Alfonso Solis, 65 years old, died on Dec. 23, 2013, at his family home surrounded by his family in Las Cruces. He was born on Nov.15, 1948, in Anthony, Texas, to Guadalupe Mendoza and Alfonso Solis. He married Rosa Gonzalez on July 13, 1970. He graduated from Gadsden and attended New Mexico State University and had a fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Alfonso enlisted in the military and was sent to Vietnam during the last Tet offensive. After returning to Ft. Bliss, he became a member of the military police and later a criminal investigator for the Army and was sent to the Canal Zone for undercover operations. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal. He was then hired by the El Paso County Sheriff’s office as an investigator. In 1977, he began his career with the United States Marshal Service and worked various assignments in California, Arkansas, Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida, New Mexico and Washington, D.C. His responsibilities included overseeing the witness protection program and apprehending fugitives from all over the world.
In 1987, President Ronald Regan nominated Alfonso Solis as the U.S. Marshal District of New Mexico, where he served until 1992. In 1996, he went to Washington, D.C. to become the assistant director for the U.S. Marshal Service in Investigative Services. This division handled working with Interpol and other foreign law enforcement agencies to locate and arrest fugitives overseas. In 1997, he became assistant director of the Prisoner Service and the Justice Prisoner Transportation System, also known as “Con Air.” He served 30 years in law enforcement, 21 of those years in the U.S. Marshal services and during that time received awards for distinguish service, special achievement and outstanding performance while serving in the U.S. Marshals.
After retiring, he became the Dona Ana County Detention Jail administrator. In 2006, he moved to Roswell to become the jail administrator for Chaves County. On January 14, 2011, he became Roswell chief of police. He held that position until he retired in August 2013. In addition, during 2011, he was appointed by Gov. Martinez as interim secretary of Corrections for two months until the position could be filled. In September 2013, at his retirement ceremony, he was awarded the Exceptional Service Award from the Department of Public Safety.
Alfonso Solis is survived by his wife, Rosa (Rosie) Solis; and his daughter, Rebecca Solis-Ruiz and her husband Delfino Ruiz, of Las Cruces; and his cousin Mary Hall, and her children: Robert Lazarin, Nicole Ortiz and Carlos Lazarin. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law: Tony Gonzalez, Manuel Gonzalez (wife, Rosie), Daniel Gonzalez (wife Nancy); and sister-in-law, Teresa Saucedo. He is also survived by his nephews: Rolando Gonzalez, Eugene Gonzales, Ray Gonzalez, Andrew Saucedo, Adam Gonzalez; and nieces: Marisa Saucedo, Debra Ramirez, Erika Gonzalez; and several great-grandnieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his mother, Guadalupe Mendoza; and uncle, Carlos Mendoza; and aunt, Delores Mendoza; mother-in-law, Ramona Gonzalez; sisters-in-law: Dolores Gonzalez and Florence Parker; brothers-in-law: Juan Gonzalez and Chris Saucedo; cousin, Rita Flynn; and nephew, Julian Ramirez.
Visitation will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral on Dec. 31, 2013, at 10 a.m., followed by a graveside service at Masonic Cemetery. Father Bill McCann will be officiating. Pallbearers will be Daniel Gonzalez, Tony Gonzalez, Manuel Gonzalez, Rolando Gonzalez, Angel Cordova and Ray Lopez. Arrangements are with Getz Funeral Home 1410 E. Bowman Ave, Las Cruces NM 88001. To sign the online guest book, visit GetzCares.com.