Leo J. Armijo, a life-long resident of Las Vegas, NM passed away at his home on June 5, 2020, at the age of 90. After months of declining health, he entered the gates of heaven as his beloved wife Vina and family prayed by his side.
Leo was born on June 9, 1929 to Pablo and Victoria Armijo. His youth was spent with his grandparents in San Geronimo, NM. He was the oldest of five siblings. Without early formal education, he taught himself to read and excelled as a high school student. A member of the US Armed Forces, he received an honorable discharge in 1952. He married the love of his life, Deluvina Antonia Baca, in 1947 and remained united for 73 years. They raised ten children whose love and devotion for each other is reminiscent of their parents’ example.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws Dionicio and Luz Baca; brothers Candido and Gregorio Armijo; sister Dolores Lopez; siblings-in-law Martina Torres, Epimenia Delgado, Mela Roybal and Dionicio Baca; daughter Marie Dolores “Dodo,” husband Johnny, and their son Christopher Lopez; and son-in-law Frank Marquez.
He is survived by his devoted wife Vina; brother Robert Madrid (Geraldine); children Leo “Koko” Armijo, Elaine Marquez, Edward Armijo, Lorraine Boykin (Kenneth) of Las Vegas, NV, Christine Ludi (Gary), Dennis “Guy” Armijo, Cindy Armijo (Twila Quintana), consentida Wendy “Flat” Armijo (Mario Rael) and Darren Armijo; special grandchildren who helped with his care: Michelle Marquez and Mario Rael; grandchildren Nelson Lopez (Annette), Leonard Lopez, Kristina Lopez, Viola Ortiz (Joe), Leona Gallegos (Joey), Zachary Armijo, Ronnie Marquez (Angelene), Lee Belanger (Jerry), Dennis Marquez, Edward Armijo (Gillian), Carmina Lovato (Juanito), Steven Armijo, Kalen Boykin (Kristen), Elaina Boykin, Kimberly Ludi (Leroy), Rebecca Esquibel (Anthony), Eric Armijo (Wendy), Manuel Armijo, John Armijo, Michael Armijo (Alex), Pablo Armijo, Maria Armijo, Beatrice Armijo, Marisol Rael, Soliz Rael, Francheska Armijo, Felicia Urioste (Estevan), Seth Armijo, Victoria Armijo (Estevan) and Darian Armijo; 51 great-grandchildren; 22 great-great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Leo was a true patriarch who loved family and sought to instill values through his life examples. He had high expectations but saw potential in everyone. He was a devout Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church member. He valued hard work, was well-read, a gifted orator and was a trustworthy friend. As a proud northern New Mexican and advocate for fairness, Leo was an outspoken voice for those unjustly treated. Politically, he was respected and sought after for his insights.
Leo was a LPN, social worker and counselor who retired from the State Hospital in 1986. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance from Highlands University. In 2004, Leo, at 75, was the oldest person to have received a Master’s Degree from Highlands. With his passion for education, Leo served as a mentor to many in Las Vegas, HU and Luna communities. He consistently encouraged people, especially his family, to attain educations. Leo was a man of vision, wisdom and intelligence. He believed a college education was a vital asset. His daily routine included walking over five miles throughout Vegas, with social visits at libraries, offices and businesses. At Donnelly Library, Leo was provided a special designated seat on the second floor, where he inspired students to excel.
Among many of his pastimes, Leo enjoyed supporting the local colleges’ and high schools’ academic and sports programs. While he attended many sporting events, he was a die-hard WLV Don and HU Cowboy fan. He appreciated many genres of music, especially classical. Leo was an avid outdoorsman! He was a master gardener, an enthusiastic trekker and a skillful angler. Though he fished many lakes, he truly loved fishing rivers and streams. He imparted that love in his clan, and left many memories of family fishing and nature outings.
The richness of Leo’s experiences could fill a library. He leaves a void in our hearts.
Sincere appreciation is extended to Amber Care, with gratitude to Addie Montoya and Ben Bustos, for the professional care they provided Leo during his illness.
Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, June 20, 2020 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church with Father Tim Muerer as celebrant. Due to COVID restrictions, space will be limited; the service will be livestreamed through oloslasvegas.org and the church’s Facebook page. Interment with full Military Honors will follow at San Jose Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his honor to OLOS Building Fund, 403 Valencia, Las Vegas, NM 87701.
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