The Road to Questa finally lead to the Montoya Family Reunion - Memorial Day weekend 2005 in Questa, New Mexico
This is the VFW Hall in Cerro, New Mexico where we met for our Saturday and Sunday reunion meals. Plenty of room inside...good parking...and wonderful view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east. Here folks gather outside and enjoy the great weather before our lunch on Saturday.
Before we entered the VFW Hall to enjoy our New Mexican style meal, we had a chance to meet one another and enjoy the wonderful May weather of the region. Here you see the mixing of the various colored shirts and family members.
Charles Cisneros VFW Hall in Cerro on Saturday - eating, meeting, & greeting at the Montoya Family Reunion - lst time in 27 years! Our parents who have passed on would have been proud, although many of us sensed their presence and enduring love during this reunion.
Tia Adelires Gonzales and Tia Chella Jaramillo together at the reunion. Sensing their expression of love for one another help create an atmosphere of love and care for everyone. A classic shot of our beloved Tias - hugging sisters!
Raul Montoya, with Michelle and Dora Montoya at the reunion. Dora's husband - Santiago was outside the hall meeting and greeting other members of the Montoya Reunion. I spoke to Raul several times prior to the reunion on the telephone. He shared his memories of Questa and our family members and history. When I finally introduced myself to him at the reunion...I didn't realize it was Raul. We had shared emails and telephone conversations, but had never met in person.
Jerry Gonzales, Tia Chella, & Rudy Cordova - VFW Hall Saturday in Cerro. Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoy the time we spent together as an extended family.
Renzetti family trying to select from all the good food at the VFW Hall. It was a buffet style New Mexican meal. The meal included posole, beans, Spanish rice, chicken and beef enchilades, green chile stew, tortillas, chips & salsa, and taquitos. It was a mouth watering and tasty meal. The white shirts represented Tio Pete and Tia Oclides Montoya family.
Bev Wagner loaded up and ready to eat all that great New Mexican style lunch - not enough hands to handle all the food! - a New Mexican style menu prepared and catered by Ellis Garcia of the Questa Cafe
Ophie, Lorraine, Bernice, Celina & Ruth posing for the camera at the reunion. Tio Pete's family wore little round picture pins of Tio Pete on their shirts.
Anticipation...waiting in line to grab some good food at the end of the line. Here Florencio, Jeffery, Josh, & Ryk wait their turn at the buffet. Black shirts represented Tio Fidel & Tia Minnie Montoya family
Lisa & Paul, DiAnn & Lee, Nena & June (just out of the picture) and Abe at the end of the table all enjoying the Saturday meal. Everyone seemed to enjoy the good food and the reunion crowd!
Darin and RuthAnn Ludwig at the Saturday reunion lunch. Ruth said Darin enjoyed meeting new relatives, the the beautiful setting of Questa and Northern New Mexico and learning more about the Montoyas. It was so great to meet all the younger members of the family as well! Last time I saw Darin, he had come to Denver to play baseball...and he was alot younger and shorter then.
Patsy, Bev, & Ophie getting the hall ready for our Saturday lunch. They were so helpful in the planning of the reunion and helped to make it a wonderful successful reunion! Thanks to Jake and Irene who were able to secure the hall for the reunion. It was perfect, because on this day, it rained a lot and we were comfortable and safe inside!
Bev still eating...Jake Montoya & Joe Romero sharing some of Bev's food at the VFW Hall.... Joe finally took a break from all the pictures he had been taking during the reunion to enjoy some of the good food. Thanks to Bev and Andy Wagner for the "Montoya" family reunion directories that will come in handy keeping everyone in touch.
Santiago Montoya family enjoying the good food and meeting new friends and relatives at the Montoya Reunion. We met over the Internet via email. It was great to meet other members of the Francisco Antonio & Maria de Luz Rael Montoya family! (Our great grandfather and great grandmother).
Tio Pete and Tia Oclides Montoya family introductions. Each family introduced members of their families, both present and those unable to make the reunion. Each family wore a different color shirt. Tio Pete's family wore White shirts so everyone would know what family they represented
Cousin Dorothy's husband, Vance, their son Robert, and their daughter Breia. They wrote forest green as part of my Tia Adelires and Tio George's family. Vance also shared with us his wonderful talent of singing...even when we surprised him and asked to sing without music. Great job - Vance!
Tio Ismael and Tia Ofrecinia Montoya family introductions...of those present and those unable to make the reunion. Tio Ismael's family wore Blue shirts. Pretty good representation of the Blue family! Thanks to Lee and his wife DiAnn for all the little casino give aways during the Sunday lunch.
Michelle, daughter of Santiago and Dora Montoya shared several songs for our enjoyment and entertainment during the reunion. Her Aunt Virginia (Montoya) Zoll came all the way from London, Ontario, Canada to be part of the reunion!
Tia Adelires and Tio George Gonzales family introductions at the reunion. Forest Green was the color for my Tia Adelires' family. It was a pleasure to see our cousin's grown up children who now had their own small children at the reunion.. For many of us, it had been several years since had seen them
Kudos to Jake and Irene and their family for all the work they did before and during the reunion. Jake and Irene were a tremendous help in getting the Charles Cisneros VFW Hall in Cerro. Jake is a member of the VFW and was able to schedule it for both days...to keep us out of the rain and have a comfortable place to eat, meet & greet!
Tia Chella and Tio Fred Jaramillo family in red shirts. The spotlight in this picture was on Robert Montoya - a Untied States Marine who is getting ready to return to Iraq for his second tour of duty. We all pledged to keep him in our prayers, but Robert assured us he would be safe and thanked us for keeping him in our thoughts and prayers. Special thanks to Doris for her work on the reunion.
Tia Adelires and Ophie at the VFW Hall for lunch. "Two peas in a pod!" Ophie and Tia Adelires are always on the phone with each other and keep in touch. We keep saying we're going to go to Grand Junction, but always get detoured before we start, but someday soon, we'll make the time to spend with the Gonzales family in Junction!
Family of Maximinio Montoya, whose father and mother were Aureilo & Virginia Montoya. Aureilo was our Grandfather Florencio's brother. Here Raul Montoya introduced us to many new cousins that many of us had never met before. Patsy and I had introduced ourselves to Santiago and Raul via email and the telephone for several months before actually meeting in person for the first time at the reunion
Some of the younger kids had to put up with the Montoya history lesson and speeches during the reunion...but they seemed to have a good time anyway. Here Andrew, Josh, and Luc make the best of it.
Tio Fidel and Minnie Montoya family introductions at the reunion. Ryk, my brother introduced each member of the black shirts to the rest of the family at the reunion. Although some members of the family had planned to come to the reunion, last minute changes in their work schedules prevented them from joining us, but we know they were there in spirit...and we wished they could have shared the laughs and good times with the rest of us at the reunion
Here Dorothy and Ryk enjoy the reunion and time together. It was a time to be able to see cousins and other relatives we had not seen in a long time.
In honor of my Tio Jose Filomeno "Meno" Montoya, I wore a maroon colored shirt in his memory. All of us at the reunion had so many wonderful memories of our Tio Meno. I mentioned a few of the memories I had of my Tio - especially how he made sure he always had pink bags of sugar at home
On Sunday, May 29, 2005 we had a Memory Walk at the Pueblito Cemetery to honor and remember members of our family who had passed on. We gathered here to walk thru the cemetery and pay our respects especially to Grandpa Florencio and Grandma Patroncinia. We shared memories as we visited the final resting places of members of the Montoya family buried in Questa and to remember other family members who once called Questa home.
I spoke a little bit about the history of the cemetery and the fact that today no one is allowed to be buried in this part of the cemetery. Over the years, Indian artifacts have been uncovered as new grave sites were being prepared. It is believed that this was the site of a possible Indian settlement many years ago. I also spoke of the significance of the Memory Walk we were about to take.
Yellow balloons were released in honor of those who had passed on. The balloon release was perhaps one of the most touching and emotional times of the reunion. Watching the balloons drift up the mountain side - all together -helped each of us to pause, reflect and remember those special people that made a difference in our lives. Special thanks to Bev Wagner for the idea of launching the yellow balloons.
Words alone cannot explain the feeling and emotion of the moment. The serene, quiet, and picturesque Pueblito made this truly one of those memories that will last a lifetime
We also took time out to honor our veterans, those present, those still living, and those who have passed on over the years. Gone, but certainly not forgotten! We also took time to honor Robert Montoya (in red shirt) for his service as a United States Marine and for his commitment to our country as he prepared once again to serve in Iraq for his second tour of duty.
Patsy, Ophie, Florencio, & Rudy during our Memory Walk at the Pueblito. Florencio was named after Grandpa Florencio. He travels from Utah to spend the summer time in Questa. He owns property here called "The Highway to Heaven."
Robert, Ruth, Darin paying their respects to Tio Fidel Montoya's final resting place. It was one of my Dad's final requests that he be buried in El Puelblito in Questa. As a young child, I remember visiting the graves of loved ones in the Pueblito. My Dad would always point out his father's grave, and say that one day he wanted to be buried here as well.
This is Grandpa Florencio's gravesite. Grandpa Florencio was born in 1890 and died on July 6, 1941. He died after surffering a severe head injury while working at the mine. At the time, there wasn't much the doctors could do to treat his injury. Raul Montoya who was at the reunion, told me he remembers being at the funeral service for Grandpa. He says he must have 6 or so years old at the time. Perhaps before next Memorial Day we can get together and fix up the gravesite with a new concrete top and rod iron fence? Anyone interested in helping to pay for this work? This cross was made by Tio Meno many years ago. Last year Rudy Cordova and I re-hand painted the name and dates...as the sun had almost caused them to fade away.
This is Grandma Patrocinia's final resting place. Grandma was born on April 12, 1892 and died on September 2, 1989. Grandma Patrocinia lived in Questa most of her life. She was born in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico. Her maiden name was Arellano. After Grandpa Florencio died, she raised the family of four sons and two daughters. Each of us I know carries in our heart and soul so many special memories of her. It seems whenever we came to visit, we would always find her sitting by the window as if she were waiting for us to come by. She had her favorite chair and place to sit in her casa de adobe, and thanks to Ryk, my brother, that picture is preserved here on the website for all of us to remember her as she sat by the window.
During our Memory Walk, some members of Tio Fred Jaramillo's family paid their respects at his gravesite. Tio Fred died on February 16, 1997. Tio Fred was a contractor who built many homes and buildings in Questa and Red River. He always had a gentle way about himself and always extended a warm welcome whenever we visited Questa. Today, Tia Chella lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico...right outside of Albuquerque.
Ophie & Rudy Cordova with their grandchildren..Luc and Josh during the Memory Walk. It was nice to see the younger members of the Montoya family at the reunion. Hopefully many of them will remember the time their grandmas and grandpas took them on this walk...and hopefully, they won't wait another 27 years for another Montoya reunion. If they do, if I'm still alive, I'd be 81 years old! We need to get together and share our memories and life experiences more often with our extended Montoya families.
During the Memory Walk at the Pueblito on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, we walked about the cemetery and paused to pay our respects to our special loved ones buried here. This cemetery sits on a hill over looking the Village of Questa at the very foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range...
Rudy Cordova paying his respects at Tio Meno's final resting place. Tio Meno served as an MP in Korea. His gravesite is drapped with American flags on this Memorial Day 2005.
The family of our father - Fidel Montoya, Sr. were able to gather around his final resting place in Questa. This was one of his final requests, that he be buried in the Pueblito Cemetery. Dad died on January 25, 1984. Every year for Memorial Day we come to pay our respects to Dad and place new flowers, a new American flag, and cut away the weeds from around his grave. Andres, unfortunately is hidden behind the American flag.
This is where most of us who attended the Montoya reunion stayed in Taos. Thanks to the Sun God Lodge for their hospitality and good room rates. It was a nice place to stay during a busy Memorial Day weekend in Taos and Red River.
Joe and Doris Guajardo posing outside of their room at the Sun God Lodge in Taos. Doris and Joe are now "empty nesters" with their kids all grown up with children of their own.
Kristy Meyer and her special friend enjoying a time of fun and relaxation in the hot tub at the Sun God Lodge. For many this was a place to hang out, chill out...and maybe even read a book while soaking away those aches and pains!
After a hectic day at the reunion and visiting the different interesting tourist sites around Taos, some family members gathered at the Sun God Lodge in the evening for a quick cookout, water melon and a time to share and create more memories.
The infamous "Q" on the picturesque mountainside to the east of the Questa Village. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains provide a graphic and beautiful setting for Questa and this region of Northern New Mexico. A beautiful mountain range particularly as you drive east to Red River, and through the Moreno Valley, as you make your way on this scenic back road to I-25.