Cover photo for Ruben L Gomez's Obituary
Ruben L Gomez Profile Photo
1940 Ruben 2023

Ruben L Gomez

March 12, 1940 — December 11, 2023

 

Ruben L Gomez, age 83 passed away peacefully on December 11, 2023, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico with his family by his side.

Ruben was born in Santa Rita, New Mexico to Cecilia Lucero Gomez and Henry C. Gomez on March 12, 1940.

After graduating from Cobre High School, Ruben married his high school sweetheart, Bonnie Grijalva Gomez on June 27, 1959. After serving his country in the US Army, Ruben embarked on a law enforcement career, joining the New Mexico State Police, US Treasury Department (US Customs), the US Justice Department (DEA-Drug Enforcement) and the CIA in Central America. For most of his career in Federal Law Enforcement, he served in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands, where he was honored with many awards for special achievements and dedication to duty and outstanding contributions in the fight against drugs.

Ruben was a member of the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association, where he served on the Board of Directors and as Vice-President, The Fraternal Order of Border Agents (Border Rats), where he served on the Board of Directors, The Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #1, Albuquerque, NM, The New Mexico State Police Association, Life Member of Elks Lodge #2500, Rio Rancho, NM, the American Legion, The American Culinary Federation, The National Barbeque Association, where he was honored with the BBQ Legends Award and Award of Excellence for his contributions the BBQ world, and the Kansas City Barbecue Society, where he became a champion pit master, winning many trophies and awards in competition barbeque. Ruben was the founder of the Pork and Brew Barbecue Competition in Rio Rancho. He was a Parishioner of The Shrine of St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Albuquerque and Church of the Incarnation in Rio Rancho, NM.

Ruben's passions were cooking, hunting and fishing, and traveling, and after his retirement he dedicated his time to traveling around the world with Bonnie at his side, hunting and fishing until his health no longer permitted him to do so, and cooking gourmet meals and smoking meats for his friends and family. He was a generous man and considered it an honor to prepare meals at no charge for returning military soldiers.

Ruben is survived by his wife of 64 1/2 years Bonnie Gomez, his children Ruben Anthony Gomez (wife Julie) and Cecilia Ann (Cissy) Gomez Santillanes (husband Jeff), 6 grandchildren, Jaime Cherry, Jessica Martinez (husband Sebastian) Jennifer Wessell (husband Jeff), Kelly Robertson (wife Amanda), Katherine (Little Bonnie) Santillanes and Kristyn Santillanes; 4 great-grandchildren, Luke and Celeste Martinez and Andrea and Savanna Wessell, his Siblings Esther Gomez Grijalba, and Gilbert Gomez (wife Beatrice), Sister in Law Betty Sanchez, his “brother from another mother”;  Father John Carney, his "adopted" sons; Brian Cruz, Brian Aragon, Greg Richardson, and Mike Wood, his "adopted" daughter; Jolene McGuire; and many nieces and nephews who loved him for his unconditional love and support for them and for the jokes and pranks he played on them, close friends Joe Sandoval and Bob and Mary Coon, Selias (Sonny) and Cecilia (Cil) Padilla, Ed and Dee McNutt, Craig and Linda Orrison, Salvador Puentes and his family, and all his brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement.

He was preceded in death by his beloved mother Cecilia Lucero Gomez and his father Henry Gomez, Grandparents Julian and Sadie Swartz Lucero, and Ramona Gomez, brothers in law Ray Grijalba and Wilfred Sanchez and nephew Steven Sanchez.

In Ruben's honor, the family and friends will gather to pray the Rosary at 10:30 am. A funeral Mass, celebrated by Father John Carney and Father Rick Zerwas, will be held at The Shrine of St. Bernadette, 11509 Indian School Road, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112, at 11:00 am on January 6th, 2024, followed by a reception at 1:00 pm at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #1, 4120 Cutler Ave, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated by Father John Carney on January 13, 2024, at 1:00 pm at Terrazas Funeral Chapel, 1 Ft. Bayard Road, Santa Clara, NM 88026, followed by a reception at the Brown Derby Event Center in Santa Clara, NM. A private burial will follow at a later date at the family cemetery in Mimbres, NM.

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial contributions be made to 
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or MD Anderson Cancer Center, Philanthropy l- Unit 1705, P.O. Box 301407, Houston, Texas 77230-1407.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruben L Gomez, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Rosary

Saturday, January 6, 2024

10:30 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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Mass

Saturday, January 6, 2024

11:00am - 12:30 pm (Mountain time)

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Reception

Saturday, January 6, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Mass

Saturday, January 13, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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