We try to keep this updated but sometimes fall behind.  Please help us to honor our heritage by informing us of anyone we may have missed.

~ listed in alphabetical order by last name ~


Wreath by Tim Keller Photography © 2010


Don Gilbert          July 14, 1935 ~ December 8, 2009

Don Gilbert, age 74, died Tuesday, December 8, 2009 in Amarillo, Texas.

Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 12, 2009 at the Des Moines School in Des Moines, New Mexico with Doug Young, pastor of the Clovis Church of Christ and Ronnie Montague, officiating. Lunch will be served in Des Moines and Graveside services will follow in the Grenville Cemetery in Grenville, New Mexico by Hass Funeral Directors of Clayton.

Don Gilbert was born on July 14, 1935 in Moran, Kansas to John Gilbert and Alice (Lines) Gilbert. He lived in south west Kansas for several years and graduated from high school in Kansas. Don loved playing football and showing cattle as a boy. He attended Kansas State University for two years and married Diana Rankin Gilbert on September 9, 1956 in Ashland, Kansas. They moved to Grenville on December 14, 1967. Don loved his family, the community and his friends. He served on the Des Moines School Board, the Union County Fair Board and was an ASCS Committee member for many years. Don ranched all of his life and worked as the Brand Inspector and Livestock Inspector for over 20 years. In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by a daughter, Becky Gilbert Callis on June 24, 2007 and by a sister, Marilyn Gilbert Murphy.

SURVIVORS: WIFE: Diana Gilbert of Grenville, New Mexico. 2 DAUGHTERS: Shareen Boone and her husband Bryan of Clovis, New Mexico and Janell Suazo and her husband Leo of Bailey, Colorado. 1 SON: Joel Gilbert and his wife Rhonda of Grenville, New Mexico. 1 SON-IN-LAW: Wendell Callis of Sedan, New Mexico. 6 GRANDCHILDREN: Shawn Callis of Sedan, New Mexico, Jenna Gilbert, John Gilbert and Jason Gilbert all of Grenville, New Mexico and Quaid Boone and Shabry Boone both of Clovis, New Mexico. 1 SISTER: Joan Banks of Quinter, Kansas. And several Nieces, Nephews and cousins.

MEMORIALS: The family suggests that memorials be made to the Union County General Hospital, the Des Moines School or to the American Heart Association or the American Lung Association.


JR Gilstrap 1939~2008

Jack R. "JR" Gilstrap

Jack R. "JR" Gilstrap

Jack R. “JR” Gilstrap, age 69, of Des Moines, N.M., went home to be with his Lord on Aug. 16, 2008, at his home.

He was born in Trinidad, Colo., on May 26, 1939, to Jack and Dorothy (Louden) Gilstrap. He grew up on the Louden Ranch east of Branson, Colo., and attended Branson School, where he graduated in 1957. JR attended TSJC in Trinidad, graduating in 1961. During this time, he worked summers and in any other spare time he had for Lloyd Winford on the Merril Ranch at Branson.

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1961, and spent much of the next four years on a destroyer, calling home base San Diego, Calif. JR rodeoed some during his time in the Navy, participating mostly in the bull riding.

Following his discharge from the Navy, JR entered and completed a three-year program at the Hollywood Art Center School in Hollywood, Calif., on the GI bill.

In the fall of 1970, he worked printing press and painted six billboards for a private enterprise in California. In the fall of 1970, he moved his family to Colorado, where he managed the Table Mountain Ranch south of Colorado Springs. This was a steer operation, so JR had cattle from May to October. He spent much of the rest of his time with his art, maintenance, and taking care of horses. He was there until the ranch sold in 1973, and they moved to Keys, Okla., where he worked as a hired hand. In 1975, the family moved back to Colorado, to a ranch on Beaver Creek close to Penrose. After several years there, he gave up ranch life, one of his many lifetime passions.

JR then joined the Seebee reserves and went to work at the Portland Cement Plant and lived in Cañon City, Colo. In 1979, life took JR and his family back to Branson, Colo., where he worked for the Branson school.

He was divorced from his first wife in 1985, and continued raising their two children.

In 1992, JR married Jeannie “JJ” Wallis. JJ encouraged JR in his art, and in 1994 he put together an annual calendar, which he continued to produce each year.

In 1996, JR retired at the rank of E6 from the Seebees reserves, concluding his military career after 24 years of service.

In 1998, he retired from Branson School. After retirement, JR had done day work, various remodeling and handyman work and art in his spare time. He built a saddle room at their home in Des Moines, which he turned into an art studio. JR helped with a major add-on for his uncle Willard, the upper part of which became the Mesa de Mayo art studio and office. He also did a major add-on and remodeling at the family home in Des Moines, with the help of his son, Wayne. JR just didn’t know how to slow down, and he never did. He left those behind with many lasting memories, and his art work will always remind them of his sense of humor and his zest for life. His easy smile and uplifting chuckle will never be forgotten.

JR was a longtime member of the Branson Community Church. After moving back to Branson, he became involved in Camp Salvation, west of Trinidad. He spent many hours there over the years, doing maintenance, construction, and whatever else needed to be done. JR was president of the board from 1997 through 2006, and a board delegate up to the time of his passing. After JR and JJ moved to Des Moines, they attended church services in both communities. During the last several years, they were affiliated with the Methodist Church in Des Moines.

JR is survived by his wife, JJ Gilstrap of Des Moines; two children: Michael Gilstrap and wife LeAnne of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Michelle Gilstrap of Las Cruces, N.M.; his parents, Jack and Dorothy Gilstrap of Branson, Colo.; and one grandchild. He is also survived by brothers and sisters: Larry Gilstrap and wife Nora of Branson, Zita and husband Hal Coombs of Rifle, Colo., Terry Gilstrap of Branson, Janie and husband Randy Jacobson of Eaton, Colo., Cheri and husband James Ruark of Rifle, Colo.; 10 nephews and nieces, five grand-nephews and nieces, and many other family and friends.

Memorial services were held Aug. 19 in Des Moines.

It was JR’s wish that any gift donated be given to an individual or organization in need.


Raymond Morrow Owensby          January 28, 1947 - January 15, 2011

Raymond Morrow OwensbyRaymond M. (Morrow) Owensby, age 63, of Folsom, NM, passed away on Saturday, January 15, 2011 in Albuquerque, NM. He was born January 28, 1947 in Raton, NM to Fred H. and Jane Morrow-Owensby. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Alice Proffitt, on January 26, 1966. Morrow was a rancher, owned Owensby Ranch Trucking, was a member of the New Mexico Livestock Board and a former Brand Inspector, and was a member of the New Mexico Mounted Patrol. He was an Economics professor at Texas A&M University and New Mexico State University and worked for the Texas and New Mexico Cooperative Extension Services. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the Sul Ross Masonic Lodge in College Station, TX. Morrow is survived by his wife, Mary Alice, of the family home; one son, Raymond L. Owensby and wife Kathy of Folsom, NM; one daughter, Janice M.Coston and husband Stacy of Hartley, TX; five grandchildren, Lyndi and Sean Owensby, and Haleigh, Tristan, and Shaemus Coston; father Fred Owensby of Albuquerque, NM; sisters Susan McCarthy and husband Pat of Albuquerque, NM, and Sally Lemons and husband Mike of Raton, NM; brothers Stewart Owensby and wife Sue of Folsom, NM and Craig Owensby and wife Jane of Peralta, NM. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive. Morrow was preceded in death by his mother, Jane Owensby, and brother, Patrick Owensby.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM at the Des Moines High School Gym with Brad Doherty officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent First National Bank in Morrow’s name. These funds will be used to set up a scholarship fund for agricultural students in Morrow’s memory. Arrangements and celebration of life for Raymond Morrow Owensby are under the direction of the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton, NM. Tribute video may be seen at