Evelyn Marguerite Gantner, a resident of Rio Rancho, passed away on June 17, 2019 at the age of 97.
She is survived by daughter Gloria Kathleen Gatewood (Randy) of Wilsonville, Oregon, sons James B. Gantner (Judy) of Franktown, Colorado, and Richard P. Gantner (Christine) of Albuquerque, 6 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, one great, great grandchild, as well as several nieces and nephews.
She was born in Ft. Lupton, Colorado on January 5, 1922 and was the oldest child of Lee and Elizabeth Combs. Her siblings (both deceased) were Velma Nielsen of Chehalis, Washington and James Combs of Isle of Palms, South Carolina.
When WWII broke out in 1941, Evelyn dropped out of the University of Colorado and, intent on contributing to the war effort, visited relatives in Canada where she was able to enlist in the Canadian Women’s Army Corp (CWAC) in March of 1942. It was there she met her future husband Bernard Anthony Gantner, a sergeant in the Canadian Army. Evelyn and Bern were married in Toronto, Canada in 1943.
After the war, the married couple moved to Tucumcari, NM where Bern landed his first newspaper job. From there he was hired by the Clovis News Journal, then the Albuquerque Tribune, followed by a stint as the managing editor of the Farmington Daily Times before returning to Albuquerque where he held a variety of editorial positions during a long career at the Albuquerque Journal.
Evelyn worked in a variety of interesting jobs during those years, one of her favorites was writing advertising for radio stations in Tucumcari and Clovis. When they moved to Farmington, she worked for a time as a stenographer for the district attorney’s office. Later, Evelyn worked as an office manager in a mental health clinic. Evelyn finished her education during the Farmington years commuting to Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Co. where she received a BA in Education. Some years later she completed a Master’s Degree in Communication at BYU.
Evelyn completed her student teaching on the Navajo reservation in northern NM, and then taught school on the reservation for two years. Next Evelyn went to work at Farmington High School where she taught English and Journalism for several years before transferring to Bloomfield High School where she enjoyed teaching until her retirement.
Evelyn was laid to rest beside her husband in the San Ysidro Cemetery in Corrales during a private ceremony on Saturday, July 13.
The family would like to express appreciation to Comfort Keepers Brenda Sisneros and Trish Chavez, and Kindred Hospice for the exceptional care they provided. A very special thanks to Payton Richey RN for taking such wonderful care of Evelyn and for her kindness to Evelyn and her family.
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