Estela C. “Cora” Hernandez was born to Crecenciano F. Gallegos and Senaida A. Gallegos on November 09, 1929. She passed peacefully into Heaven on December 30, 2020 at the age of 91.
She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Ruth Gallegos Archuleta, Chris Gallegos, Teresa Redwine, and Louise Brustle, Brothers in-law Larry Blanchard and Jim Redwine.
She is survived by daughters Cynthia Claiborne (Tony) of Seattle, WA, Sharla Hernandez (Minerva) of Santa Fe, NM, Morene Wagner (Randy) of Roswell, NM. Five grandchildren ; Christopher Claiborne (Jiayi), Michael Claiborne, Lauren Davis (Jordan), Nikki Wagner, and Joshua Wagner; Sister Jo Blanchard ; Brother and Sister in-law Carlos and Pauline Hernandez and Sister in-law Irene Gallegos as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Preceding in death are Cora's parents, her husband, Sotero Hernandez; siblings, Ruth Gallegos, Chris Gallegos, Teresa Redwine, Louise Bruestle; brothers-in-law, Larry Blanchard, and Jim Redwine.
Cora grew up in Canyon City, CO and attended St. Michaels Catholic School and St. Scholastica Academy. The family moved to Fort Sumner, NM in 1945 and there she graduated from high school in 1949.
On February 10, 1951 she married her beloved Sotero Hernandez in Fort Sumner, NM. They moved to Roswell,NM in April 1951. Together they began their family and had three daughters Cynthia, Sharla, and Morene.
She worked as a manicurist at Dotties Beauty Shop then in 1968 began her career working in the Roswell Independent School District (RISD). She was employed at Goddard High School as a visual aid assistant in the library and was then the school secretary at Edgewood Elelmentary, East Grand Plains Elementary, and Chisum Elementary as well as secretary to the RISD Director of Bilingual Education. She was highly respected and valued by her bosses as a wise, compassionate, kind, loyal, trustworthy and professional secretary and was loved by the students and staff at the schools in which she worked. Cora also enjoyed tutoring English language learners at the high school and elementary levels while working for RISD.
After retirement in 1987, Mom enjoyed traveling with Daddy to visit family and friends, attending art classes with her art buddies Donna, Lucy, Florence and Clemence, painting ceramic figurines, singing in the church choir, and going to Ruidoso to relax.
Mom was a smart and beautiful lady. At a young age she developed a love for literature and was an avid reader. She was a stickler for proper grammar and was sure to’ lovingly’ correct her family’s grammar as needed. She was a crossword puzzle and cryptogram champion who could finish a puzzle in an amazingly short period of time!
As a mighty prayer warrior Mom loved Jesus more than anything else in the world. She devoted every morning to prayer, watching daily mass and saying the rosary. She set the example for her children and grandchildren to love and depend on Jesus, live life with a positive and thankful attitude, and always giving the best effort in every circumstance. Sharla states that “Mom was her cheerleader who set the bar high for her and helped guide her on her career path.”
The sunshine in Cora’s life was her family. She loved with agape love and was so proud of them. Her five grandchildren always brought a sparkling smile to her face and joy in her heart. She spent 2020 making unforgettable memories with her family, celebrating holidays and attending her granddaughter Lauren’s wedding.
Mom was a bright light in this world and touched many lives over the years. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends.
Special thanks to the doctors and staff at Kymera, ICU staff at Lovelace Regional Hospital, Staff at Casa Maria Care Center, Encompass Home Health Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy departments, Chaves County Joy Center, and special helpers Tessa and Lidia who all assisted in her recovery and quality of life in the last few months. God bless you all.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Randy Wagner, Tony Claiborne, Jordan Davis and her five grandchildren.
A rosary and celebratory funeral mass will be held at Assumption Catholic Church on Saturday, January 16th, 2021 at 11:00am. The services can be viewed via live stream on YouTube or FaceBook at assumption-roswell.org
Memorial contributions may be made in Cora’s honor to: Harvest Ministries of Roswell 601 N. Main, Roswell, NM 88201
Mom, you are unforgettable! Your heart beat was our first sound, your face the first smile we saw, your loving arms the first we felt and your never ending care, love, and support will be forever cherished! We love and miss you. We will see you again!
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