A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, for David M. Salas Sr., 73, who passed away Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Roswell. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, also at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, with the Rev. Gonzalo Moreno officiating. David will be laid to rest in South Park Cemetery following the Mass.
David Salas was born June 9, 1939, in Roswell, to Gregorio and Delfida Salas. His parents preceded him in death, as did his beloved wife, Sesarita Mary “Baby” Salas. Four brothers and two sisters-in-law also preceded him in death, Ruben and Emma Pineda, Jim and Mary Pineda, Fred Salas and Joe Salas. His three sisters and spouses also preceded him in death, Velia and Julio Flores, Annie and Ralph Vasquez and Oralia and Eloy Ortega. His sole surviving sister Vitalia Gonzales and her husband Johnny reside in San Antonio, Texas. David’s children preceding him in death were Tony, Jerry and Bobby Barela, and baby Ginny; also a grandson, Bobby Ray Contreras Jr. and great-grandson Eric Robert Contreras Jr. Survivors are brother and sisters-in-law, Lilly Salas, of Roswell, Abel Sedillo, of California, Raymond “Londi” Sedillo and his wife Sherry, of Arizona, Orlydia Flores, of Roswell, Prestinia Alvarado, of California, and Arsenia Sanchez and her husband Chris, of Roswell. His surviving children are Ginnie Salas, Greg Salas and his fiancée Kathleen Trujillo, and Melinda Hernandez, of Lewisville, Texas.
He is also survived by Kelley Hayes, his “mija.” His surviving grandchildren are Reina, Eric and Mere Contreras, and Audrey, Marina Sedillo, David Salas III, Adrian Hernandez, David and Jason Barela, Sonia Acosta, Robert “Bobby,” Danny and Ritchie Barela, Manuel Ray Vigil, Fred, Cassandra, Robert and Cynthia Luna, Yvette Aragon, Chris and Andrea Trujillo, Roger and Reina Orona, Santana Serna, and Michael Candelaria Jr. Surviving great-grandchildren are Isaac Molinar Jr., Bobby Monique Contreras, Aryanna and Kitty Trujillo and Marc Chavez Jr. Numerous cousins, nephews and nieces also survive David.
David married his beloved Baby on Feb. 15, 1964, in Roswell. In the mid-60s, David and Baby moved with their four children, Tony, Jerry, Bobby and Ginnie to Carson City, Calif., where David was employed as a licensed practical nurse. In the late 60s, returning to reside in Roswell, the family brought along a new addition to the family, Greg.
During his teen years, David enlisted “underage” in the U.S. Army. In 1956, he graduated from the Airborne School and served in the 101st Airborne until 1959. After he returned to Roswell, he attended the St. Mary’s School of Nursing receiving an LPN degree in 1964.
Recalling David’s younger years, his “powerful” hard right hand gained him the title of State Golden Glove Champ. Willie Hall, a friend and former trainer, compared David to Tony Zale, a former middleweight champ of the world. In November 2009, David was inducted into the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame and assigned a unique global number. Also credited to David’s “hard right hand punch” was the welterweight title he held for a year while stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Pallbearers will be Eloy Jr. and Robert Ortega Sr., Benny and Art Sedillo, Ralph Flores and Alfonso “Punch” Pena. Honorary pallbearers will be Joseph and John Salas, Louie and Ruben Pineda, Greg Gonzales,
Richard Flores, Fred, Danny, Ernie and Andy Ortega, Eric and Mere Contreras, David and Jason Barela, Fred Luna, Michael and Abel Sedillo Jr., Raymond “Villa,” Frank “Kiko” Gamboa, Robert Watts, Danny Marrujo and Roger Orona.
David’s family would like to give special thanks to the Vista Care Hospice staff, the Eastern New Mexico Medical Center staff, Dr. Audrey Vega, Rosella Rodriguez and Alfonso “Punch” Pena, who worked diligently and patiently helping David in his courageous battle against cancer.
David was greatly admired for his many accomplishments, deeply loved by family and friends, and will be greatly missed by all.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory.
An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.