Jose Humberto “Joe” Provencio, a.k.a. Pepé, 95, passed peacefully at home in Las Cruces surrounded by family Friday, March 9, 2018. It was our privilege as a family to share in his journey.
Born in El Paso on February 20, 1923 to Paulina and Manuel Provencio, Joe and his twin sister Maria Gracia “Quita” Ramirez both attended Saint Patrick School through eighth grade. Joe went on to graduate from Cathedral High School and was a proud alumna of the Fighting Irish. After high school, when World War II was building, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, becoming a radio operator on B-17 and B-29 bomber planes, serving four years active duty and four years in reserve, demonstrating his strong commitment to his country.
Joe left military service and pursued a degree in Electrical Engineering at New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, which later became NMSU. He met the love of his life, Bobbie Johnston, while in college. They married June 2, 1950 at Saint Genevieve’s Church, setting up deep roots to begin growing a large family in Las Cruces.
Joe was a charter member of the Southern New Mexico Chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers. Joe spent over 30 years in civil service as an electrical engineer, retiring as the Energy Chief at White Sands Missile Range. He didn’t stay retired long, with a great love of the field of engineering, he started his second engineering career at the High Energy Laser Test Facility where he retired as director of facilities management.
Joe had a spirit of community service that was a huge part of his life. He served on the Parks & Recreation Board for 30 years, lending his expertise in electrical power to many of the city parks. Showing his artistic side, he was a founding member of the Los Pastores del Valle de Mesilla as well as a long-term member of the Voz Vaqueros Singing Men of Las Cruces. His love of his church led him to be a charter member of the Mesilla Valley Serra Club, and right out of high school, he was a young member of the Knights of Columbus, achieving Third Degree. He made an enormous impact on his community.
More than these significant contributions, Joe was fiercely loyal to his family, raising all of his children in the Church and leading his family in the Catholic tradition.
Joe is survived by his twin sister Quita Ramirez of El Paso; Bobbie his loving wife of nearly 68 years; his eight children, including one son, Joe (Roberta) and seven daughters, Paula (Victor Polyak), Patti (Steve Ziehl), Raquel “Raqui” (Dave Truby), Teresa (Kevin Boberg), Rita (Glen Wooten), Alicia “Lynie” (Danny Aguilar), Michelle (Mark Johnson); 25 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren with two more on the way.
He is preceded in death by his grandson James “Jamie” Joseph Emanuel as well as his parents and eight siblings.
A Gathering for Joe will be held from 5:00 pm to 7:00pm on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at Getz Funeral Home with a Rosary to be held at 7:00pm. Memorial Mass will be held Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 2:00pm at St. Albert the Great Newman Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Mesilla Valley Hospice, 299 Montana Ave Las Cruces, NM 88011, 575-523-4700. We appreciate the loving kindness shown by the staff of this excellent end-of-life program.