Leeta Rose (Cissnie) Blazer, 98, beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother and sister, crossed over to be with the Lord in the early morning hours of August 28th at her home in Mescalero, New Mexico.
Leeta was born to Olive Rose Cissnie and Lewis Chino on May 17th, 1925 in Mescalero. She grew up and spent her early childhood years in the Cissnie family household where her Grandparents operated a family store, located then where the Old Road Restaurant is currently located. She attended Tularosa High School where she was interested and active in many sports that were offered to girls at that time.
At the outbreak of World War II, soon after the U.S. entered the war with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Leeta went to work as a civilian defense worker at the age of 18 at the newly established Holloman Air Force Base, located SW of Alamogordo, NM. She was soon transferred to a large Defense Plant in San Diego, California where she became one of the distinguished "Rosey the Riveter's", repairing shot up military aircraft from the ongoing war in the Pacific.
Upon returning from California after the war, Leeta met and married Arthur "Art" Blazer and soon thereafter began raising their family. During those early years, Art was a cowboy and involved in the Mescalero Apache Cattle Growers ranching operations. During this time Leeta and Art lived at various locations out on the Reservation, with her favorite being Cow Camp #4, located in the remote SE corner of the reservation. She has shared stories of the wonderful gardens that she grew there and of the friendly neighbors that ranched and lived just off of the reservation. As the family began to grow, they moved back into the Mescalero community where Leeta had the opportunity to work in many jobs over the years, including managing the local laundromat and working as a school bus driver. Her favorite job was working as a Community Health Representative (CHR) for the Tribe. She enjoyed going out into the community and assisting and helping her fellow tribal members, especially the Elders. In her later years, she enjoyed babysitting and caring for her many grandchildren. Today, a large and important part of her legacy is what she shared and taught these young ones, who today are very thankful adults for these valuable life lessons.
Leeta is survived by her sons, Arthur "Butch" Blazer and his wife Joyce and Kenneth "Kenny" Blazer, her sisters Kita Saenz and her husband George and Harriet Aguilar and her husband Tino, and her brothers Terrell and Roden Chino. She was blessed with many, many grand, great-grand and great-great grandchildren. She is preceeded in death by her father, Lewis Chino, her mother, Olive Rose (Cissnie) Landrie, her brothers Billy and Jimmy Landrie, and Freddy Chino, her sisters Tanis (Chino) Torres, Vickie (Chino) Davis and Janie Chino, her son, Thomas John Blazer and most recently by her daughter Beverly Faye (Blazer) Lapaz.
Services will be conducted by Pastor Mark Vellinga of the Mescalero Reformed Church. There will be a viewing at LaGrone Funeral Chapel in Ruidoso, NM on Friday evening, September 1, 2023 between the hours of 5 - 7 pm. Funeral Services will be held at the Mescalero Tribal Gymnasium beginning at approximately 10am on Saturday, September 2. A traditional blessing ceremony with Francis "Pinky" Smith will occur prior to the start of the formal program. Burial will take place at the Blazer Cemetery, with a pot-luck luncheon to follow back at the Gymnasium.
*For those who would like to be in the procession bringing Leeta home, the family will be leaving the La Grone Funeral Home at 8am Saturday morning, September 2nd. Vehicles can join in as the procession as it passes the Mescalero Travel Center on Hiway 70.