Luisa Chavez Lucero Matsuba, 104, peacefully passed away in the presence of her loved ones on Friday, August 2, 2019 after a brief and sudden illness at Mesilla Valley Hospice.
Luisa was born on May 2, 1915 in Old Picacho Village to Teresa Chavez and Jacinto Lucero. New Mexico had just become a state three years prior to her birth and Old Picacho Village, originally settled in 1855 by her Chavez family ancestors, was only 60 years old, also prior to her birth. On May 6, 1935 when she was only 20 years old, she married a young carpenter named Joe A. Matsuba at Guardian Angel Church in El Paso, Texas. They would remain married for 57 years before his passing on June 4, 1992. After his passing, Luisa became an active participant and volunteer with the Munson Senior Center. During the early 1990’s while in her mid to late 70’s, she was awarded three Certificates of Participation in recognition of excellent sportsmanship at the NM Senior Olympics. In 1997, she also won first prize for participating in a NM Senior Olympics talent show. One of her favorite passions during her long life was music. Munson Senior Center gave her the opportunity to dance, sing, and play the piano. San Jose de Picacho Mission in Old Picacho Village also gave her the opportunity to sing and play the piano during Sunday church services. Hearing impairment and losing most of her eyesight to macular degeneration would eventually cause her to stop playing the piano and driving her car. Years later, she once again returned to San Jose de Picacho Mission, with the assistance of her daughter Josie M. DiMatteo and her eldest grandson Robert D. DiMatteo, to attend the 9:30AM Sunday church services. She loved her little church. Goodbye Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma, and Great-Great-Grandma. Until we meet again. As she would always say, “Dios los bendiga!”
Luisa is survived by her three daughters Corine M. Jay of Las Cruces, NM, Belen Avilucea of Silver City, NM, and Josie M. DiMatteo (Joe R.) also of Las Cruces, NM. Six granddaughters Shirley L. O’Donnell (Charles) of Las Cruces, NM, Frances M. Jay of Las Cruces, NM, Bonnie Avilucea of Silver City, NM, Margo D. DiMatteo of El Paso, TX, Melinda M. Montoya (Frank) of Albuquerque, NM, and Sonia B. Matsuba of Las Cruces, NM. Also surviving her are three great-granddaughters Marie Hodges (Michael) of Albuquerque, NM, Amy O’Donnell of Austin, TX, and Ellise Jay of Las Cruces, NM. One great-great-granddaughter Lilly Rae Best of Cairo, GA. Four grandsons Robert D. DiMatteo, Larry H. Jay (Anne), Rueben A. DiMatteo, and Joseph A. Matsuba, all of Las Cruces, NM. Also surviving her are three great-grandsons Jayson M. Best (Ali) of Cairo, GA, Frankie A. Montoya of Las Cruces, NM, and Matthew E. DiMatteo, also of Las Cruces, NM. One great-great-grandson Best of Cairo, GA, is on the way. One sister Esperanza Alire Terrazas of Las Cruces, NM, and many nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Luisa was preceded in death by her parents Teresa Chavez and Jacinto Lucero. Her husband Joe A. Matsuba, two infant daughters Maria and Erlinda Matsuba including her only son Fabian N. Matsuba. Six brothers Alfredo and Eduardo Lucero of Silver City, NM, Andres and Ernesto Serna, Ricardo and Bernardo Alire. Three sisters Elvira Alire Gutierrez, Eloisa Alire Saenz, and the youngest sister Erminia (Minnie) Alire Montoya.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 6:00PM followed by a rosary at 7:00PM in the Getz Funeral Home chapel located at 1410 E. Bowman Avenue. The Holy Rosary will be recited by Joe R. and Josie DiMatteo. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, August 9, 2019 at 10:00AM in the San Jose de Picacho Mission located at 3135 Old Picacho Road in Old Picacho Village northwest of Shalem Colony Road. Father Peter Damien will be officiating. Rite of Committal will follow immediately after the funeral mass in the Masonic Cemetery located at 760 Compress Road where Luisa will be laid to rest next to her late husband. Serving as pallbearers will be Robert D. DiMatteo, Larry H. Jay, Rueben A. DiMatteo, Frankie A. Montoya, Joseph A. Matsuba, and Matthew E. DiMatteo. Honorary pallbearer will be Jayson Matthew Best.
Arrangements with Getz Funeral Home, 1410 E. Bowman Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88001 575-526-2419. Please visit www.getzcares.com to sign our local online guest book.