Robert L. Gonzales was born in the small town of Roy, NM on August 17, 1932, to Fermin and Rose Gonzales. He passed away on February 12, 2023. He is preceded in death by both his mother and father, and sister JoAnn.
Upon graduation from Roy High School in 1951, Robert enlisted in the United States Navy. He spent many years serving aboard many ships. During his first years of service, he served upon the USS Pittsburg (CA-72), the USS Saratoga (CV-60), and the USS Topeka (CLG-8). After years of serving on ships as a Gunners Mate, Robert was designated as an instructor at the Guided Missile School in Great Lakes, IL. Following his service in Great Lakes, Robert returned to sea to serve aboard the USS Worden (CG-18) and the USS Truxton (DDG-103). Upon returning from his years at sea, Robert’s final duty station was at White Sands Missile Range outside Las Cruces, NM. He retired in 1972 as a Senior Chief Gunners Mate after 21 years of honorable and rewarding service.
Following his years of service in the US Navy, Robert enrolled at the New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1975. He accepted a job at Gadsden Public Schools where he taught elementary level for eight years. He then transferred to Las Cruces Public Schools where he taught at an elementary and middle school level until he retired from his second career in 1994.
Though Robert gave much of his life in service to both the military and as an educator, the most rewarding part of his life was his family and the time he spent with them. Robert married the love of his life of over 50 years, Audrey, on January 27, 1973. With this marriage came his two stepsons, William B. Bolin, and Robert L. Bolin. Though they were not of his blood, Robert spent his life caring for and loving them as his own. This love and care did not stop when he was blessed with his grandson William Connor Bolin in 1995, and twin granddaughters, Kayleigh Bolin-Briggs, and Katelynn Bolin in 1997.
Robert was a longtime resident of Las Cruces, NM until 2012, when he relocated to Albuquerque, NM to be closer to family.
Robert’s family time was spent doing what he loved most – watching sports, RVing to nearby mountains and lakes, teaching his grandkids how to fish, and backyard cookouts. Robert enjoyed reading the morning newspaper while drinking a cup of coffee and was always up to date on the latest news. He was known for his talent in keeping an immaculate lawn and yard. Above all, Robert was a man of honor, strength and compassion and he will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Robert is survived by his beloved wife, Audrey of Albuquerque, NM, stepsons Robert L. Bolin (Ramona) of Albuquerque, NM, and William B. Bolin (Karen) of Dedham, ME; grandson William Connor Bolin and girlfriend Lindsay of Austin, TX; granddaughters Kayleigh Bolin-Briggs (Wyatt) of Las Cruces, NM and Katelynn Bolin of Las Cruces, NM; brother David Gonzales (Beth) of Rocklin, CA; niece Teresa and nephew Matthew.