Center resident Mary Barela, 91, went home to be with the Lord on June 1, 2021, under Hospice care surrounded by her loving family. Mary was welcomed into the world on January 25, 1930, in Center, Colorado, the 5th child born to Martin and Clara Sanchez. Mary, a devout Catholic, gave over thirty-five years of service to the church, in which during this time she served as a Eucharistic Minister, confirmation teacher and group leader. She loved singing in the church choir and participating in the community choir cantadas. Mary was a huge sports fan. Throughout her life, she bowled, played golf, and organized a women’s softball league. She loved watching the Colorado Rockies play, but mostly enjoyed going to watch her grandchildren participate in school events. She was a devoted mother to her children, whom she inspired daily. For ten years she bartended at the Deluxe Tavern and became famous for her homemade chili beans she would serve for lunch. In 1978, she enrolled herself in classes at the Vocational School in Monte Vista, receiving her GED. From there, she went on to work for BOCES Early Childhood Program for six years. She participated in Girl Scouts of America as a troop leader for five years. For eighteen years she was a scale master at the Terminal Scale in Center and from there she would go on to substitute at the Center Schools for several years.
Mary will always be remembered by her family for her contagious smile and laugh, going to her house to enjoy her amazing food she cooked for her family, and her kind and caring nature. Mary never missed an opportunity to travel, shop, or go gambling with her family. She always had an overnight bag packed and ready just in case someone would stop by and say, “Wanna go?”
Mary will continue to live through her daughters Patricia (Ramon) Trujillo of Lafayette, CO; Marlene Lovato, Denise Trujillo, Betty (Paul) Salazar all of Center, CO; Janet (Pat) Archuleta of Fruita, CO; Paula (David) Trujillo of Thornton, CO; sons George (Eva) Barela, Mark (Josie) Barela both of Santa Fe, NM; Tom (Melissa) Sanchez of Las Cruces, NM; 27 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren, 5 great-great-grandchildren (with 2 more due to arrive in the late fall); sister Dolores Sanchez of Longmont, CO; and brother Martin (Maxine) Sanchez of Las Cruces, NM. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Mary was married to Joe Barela from 1946-1983. She was preceded in death by her parents Martin and Clara Sanchez, son Donnie Barela, son-in-law Lee Trujillo, two sisters Marcella Rapp and Elizabeth Romero, and three brothers John, Ray and Uly Sanchez.
Cremation was chosen and a Vigil Service with Recitation of the Rosary and a Celebration of Life will be held on July 9, 2021, at 7:00 PM at St. Francis Jerome Catholic Church in Center, CO. A Memorial Mass will be held on July 10, 2021, at 10:00 AM also at St. Francis Jerome Catholic Church. Inurnment will follow at the Monte Vista Cemetery. Donations can be made to Hospice Del Valle Alamosa in memory of Mary Barela. To leave online condolences, please visit romerofuneralhomes.com. The care of arrangements has been entrusted to Romero Funeral Home of Monte Vista.