Cover photo for Laute Lucero's Obituary
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1922 Laute 2017

Laute Lucero

May 10, 1922 — October 4, 2017

Elauterio Miguel Lucero entered into eternal rest Thursday night, October 4, 2017 at his Albuquerque home. He was better known as Laute to all his friends, nearly everyone. He is survived by his wife of seventy-five years, Florence Romero Lucero. He is also survived by a very special niece, Frances Padilla Marquez, whom he considered to be his daughter. She had dedicated the last several years to being their care giver. Laute was born on May 10, 1922 in Vaughn, N. M., to the home of Eleuterio Marquez Lucero and Carmen Gutierrez Lucero. Laute's names was spelled with an "e" rather than an "a" as the third letter in the name. Unfortunately for Laute, he lost his dad to a fatal bout with pneumonia on November 21, 1922. Laute was just six months old. At the time of his death, Eleuterio had been a school teacher and operated two movie theatres, one in Vaughn and one in East Vaughn. At the time movies were silent and Eleuterio would provide sound by playing music on a piano. When he succumbed to death, Eleuterio had just been elected as Guadalupe county treasurer. The Democrat Eleuterio had won the position in a very strong Republican county. Laute's family blamed his final illness on the severe weather during the campaign for the position he won but as unable to serve. Like his dad, Laute would be a lifelong Democrat. Laute would spend his early youth and school days in Vaughn. His mother later remarried. Her second husband, Joe Baca, and his new family made its home in Santa Rosa. Joe Baca was the grandson of the founder of Santa Rosa, Don Celso Baca. Laute’s step-father owned a Phillips 66 filling station on the southwest corner of the Highway 66 Pecos river bridge. Laute fondly remembered that as a boy he used to pump gasoline at the family filling station. The early pumps required that gasoline be pumped by hand into a glass cylinder at the top of the gasoline pump. The gasoline then flowed by gravity into the gas tank of the automobile. The glass cylinder from which the gasoline was dispensed allowed the customer to see the type of gasoline that he was purchasing and also had markings on the side to determine how much gasoline was being dispensed. Laute would also grin when he said that they also sold "moonshine" from the station during Prohibition days. Laute also recalls spending summers during his youth in Vaughn with relatives. While there he worked at the Santa Fe Railroad Harvey House. One of his duties was to go out and welcome customers who were getting off the train. He carried a large sign and banged on it as he led the passengers into the Harvey House restaurant. He said he later got a promotion to dishwasher at the eating house. Laute attended Santa Rosa High School and was a member of the second graduating class from the new WPA school house in 1940. The school building is now occupied by city and county government offices. It serves as the Santa Rosa City Hall. He was very active in school activities in high school and played football for the Lions. He was a starting quarterback during his junior and senior years. Laute’s senior class took a senior sneak trip to Denver in May 1940. During the trip he remembered visiting Denver University, the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum, the Denver Post, and the Denver airport. They also toured the Denver U. S. Mint and the state capitol building with its gold plated dome. During the four day trip the class also went to Lookout Mountain where they visited the grave of Buffalo Bill. On the way back home they made a short stop at the Garden of the Gods and visited the Cave of the Winds. While in high school he was enrolled in the Citizen's Military Training Corps and would go to Fort Bliss for training during the summer months. The Corps was similar to ROTC training in some high schools today. His training proved to be very beneficial for him when he served in the Army during World War II. After high school he went to work of the Moise Company in Santa Rosa. He was also a scout leader with the local Boy Scouts. On May 22, 1942 he married the love of his life, Florence Romero. Last May the couple celebrated their seventy-fifth wedding anniversary. Though Florence and Laute never had any children, they were padrinos to many young children and young couples. His passing leaves a deep void in his many friends. Nineteen months after his May 1940 high school graduation, the United States was drawn into World War II after the Japanese launched a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Laute was inducted into the U. S, Army on December 14, 1942 and served until his honorable discharge on December 14, 1945. He had served three years and one day. During his service he was with Company A of the 636th Tank Battalion. He got to see battle action in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, Central Europe, and the Ardennes. He would smile as he recalled being in a foxhole when his unit was shelled. His only casualty was a photograph of his wife, Florence, which he carried with him. He had placed it outside his foxhole and the photograph was damaged by shrapnel. After the war he returned home to his wife and would embark on a long business and service career. He served as post Commander of the local American Legion, he served as a city councilman, mayor of Santa Rosa for several terms, he was serving on the local school board when the present high school building was completed in 1965, he was on the Selective Service board during the Vietnam War, served on the Hospital Board, and was a member of the Rotary Club. He was always ready and willing when any call for assistance came. Florence and Laute were also very active in their local Catholic church, Santa Rosa de Lima. They were member of the Saint Anne's Sodality when it was active. Laute was also a church lector and was one of the counters for the Sunday collections. He was also a Eucharistic minister. Florence and Laute were also present at weekly mass until their health prevented them from attending Mass. However, they continued to receive Sunday Communion at home thanks to volunteer Eucharistic ministers who would visit them weekly. Laute was also in the first group of men from Santa Rosa who became Cursillistas in the early 1960s. He fondly recalled that after completing their Cursillo in Pecos on a Saturday night they drove through a heavy snow storm to get back to Santa Rosa. The Cursillistas arrived back in Santa Rosa at about 6:00 a.m., just in time for morning Mass. One of the Cursillistas in the car with them was Father Raymond Aragon. Father Aragon was scheduled to give that 6:00 a.m. Mass! Florence and Laute started in the clothing business with Lee's in Santa Rosa in 1948. They then moved to Santa Fe when Lee's opened a store there. Later Laute would regret not having bought the Santa Rosa Lee's store instead of moving to Santa Fe. However, in 1955 opportunity knocked and Florence and Laute returned to Santa Rosa. They purchased the clothing store operated by Bill and Gladys Blakely and Mr. and Mrs. Max Wertheim of Fort Sumner. The store, Town and Country Clothes, was located next to the historic First National Bank building at the corner of Fourth Street and Parker Avenue, right in the center of downtown Santa Rosa and across the street from the courthouse. The Lucero’s were unable to get a loan from the local bank to buy the store. With the help of Laute’s friend, John Coury, they were able to get a loan from a Las Vegas bank. The Lucero’s were very successful with their new business. They would eventually own the local banker’s house as well as the historic bank building located next door to their Town and Country store. The Lucero’s finally closed their store in 2002 and began enjoying a well-earned retirement. Laute also had a ranch in San Ignacio and enjoyed being a cowboy there, riding horseback and taking care of his livestock. He also enjoyed hunting and even deep sea fishing. Laute’s passing leaves a sad void in Santa Rosa. He will be missed by his many friends, especially those at the Campos Senior Center with whom he met on a daily basis. ¡Adios amigo! ¡Que En Paz Goce! A rosary and funeral Mass will be held at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Saturday, October 14, 2017 beginning at 10am. Burial with military honors will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. Father Christopher Bernabe will officiate. All services for Laute have been entrusted to the Chavez Funeral Home, 923 S. Third Street, Santa Rosa. (575) 472-3369 To place an online condolence please go to www.chavezfuneralhome.com
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Rosary and Funeral Mass

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Starts at 10:00am (Mountain time)

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church

439 S 3rd St, Santa Rosa, NM 88435

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Interment

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Starts at 11:30am (Mountain time)

St. Joseph Cemetery

, Santa Rosa, NM 88435

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