Rueben Guzman Perez, 76, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, passed away on December 17, 2022 after a fight with Frontal Lobe Dementia. Rueben was born on July 13, 1946, to Andres Garcia Perez and Rosalia Guzman Perez in Las Cruces, NM.
He married Rosa Maria Espinoza (now DeMeulenaere) in 1966 and joined the Marines for two years after which he was, discharged as a Sergeant. He had the following Decorations: National Defense Service Medal and Meritorious Mast. Following his discharge, he initiated employment with Combined Insurance Company of North America where he sold hospital indemnity insurance policies door to door. He demonstrated a knack for selling and rose through the ranks including positions as sales manager, district manager, classroom instructor and regional manager.
With his success at Combined Insurance Company, he received many awards of accomplishment and was able to take many trips and cruises with Rosa. It was quite an adventure since both Rueben and Rosa came from such a small town with little opportunity. Their family moved frequently and lived in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Alamogordo, New Mexico, Corsicana, Texas, Garden City, Kansas, Dallas, Texas and Garland, Texas.
Rueben moved back to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the late 80’s, following his divorce from Rosa, where he finished his 29-year career at Combined Insurance Company of North America. He established roots at Towne Park Subdivision and frequently helped his neighbors maintain their front yards. He also frequently hosted holiday parties with his significant other, Sandra Layne. He often sent words of wisdom, mementos and pictures to others in his life to let them know that he was thinking of them.
Rueben went to work for Lazy Boy in Albuquerque, New Mexico after retiring from Combined. He put his sales techniques to use and became the top seller in the city and area. As a result, Rueben and Sandra were able to visit Sydney, Australia, London, England, and Paris, France. He retired from Lazy Boy after 14 years.
He enjoyed traveling and would take Sandra and other family members to visit National Parks in the area. As he became older, he was a tremendous supporter of the National Parks and Veterans. He enjoyed collecting Santa Clauses, accumulating a collection of over 300. Every year, he would unpack them at Christmastime and add more to his collection. He also loved baseball and was a season ticket holder of the Albuquerque Isotopes.
In 2006, while decorating for Christmas, Rueben fell from a step stool and hit his head. He tried to shrug it off, however, he had to be taken to the emergency room by Christmas Day and was diagnosed with a brain bleed. It is this original injury that we believe caused his Frontal Lobe Dementia. He began to fall more often and each fall after worsened his condition. This was around the time that many of us would receive one-word responses on our social media posts and were confused with the way that he was responding to us. He was trying to stay in contact but slowly losing the ability to communicate.
In July 2021, he fell again, this time requiring full-time care. He received wonderful support from The Retreat Alzheimer’s Specialty Care in Rio Rancho, NM. Following another fall in October 2022, Rueben’s condition continued to decline to a point that hospice was called in November/December 2022. He passed away on December 17, 2022, in the company of his significant other, Sandra, and oldest brother, Andy. We are immensely thankful that they were there to support him in his final moments and let him know it was okay to finally rest.
He is preceded in death by his father, mother, his brother, Jesus Perez, and sister, Teresa Casaus. He is survived by his brothers, Andy, Henry, and Robert from New Mexico and sisters, Mary, Eva, Maggie from New Mexico, and Eliza from Texas. He had two children, Angie Bell (married to Travis) and JT Perez. He had two grandchildren, James Siegel (married to Jennifer) and Elizabeth Gerlach (married to Shae). He had 5 great-grandchildren: Jacinda, Ember, Jemma, Locke and Ness. He was a Godfather to Michael, Joshua and Grace.
Services will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023; 1:00 pm at Daniels Family Funeral Services – Carlisle Chapel.
Private interment will take place at a later date and time in Santa Fe National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be given in Rueben's honor to https://www.dementiasociety.org