Florence Olivia Gonzales, born on March 8, 1936, peacefully went to meet our Heavenly Father on Sunday, March 27, 2022, surrounded by her family. Florence was the youngest of eight children born to Joaquin and Aurelia Garduno. She devoted her life to her family and community in the Nambé Valley, where she lived her entire life like generations of her family before her.
In 1955, Florence married the love of her life Santiago “Jimmy” Gonzales, Jr., two months after graduating from Pojoaque High School. The two met at a high school dance when the handsome GI was on a short leave from his service in the Korean War. Their love, care, and commitment to one another grew all the days of her life.
Florence was well-known in the Pojoaque Valley where she served as Registrar for Pojoaque High School for 27 years, and after retiring, as a Eucharistic Minister for Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Parish where she served the parishioners and the homebound in Nambé for many years. Florence also involved herself in the ministry known as America Needs Fatima. Florence was mainly known, however, for her undying love and devotion to family, especially her seven children.
Florence had many gifts, as a meticulous seamstress, creative home decorator, avid gardener, angler, and fabulous cook. She didn’t have any vices except that she could give Imelda Marcos great competition in the “shoes” category. She was a wonderful example to her children of faith in our Lord, perseverance and hard work. She and Jimmy beautifully managed to hold full-time employment while raising seven successful children.
Florence was preceded in death by her parents Joaquin and Aurelia Garduño, infant daughter Roberta Ann, infant grandson Aaron Christian, brothers and sisters Adelaido Garduño, Amabe Garduño (Bernie), Gerard Garduño (Lucille), Alex Garduño (Aurelia) and Abelino Garduño, Fabiola Lucero (Leandro), Manuela Lucero (Benny), father and mother-in-law Santiago and Celedoña Gonzales, brothers and sisters–in law Maida Ortiz (Ramón), Esther Romero (Procopio), Max Gonzales (Annie), Benny Gonzales (Phyllis) and Manuel Gonzales (Lola).
She is survived by her husband of 67 years Santiago Gonzales, Jr., children: Donna Bowyer (Clinton) of White Rock, Monica Garcia (John) of Santa Fe, Dennis Gonzales (Maxine) of Española, Carol Kuper (Curt) of Albuquerque, Katrina Rupprecht (Ward) of White Rock, The Honorable Kenneth J. Gonzales (Jennifer) of Las Cruces, and Steven Gonzales of Española; her adored nineteen grandchildren Marissa, Alana and Reyes Padilla III, Dennis Jr. and Stacey Gonzales, Sean, Justin, Mary Elizabeth and Alicia Bowyer, Shanda Moore, Erika Stupka and Stuart Rupprecht, Cameron, Corbin and Cassidy Kuper, Alex and Abigail Gonzales, and Kevin and Joaquin Gonzales; seventeen great grandchildren: Kayden, Thalia, Ray, Isaac, and Ily Rae Bowyer, Arwen and Cyrus Moore, Evelyn, Lora and Camille Stupka, Shelby and Samantha Rupprecht, Natalie and Jeremiah Gonzales, Averly and Bowie Bowyer, and Casen Kuper, all to whom she was known as “Granny Flo Flo.” She is also survived by sisters-in-law Adela Garduño and Henrietta Tixier (Mariano) and numerous nieces and nephews.
Serving as Pallbearers are Dennis Gonzales, Jr., Sean Bowyer, Justin Bowyer, Reyes Padilla III, Stuart Rupprecht, Alex Gonzales, and Kevin Gonzales. Honorary Pallbearers are Joaquin Gonzales, Cameron Kuper and Corbin Kuper.
Visitation will take place on Sunday, April 10 at 6 p.m., followed by a rosary at 7 p.m. at Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, 1399 Luisa Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A Funeral Mass will be on Monday, April 11 at 9 a.m. at Santa Maria de La Paz, 11 College Ave, followed by Burial at Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Family and Friends are invited to gather for a celebration of Florence’s life at 12:30 p.m. at the Santa Maria de La Paz Parish Hall following all services.
The Family of Florence Gonzales would like to express gratitude for the wonderful care Florence received at Genesis Casa Real in Santa Fe.