Joe Maldonado


CENTER — Our father, grandfather, brother, and dear friend was born to Mariano and Cecelia (Mary) Martinez Maldonado on Dec. 17, 1939, in the little settlement of San Miguel near Trinidad, Colo. Joe passed away peacefully on Oct. 16, 2020, at the Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colo., reaching the age of 80 years. He was a resident of the Center, Colorado area.

Joe grew up in the Trinidad area helping his father herd goats and working in a lumber business. The family moved to Fort Garland in 1957 and continued to work in the sawmill industry.

Joe learned to work hard and make do with whatever resources were available to him and his family. The lessons Joe learned when he was young stayed with him his whole life.

Joe married Maddie Sanchez in 1960. To this union was born one son, Agapito (Pete) and a stillborn daughter, Bernadette.

Joe spent many years at the Trinchera Ranch working cattle, guiding hunters, and operating heavy equipment building and maintaining roads. We loved to listen to the many stories Joe told about those days, particularly his days guiding hunters from all over the world. Joe was full of vitality. He put his heart into his work as well as his pranks. Joe knew many people and many people knew him. Many of us were the recipients of his generosity and big heart.

Joe was baptized into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite at Fort Garland, Colo. on Jan. 22, 1993. He was faithful to his vows, following the Lord until his death.

Joe married Joyce Schmidt on May 6, 2001. They were married 16 years, working together processing meat, baking, and canning. We remember the hours Joe lovingly spent caring for Joyce during her extended illness.

After Joyce’s passing Joe experienced many lonely hours. However, he remained active in our community, visiting us in our homes, attending livestock sales and having his breakfast at the Sunflour. He often took his usual place on the back bench at church. Joe was a frequent contributor in Sunday school. We will miss his insights as we discuss our lessons.

Joe enjoyed spending time with his son Pete. They often spent weekends together, especially during the recent pandemic.

Joe is survived by his son Pete, of Fort Garland; two grandchildren, Joey and Analicia Maldonado; two brothers, Jerry and Bella of Blanca, Colo.; Mike and Teresa of San Luis, Colo.; one sister, Mary Ann Roybal of Denver, Colo.; one brother-in-law Orie Armijo of Pueblo, Colo.; two brothers-in-law, Steve and Raquel Schmidt, Walker, Mo.; Wes and Eileen Schmidt, Neilburg, Saskatchewan; two sisters-in-law, Marilyn and Randy Levings, Fairview, Okla.; Grace and Titus Stutzman, Hydro, Okla.; and numerous nieces and nephews. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Joyce, one sister Ramona, and one brother-in-law Dale Roybal.

Memorials may be given to the Rio Grande Hospital, Del Norte, Colorado.

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