Joe Santiago Lobato

Longtime Pagosa Springs resident Joe Santiago Lobato died Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008, surrounded by his loving family, after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Lobato was born to Santiago and Martha (Archuleta) Lobato in Lumberton, N.M., May 7, 1932. He attended Catholic school in Lumberton, N.M.

In 1953, he married Lydia (Lillie) Gurule. He and his wife were blessed with five dedicated children.

He worked for Archuleta County as a heavy equipment operator for 26 years and retired from the county in 1994. He always had fond memories of the Upper Blanco Basin area.

Mr. Lobato was an avid hunter and fisherman, and loved the outdoors. He loved taking his drives around the area and taking his walks down 8th Street.

One of his biggest triumphs was his wife and family. He was a very spiritual man and always told us that with the love of God on his side, nothing, not even cancer, could bring him down. He never knew a stranger; he lived every day of his life to the fullest and made every day count as if it could be his last.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Santiago and Martha Lobato, and a grandson, Joseph Wayne Winter.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lydia (Lillie) Lobato, and his children, Martha (Tom) Avera, of Sarasota, Fla.; Vangie (Alfred) Martinez, of Flora Vista, N.M.; Rick (Stell) Lobato; Susie (Mel) Montoya; and Inez (Dan) Winter, of Pagosa Springs, Colo.; 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; a sister and brother-in-law, Eliza and Clifford Lucero, also of Pagosa Springs; and numerous nieces and nephews; and many friends who he loved dearly.

A rosary was recited Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008, at 7 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs, Colo. A funeral mass was celebrated Monday, Nov. 24, 2008. Padre Carlos Alvarez and Mr. Lobato’s cousin, Monsignor Leo Gomez, officiated the celebration of his life. Cremation followed.

Memorial contributions can be made in his name to the American Cancer Society, 1800 East Third Ave., Suite 101, Durango, CO 81301, to continue the fight for a cure in his memory.