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Elissa Carmen Pacheco

July 16, 1927 - March 20, 2014 <-

Elissa Pacheco, age 86, passed away in her home in Las Cruces, New Mexico on March 20, 2014 surrounded by her family. Elissa was born on July 16, 1927 to Herman and Mercedes Miranda (nee Ortiz) in Roswell, New Mexico. She and her brother Herman spent their entire childhood in Roswell, where they attended elementary through high school. For economic reasons, Elissa had to withdraw from regular school so that she could attend beauty college, and she obtained her cosmetologist’s license when she was just 16. However, even at that young age, she was determined to finish her education, so after working in her mother’s beauty shop all day, she attended night school and graduated from Roswell High on time with her class. This determined spirit would define the rest of her life, as she always gave her best to whatever she did.In 1946 she began dating Paul Pacheco, a life-long neighbor, when he returned home from his service in World War II. They married in 1949 and moved to Paul’s sheep ranch in Arabela, New Mexico. Elissa embraced her rural life and became a dedicated mother and homemaker.They had five children: Arturo, Celani, Cristina, Cecelia, and Carlos. While Paul mended many fences and herded hundreds of sheep, Elissa created their loving home. She was a fabulous seamstress, always planted a beautiful flower garden, canned fruits and vegetables, and baked fresh breads and pastries daily. She and Paul loved entertaining, and many visitors came from far away to visit them on the weekends where they would be treated to hours of animated conversation and delicious meals of traditional New Mexican fare: lamb roasts, pinto beans, chile, and sopaipillas or fresh tortillas.Elissa always took on vital roles in her community. A devout Catholic, she was an active member of the Altar and Rosary Society of the Hondo Catholic Church, and she developed a deep and lasting connection with the Poor Clare Monastery Nuns in Roswell. She was also a member of the Garden Club and the Extension Club. She is perhaps most remembered in the Hondo Valley for her twenty years as a 4-H Club leader. In this way, she not only helped her own children discover and develop their unique potentials, she also helped many of the community’s children learn to bake, sew, raise livestock, and develop public speaking and leadership skills.After 35 years of married life on the ranch, Paul and Elissa retired to a community in Peoria, Arizona. Away from the responsibilities of the ranch, Elissa delighted in dance classes, a large circle of friends and a personal reinvention. A testament to her boundless energy and verve for life, at age 63 she earned her broker’s license and became one of the top selling real estate agents in her community. Although she loved her newfound personal freedom and career, she still took the time to tutor Mexican residents in English and teach baking and sewing classes to underprivileged children at the Dysart Center in Phoenix.Elissa and Paul had an active and joyful retirement in Peoria, made many lasting friends, and in 2000, after 15 years, they moved back to Las Cruces, New Mexico to be closer to their family.Elissa is survived by her dear brother Herman Miranda, his wife Lola, and their children Phil and Tracy. Her cherished children: son, Arturo Pacheco and his wife Janet, her daughter Celani Dominguez and her husband Domingo, her daughter Cristina Rivera and her husband Frank, her daughter Cecelia Pacheco and her husband Mark Woody, and her youngest son Carlos. She has 14 grandchildren: Arturo Pacheco’s four sons: Arturo Pacheco and his wife Wren, Miguel Pacheco, Marcelino Pacheco and his wife Vanessa, and Jared Wellman and his wife Julie; Celani’s four children: Maria Souktouri and her husband Abderrahim, Juan Domingo Dominguez, Sayil Meza and her husband Ben, and Cristian Dominguez; Cristina’s children: Danieli Parker and her husband Chris, and son Francisco Rivera and his wife, Morgan; Cecelia’s children: Dhaveed Woody, Brahm Woody, and daughter, Mauro Woody; Carlos’s son: Dustin Pacheco and his wife, Misty. She is also survived by 13 great grandchildren: Keenan Dominguez, Mathew Pacheco, Jason Pacheco, Katie and Summer Pacheco, Dominick Pacheco, Leah Pacheco, Talib Souktouri, Belen Meza, Paloma Meza, Jacob Parker, Audrey Parker, and Declyn Wellman.A rosary will be held Monday, March 24, 2014, at 7 p.m. at the Getz Funeral Home, 1410 East Bowman Avenue, Las Cruces, New MexicoThe funeral mass will be held Tuesday, March 25, at 10 a.m., at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 1240 South Espina, Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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