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Ernest Sanchez

April 9, 1928 ~ January 5, 2021 (age 92)


Ernesto Sanchez, also known as Jose Ernesto Sanchez, was born in San Patricio, New Mexico to Roman Sanchez and Florinda Salsberry on Monday, April 09, 1928. He died on Tuesday, January 05, 2021 in El Paso, Texas. He married Oralia Chavez on March 20, 1948.

After living in California briefly, he returned to San Patricio, New Mexico where he became involved in politics. He served as Lincoln County’s Sheriff from 1969 to 1972, and again from 1979 to 1982. He served as the Chief of Police for the village of Tularosa from 1983 to 1987. He also served as chief deputy during his 20 years of law enforcement service. After leaving a life in law enforcement, he briefly returned to California where he continued to work, and finally retired from work in Arizona. He returned to his beloved New Mexico where he worked on the family farm.

Ernesto was a historian and genealogist. His passion spanned over 60 years and he became a source of invaluable information concerning the people who settled Lincoln County. Upon retirement, he devoted most of his time to gathering information from all over New Mexico. He was personable, and could strike up a conversation with complete strangers, and talk about the history of the people of New Mexico. His life’s work culminated with the publishing of a book, that told the stories of the families, by the families, and for the families.

He was preceded in death by his father Roman, his mother Florinda, his son Steve; by his brothers Orlando, and Mauricio who died young; by his sisters Madalena who died young, Cynthia Vanderwall, and his daughter-in-law Ruby Romo-Sanchez.

He is survived by his wife Oralia Chavez-Sanchez, his children Ernest Sanchez and his wife Joyce Hoff-Sanchez, James Sanchez, and his partner Eustoila (Stolie), Janice Sanchez-Bernal, Lisa Sanchez, Cheri Sanchez-Hamilton, and her husband Brian Hamilton. He is also survived by his brothers Fredy, Brazel, Luvin, Roman; his sisters Delfinia Vega, Flora Vega, and Geraldine Montes. He is also survived by 9 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.


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