Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Real People

Steve DeLara

Steve E. DeLara (“Mr. D”),

a loving and devoted father and grandfather, age 59, a resident of Placitas, passed away March 28, 2013. Steve is survived by his daughters Stephanie DeLara, Melissa DeLara, and Janet DeLara; his grandchildren Samantha 17, Idalis 12, Brianna 9, Mario 6, Julysa 4, and Devaney 3; his siblings Charles and wife Vivian, Jeffrey and wife Joyce, and Vivian DeLara. Also surviving Steve is his brother-in-law, Hector Rivera and a sister-in-law, Rosemary DeLara.

Steve was preceded in death by his grandparents Antonio and Florinda DeLara, his parents Ephriam and Ida DeLara, and his siblings Donald DeLara, Paul DeLara, and Virginia Rivera.

Steve was born two months premature and weighed only four pounds. He was a fighter since the day he was born. At the age of 17, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease and overcame that cancer. Steve also survived a terrible car crash in his youth.

As a young man he enjoyed camping, hunting, and fishing. Steve was involved in theatre when he was in college. Steve attended Highland College and University of Albuquerque, graduating from the University of Albuquerque with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science. One of his best performances was called Titeres de Cachiporra. He tried his hand in politics for a short time and ran for public office in Sandoval County.

After college, he became a teacher and a mentor to hundreds of children throughout his career. Steve taught at Bernalillo I.S.D., Hobbs Elementary School, Andrews I.S.D., and Andrews County E.S.L. Adult Education. He was known by his students as “Mr. D,” a title he quite enjoyed. Steve had a thunderous voice and everyone knew when he entered a room. Steve was known as an honest man, a man of great character. He was stern but fair, and always well-respected and seen in high regard by all. His love of teaching influenced hundreds of students and aquaintances to improve their confidence, helping them pursue higher levels of education or a better way of life. A surrogate father to many of his students throughout his life, he continued to take part in their lives well into their adulthood. Helping many families and individuals to attain their U.S. Residency or U.S. Citizenship was also something he was very passionate about, as well as tutoring and translating.

After thirty years of teaching, he retired, but continued his love for teaching as a substitute teacher or tutor. Mr. D always dressed well and was considered a ladies’ man. Steve enjoyed woodworking and took great pride in his wooden crosses that adorned many homes of his beloved friends and family.

Throughout his life, Steve always had a sense of humor even when times were hard. He loved to tell jokes, most of the time not being able to finish the punch line because he would laugh so hard the words would not quite come out. Always an impressive storyteller, mostly of tall tales, Steve's conversations were never dull. He loved to sing, often breaking into song without a hint or prelude. Very strong willed, never known to quit or give in, would lead him to successfully undergo many surgeries including a quadruple bypass and valve replacement. He had a heart attack and many heart-related conditions, but like a trooper, he pulled through time and time again. Battling against Diabetes, internal bleeding, and a multitude of health complications, Steve put his fate into Gods hands. Our Heavenly Father knew it was time to cease his suffering and called his servant home. Steve E. DeLara is with the angels now. He will be missed by many.

Mr. Steve E. DeLara's family would like to extend their gratitude for all the love and support they recieved during this difficult time. A special thank you for the many people who attended and volunteered their time to his service which was held March 30, 2013 at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church. Mr. DeLara's burial service will be held at The San Antonio de Las Huertas Cemetery in the fall. The Burial Celebration of Mr. Steve DeLara's life will be announced at a future date.

In loving memory from friends and family of Steve E. DeLara.

Helen Sandoval

Helen Sandoval


Mary Helen Sandoval, as she was known to her family, was one of the finest examples of all that is good, noble, true, and admired about New Mexico. The betterment of her family and her community were the basic fundamentals upon which she built her life. She was extremely and justifiably proud of her family’s long roots in New Mexico, and as one of the original members of the Sandoval County Historical Society, Helen spent many hours researching her family’s legacy.

After graduating from high school, Helen worked for a number of years with the Bernalillo School System, but, ultimately, sensing that it was time for a change, she moved to California, where she had a very successful career spanning over thirty years. When she returned in 1985, she once again involved herself in a variety of civic affairs, all dedicated to seeking the betterment of her community. She ran for and was elected a member of the Bernalillo City Council, where she served with distinction.

Helen’s passion was politics. She was a fiercely proud Republican who worked tirelessly to elect various state and local officials. Her proudest achievement was the election of our Governor, Suzanna Martinez, for whom she had unceasingly campaigned; and the joy of that vistory was only exceeded by the tremendous sense of pride in having our Governor Martinez selected by the President to serve as a member of the official delegation representing the United States at the installation of Pope Francis.

Her many friends and acquaintances consider themselves extremely fortunate to have been a part of Helen’s life, and will long remember the generosity and kindness that she unfailingly extended to them during the years. We will deeply miss our Mary Helen Sandoval, but we thank our lucky stars that we were fortunate enough to know and appreciate that she was one of the finest and most unique of New Mexico’s treasures.

—In loving memory by Margaret Palumbo

A Tribute to M. Helen Sandoval

Child of the Rio Puerco

Tough and resilient as one had to be to survive

A Natural politician

A realist who called a spade a spade

That rare bird: an honest public servant

We are richer for having had her among us

She will be missed .........     

 —Martha Liebert

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