Robert Hall, 71, of Newkirk, NM peacefully passed away on July 22nd surrounded by loved ones at Christus St. Vincent Regional Hospital in Santa Fe, NM.
Robert was born on July 29th, 1952 in Panama City, FL to Lois and Walter Hall. Growing up, he lived in Germany, Massachusetts, and Missouri, before moving to Albuquerque NM in 1968. After graduating high school in Albuquerque, he worked at Mountain Bell as the first male operator in the company’s history. Robert worked hard and moved up in the company’s ranks as the names changed from Mountain Bell, to AT&T, US West, and finally Qwest, at which point he relocated with his family from Albuquerque to Los Alamos, NM where he lived and worked for the next 20 years. Robert retired as a senior manager for Qwest in Los Alamos and was immediately recruited to work for the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the IT department which he did for five years. During this time, Robert trained as an emergency medical technician and worked with the Los Alamos National Laboratory Emergency Management Operations Center during the Cerro Grande fire in Los Alamos in 2000. In 2006, Robert moved to Newkirk, NM where he built a ranch house with his wife Nancy and became a cattle rancher.
In 2013 he was approached and was asked to help build a volunteer fire department for Newkirk. Upon being elected fire chief, he took on this endeavor and it became a labor of love. As a fire chief and first responder, his impact to his community was immeasurable.
He worked tirelessly as an administrator to procure funding, equipment, and training for the Newkirk Fire Department, submitting and receiving federal grants and donations to build the station, and to supply and staff the department. As a result of his unyielding efforts, the fire station now stands at the Newkirk exit off I-40, has four fire trucks, and a well- trained team of volunteer first responders.
As a firefighter, Robert never hesitated to jump into any situation and lend help where it was needed. He responded to wildland fires, structural fires, vehicle accidents on the interstate, and even rescued stranded travelers off the highway in snowstorms, getting them to safety. Robert was always willing to fight for what was needed for the residents of Newkirk and Guadalupe County and through this, he has made many friends throughout the state and is well- known and respected in the New Mexico first responder community.
Robert loved to tinker, build, and create and throughout his life, Robert was always learning about and excelling at new skills and hobbies including black powder shooting, race car building and driving, welding, and sailing. He imparted this curiosity and passion for life to his children and grandchildren. Robert also spent his life mastering the art of carpentry, building his home in Newkirk and creating beautiful pieces of furniture and art that are in many of the homes of his family and friends.
Robert lived his professional life as a service manager, systems technician, software manager, first responder, and rancher but above all else, Robert was a kind and caring husband, father, and grandfather. He met his wife Nancy, in Albuquerque, NM and they have been happily married for 45 years. Together, they built and nurtured a family, raising their kids, grandchildren, and countless pets and cattle. They have even been known to foster a stray roadrunner or two.
Robert is preceded in death by his parents, Lois and Walter, daughter Roberta, and his sister Judy. He is survived by his wife Nancy, his two children Erik (Savannah) and Maria, his sister Elaine (Roger), his grandchildren Evan, Lake, Wyatt, and Aidan, his nieces Tessa, Gwen, Nicole, and Tammy, and their children Killian, Quinn, and Simon.
A memorial service will be held at the Newkirk Fire Station on August 5th at 11am with interment at the Ortiz family cemetery. Following interment, a reception and celebration of life will be held back at Newkirk Fire Station. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Newkirk Fire Station ℅ Guadalupe County.
Mr. Hall's care has been entrusted to Chavez Funeral Home, 923 S. Third St., Santa Rosa, NM 88435. 575-472-3369. To place an online condolence or tribute, please visit www.chavezfuneralhome.com.