Joe Paul Salas, devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, peacefully left his home on Earth, in Santa Fe, NM, on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. He was born on May 23, 1932 in Las Vegas, NM and was preceded in death by father, Leo Salas; mother, Margaret Sanchez Salas; brothers, Arthur and Albert Salas; brother-in-law, Fred Gill; daughter, Nita Salas; stepchildren: Lena Gallegos Williams and Arthur Gallegos. He is survived by his faithful wife, Helen Lucero Salas; sister, Margaret Gill; sister-in-law, Maria Salas; sons: Bob (Cindy), Mike, and Paul; stepchildren: Michael (Mary Jo), Marcia (Dave), Robert, Andrew (Mica), and Rita; godchildren: Josh Martinez, Gino Garcia and Diondra Maestas; and over 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Joe Paul retired from Los Alamos National Lab as a Mechanical Designer and was an Army veteran, serving in the Korean War. He worked at St. Vincent de Paul for many years, joyfully serving the community of Santa Fe. He loved traveling, dancing with Helen, all sports (bowling, golf, skiing, ping pong, basketball, football), family poker nights and never missed a party, graduation, wedding or any family event. He introduced the family to Conchas Lake, which would become a home away from home, where generations of children were (and still are) raised. The memories he helped to create, and the traditions he and Helen started, are abundant.
While there are many things for which he’ll be remembered, there are two that reign supreme: firstly, his love of God (he was a longstanding member of Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church), and secondly, his love for Helen, to whom he was faithfully devoted to for nearly 50 years (43 years of marriage). His love was a beacon of light, and their commitment to each other, and to others, has been exemplary. We’ll miss him dearly, but his legacy will live on through each and every one of us.
The family had an intimate funeral mass (Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe) and burial (Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery) on Thursday, December 17, 2020. We would like to extend a special thanks to Father Dennis Garcia for the mass and burial, as well as Mel Gallegos for the music and Diana Alvarado for the readings. The outpouring of love and support, including, phone calls, rosaries, masses, cards, monetary contributions, flowers and food has been incredible. We appreciate the heartfelt condolences and generosity and look forward to a celebration of Joe Paul’s life with each of you, when it is once again safe to do so.
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