales

OBITUARY: Ellen Gonzales

1940 – 2023

In 1940, Ellen Louise Malouff (Weeze) was born in Santa Cruz, New Mexico. Her parents, Neff David Malouff and Zelda Geneva Franklin Malouff, welcomed the first of three children. Ten years later, Elizabeth Colette Malouff was born in 1951 and then Mary Magdalena Malouff was born in 1952.

The family lived primarily in La Jara, Colorado, but moved to Questa briefly to start a store. It was there that my father, Andres Gonzales, first saw my mother, Ellen Louise. He was smitten! He told his friend, Felipe Ortega, “I’m going to marry that girl!,” to which Felipe replied, “You’re too ugly to marry her.” Well, soon thereafter, they married, on July 15, 1957. Mom was 16 and Daddy was 20. Together they faced many trials, the first of which was the birth of my sister, Theresa Marie Gonzales, who was born with San Luis Valley Syndrome, which was later named Recombinant 8 Syndrome. These young kids were scared and worried, because what did they know about caring for this sweet young child with so many health issues? But they put their faith in God and loved and raised her together. The doctors told them she would not see her second birthday, but she fooled them and lived to be 34. That is the power of love and commitment. I, Sherley June Gonzales, was born a year and a half after my sister. I was fiercely protective of her and although we did fight sometimes, no one could ever take her place in my heart.

My sister died on April 17, 1994, and my father died on July 26, 2010. Mom missed them terribly but took solace in the fact that she still had me. In that time, she experienced the joy of being a grandmother, as she welcomed my two children, Elisha Andresana Gonzales and later, Secilia Violet-Louise Gonzales.

People who knew my mom remember her as a staunch Catholic, strong-willed, determined, hardworking, loving, and humorous. She loved “playing in the dirt” and was known for being a talented gardener. She enjoyed the mountains and camping. As her health began to decline, she lamented that she could not go out and pull the weeds in the flowerbeds. She tried awfully hard to get better. She was hospitalized in December 2022 and when she returned home, she was placed on hospice. I was afraid. I took care of her and to my surprise, after three months, she began to get better, so I took her off hospice. She continued to improve but then began to decline again. I am grateful that she came back to me for another four months and we could enjoy each other and say goodbye. I will miss my mother so much — those of you who have lost your mother know what I am saying. Each day I hear her voice, and as I continue my daily path I try to remember all of what she taught me. I love you, Mommy, and I hope that I have made you proud. I was certainly proud of you!

Ellen Louse Malouff Gonzales was preceded in death by beloved husband, Andres J. Gonzales; daughter, Theresa Marie Gonzales; father, Neff David Malouff; mother-in-law, Cidelia Gonzales; father-in-law, Enriques Gonzales; brother-in law, Jerry Gonzales (Diana); and sister-in-law, Lucy Cordova Medina. She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Sherley J. Gonzales (George); grandchildren Elisha Andresana Gonzales and Secilia Violet-Louise Gonzales; mother, Zelda Geneva Malouff; sisters, Colette Mylan (Butch) and Mary DePriest (Darrell; brother-in-law, Teodoro Gonzales (Ruby); and sisters-in-law, Mary Gonzales and Elizabeth Gonzales. She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.

Services were held on August 5, 2023, at St. Anthony’s Parish in Questa.