Sophie Montoya, of Roswell, went home to be with our Lord on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2012, at 5:50 a.m., prepared and at peace. Sophie was born on March 30, 1914, in Mazapil, Zacatecas, Mexico to Mariano Flores Sr. and Ventura Ramirez. The eldest daughter of 13 children, Sophie came to Roswell when she was 5 years old and began attending school at East Grand Plains. She loved Roswell and made it her lifelong home. On Feb. 28, 1940, Sophie married John Pacheco Montoya of Tinnie, and the couple remained wed for 26 years. During their marriage, Sophie and John adopted two children, Loretta Ann Montoya and Johnnie Flores Montoya, whom they loved with all their hearts. In 1964, Sophie went to work for the Frank O. Elliott family as a nanny/housekeeper. She remained with the Elliotts for 25 years and came to love them as much as they loved her. Sophie was still working at age 85 catering parties as word of her delicious meals and baked goods spread throughout our town.
Sophie is survived by her children, Loretta Montoya and her life partner John Ray, of Roswell, Johnnie Montoya and his life partner Howard Brendle, of Virginia Beach, Va.; grandchild David M. Smith and great-grandchild Alexander G. Smith, both of Santa Rosa, Calif. Sophie is also survived by three sisters, Lala and (Olmedo) Ledezma, Velia and (Nick) Aguilar, and Victoriana Sanchez. Sophie is also survived by two brothers, David and (Silvia) Flores, and Roy Flores, all of Roswell. She was preceded in death by her brother-in-law Eliver Sanchez and her sister-in-law Tonita Flores.
Sophie was also preceded in death by her parents, Mariano and Ventura Flores, grandparents, Pedro and Delfina Flores, and Julio and Victoriana Ramirez; four brothers, Andres Flores Sr. and his late wife Angelina, of Orange, Calif.; Mariano Flores Jr. and his late wife Mabel; Julio Flores and his late wife Velia, all of Roswell; and Joe Florez and his wife Marcella. Marcella survives Joe in their Albuquerque home and was one of Sophie’s best friends as well as her sister-in-law. There were three sisters who preceded Sophie in death, Delfina Flores, Lupe Franco and her late husband Manuel, of Roswell, and Mary Pineda and her late husband Jim, of El Paso, Texas.
Sophie is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. Pallbearers will be four of her nephews and two of her nephews by marriage, Ralph Flores, Mariano Florez, Raymond Franco, Nick Aguilar Jr., Felix Padilla and Mike Puckett. Honorary pallbearers are John Ray, Howard Brendle, Charlie Franco, and Joseph Flores.
Sophie’s family would like to give special thanks to the staff at Vista Care Hospice, most especially, Dr. Stiller (M.D.), Diane and Teresa (R.N.s), April (social worker), Garth (pastor), June (volunteer), Chris and Andre (equipment techs), and the CNAs who worked so diligently and patiently helping Sophie stay comfortable and in high spirits. Many thanks also go out to the staff from Comfort Keepers, especially Susan, Sophie’s primary caretaker, and the homemakers from El Mirador, in particular, Lucy, who took such special care with Sophie’s wardrobe. Anyone who knew Sophie knew what a stylish dresser she was and the great pride she took in wearing beautifully tailored clothing, and looking her very best at all times.
Sophie had a variety of interests: cooking, baking, playing cards, outings with friends and family, politics, old movies, reading, crocheting, knitting, shopping, potting flowers, singing out of tune with her siblings, meeting friends for the occasional cocktail, dancing, watching her favorite soap opera of 50 years, walking, and sometimes even a gossip magazine or two. She said her secret to a long life was “staying active and eating plenty of vegetables.” She had a grace and energy that all who knew her admired. She also had strong opinions on most issues and was never one to keep them “buttoned up.” That is one of the things we will remember most about her. We have lost a wonderful mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, great-aunt, friend, confidant, neighbor, and human being who set her angel wings on Earth for almost 100 years. She impacted so many lives and will be sorely missed for decades to come.
A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, at Ballard Chapel. Funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, at St. John’s Catholic Church with Father Brian Guerrini, SSP.CC. officiating. Burial will follow at South Park Cemetery. There will be a gathering of family and friends at the recently completed St. John’s Hall after the funeral.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. The family sends sincere appreciation to all the staff at Ballard for providing them the solace necessary to get through Sophie’s loss as painlessly as possible. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.