Reflections of My Daddy-
Ralph Martin Gonzales
Ralph was born on October 24, 1939 to Soledad and Paul Gonzales in Santo Thomas Ranch (now known as Stahmann Ranch) near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Dad went to be with his Lord and savior on Friday, January 22, 2021. Ralph was the 7th of 9 siblings. Ralph was preceded in death by his father and mother and several siblings: Carmen Hernandez; Ruth Ales; Tony, Paul, and Gilbert Gonzales; and his beloved grandson Sebastian Roybal. He leaves behind 3 siblings: Sally Fuentez, Jesse Gonzales, and Ophelia Bryan. Ralph married Lydia Garza in 1959 in Hobbs, N.M. Together, they became the proud parents of two children: Debbie Gonzales-Roybal and Martin Gonzales, both of Denton, Texas. On May 1, 1987, Ralph married Janie Huerta; their families united including his treasured spaniel Maggie. With this unity Ralph gained 3 stepsons and their families. Ralph and Janie spent 34 years together. Their cherished time included sitting together each evening reading their bible and praying for family and friends. Ralph’s beautiful daughter, Debbie, gave him 4 beloved grandchildren: Sebastian (deceased), Dominic, Stefon and Nadia. They called him “Grandpa”. The kids were always so excited to visit and enjoyed going out to Green Meadows for fishing lessons and listening to all of Grandpa’s tall tales. Donny and Carla gave Ralph his beloved grandson Cameron Huerta, who called him “Papa”. Together they spent hours watching Tom & Jerry. While laughing, he could say “that poor cat doesn’t have a chance.” Papa and Cameron had many adventures together from nature hunts to being soaked with the water hose. Grandpa was young at heart and loved being outside with all the grandkids playing baseball, and just being a little mischievous. Ralph has many other grandkids and great grandkids that he loved dearly. You could find him each afternoon in his recliner with a diet coke and a package of peanut butter crackers while watching Gunsmoke.
As a young man, he joined the National Guard. Ralph was known as a charming, personable, generous, loving, God-loving hardworking man. As a young man he used his talents as a salesman for Rainbow Rexaire Vacuums. At the same time, he served as a firefighter and eventually a paramedic for the City of Hobbs. Ralph enjoyed this work and he loved helping people. His children remember that he served as Santa at the City of Hobbs Christmas celebrations. Ralph served the City for 19 years before opening his own Rainbow Rexaire Vacuums business. Today, many people still have these machines in their homes! Ralph always wanted to live in California again, he lived there as a teen. He moved to California in the early 80s where his son, Martin and several siblings lived. Eventually he returned to Hobbs and began his career at Hobbs Municipal Schools. Ralph retired from that position in 2006. He positively influenced many youngsters while employed at Highland Jr. High.
Throughout his life, he focused on nutrition, exercise, health, church, and family. He was an avid racquetball player, a black belt in Karate, and a runner. He loved being outdoors, being in the mountains, and on the beach. He ensured his children and family enjoyed getaways and vacations to the mountains, beaches, and California. Being from Las Cruces, Ralph loved Green Chile and each year he and Janie would roast chile and enjoy Chile Rellenos and Huevos Rancheros. Ralph was an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He attended Zion Full Gospel church in Hobbs. He was a God-loving man who made everyone feel loved, important, and special, and made sure you knew it. His children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and siblings will miss his smile, memorable laugh, and conversations.
Memorial will take place at a future date. Arrangements are with Chapel of Hope Funeral Home, Hobbs, NM. Condolences may be made online at www.chapelofhopefunerals.com
To honor their beloved Dad, Ralph’s children have created a scholarship, the “Ralph Martin Gonzales” College Scholarship, to be awarded to a future Hobbs High School graduate. In lieu of flowers, his children ask for contributions to be sent to the attention of Ethan Ayers, in care of the “Ralph Martin Gonzales” Scholarship, Hobbs High School, 800 N. Jefferson, Hobbs, NM.