Antonito resident Harold “Babes” R. Abeyta, 83, passed away October 12, 2017 at his home with his loving family by his side. Harold was born on March 27, 1934 in Conejos, Colorado. He was the 7th of twelve children from Juanita Valdez Abeyta and Carlos Abeyta. His parents moved to La Jara, and he was a graduate of La Jara High School in 1954. After graduation he enlisted and served in the United States Air Force for four years. When Harold completed his duties in the service, he came back to the San Luis Valley and attended Adams State University for a year. He was united in marriage to Bertha Salazar in 1959 in Taos, New Mexico. Harold was the father of ten children, whom he loved and adored and worked hard doing construction jobs to make ends meet. In 1972, Harold went back to college and got his Bachelor’s Degree in teaching in 1974. After finishing college, Harold was hired at Adams State as the Veterans Counselor for five years. In 1980, Harold decided to go back to working construction for a year, then became the coordinator of the San Luis Valley Boy Scouts for a year.
In 1982, Harold ran for office for the County Assessor and won and served for two terms then he decided it was time to retire. He was also in the Honor Guard for the V.F.W and was a life member of the American Legion. He served as mayor of the Antonito Town Board for several terms and was a trustee for the Town of Antonito. He was on the Conejos/Costilla Head Start Advisory Board and was on the advisory board of the Monte Vista Homelake Veterans Home for retired Veterans. Harold kept himself pretty busy, on his free time he enjoyed going to Bingo, gambling, playing pool, going fishing and volunteering at the Senior Citizens Center. His passion in life came from the time he was able to spend with his children and grandchildren.
Survivors include his daughters Monica Jussel of Westminster, CO; Natalie (Anthony) Gallegos of Antonito, CO; Carla Abeyta of Alamosa, CO; Tammy (Mario) Barela of Antonito, CO; sons Joseph Jiron of Denver, CO; Anthony (Verna) Jiron of Antonito, CO; Randy Abeyta of Denver, CO; Dwayne Abeyta of Antonito, CO; 23 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, sisters Vangie Archuleta, Josie Malouff, Olivia (Luciano) Lujan, Lorraine Esquerra and one brother Edward (Erma) Abeyta. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents Carlos and Juanita Abeyta, wife Bertha Abeyta, daughter Geneva Gurule, son Eric Abeyta, brother Charlie Abeyta, sisters Catherine Garcia, Victoria Gonzales, Mary Archuleta, Luz Martinez and Josie Abeyta.
A Vigil Service with Recitation of the Rosary will be held on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. A Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM also at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Interment will follow at the Los Cerritos Cemetery with full military honors. The care of arrangements have been entrusted to Romero Funeral Home of Antonito.