A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, July 19, 2012, at St. John’s Catholic Church, for Tonita Benavidez Flores, 74, who passed away Monday, July 16, 2012, at Mission Arch Care Center. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, July 20, 2012, also at St. John’s Catholic Church, with the Rev. Juan Antonio Gutierrez officiating. Burial will follow in South Park Cemetery.
Tonita was born July 29, 1937, in Hondo, to Antonio Benavidez and Connie Hernandez. Her parents preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her grandparents, Candielario and Petra Benavidez and Miquela and Estaban Hernandez; brothers, Orlando and Antonio; son-in-law Raul Robledo Jr.; and her great-grandson Arik.
Tonita married Roy Flores on Dec. 17, 1961, in Roswell.
Tonita is survived by her loving husband of 51 years Roy Flores; sons, Roy Flores Jr. and wife Christine, Orlando “Rosco” Flores and wife Lisa, and Joseph Flores; daughters, Linda Garcia and husband John, and Jennifer Flores; brothers, Esky and wife Mary Lou, and Gene and wife Kathy; sisters, Dolores Garza and husband Guidelo, and Nadine Benavidez; 17 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Tonita and her family moved to California in 1967 and returned to Roswell after retiring in 1994. She was active at Roosevelt Elementary School in Pomona, Calif., for nine years. Tonita also volunteered as a crossing guard to insure the safety of elementary school children. She fostered 64 children in seven years for the state of California.
Those to serve as pallbearers will be Joseph Flores, Roscoe Flores, Chance Robledo, Raul Robledo, Roy Flores III, Tim Fresquez and Mario Garcia.
Honorary pallbearers Jesse Salsberry, Joseph Garcia, Richard Guajaca Jr., John Garcia, Patrick Lovato, Denny Bravo, Mark Flores, Thomas Flores, Esky Benavidez and Gene Benavidez.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.