Beloved mother and grandmother, Maria Chavarria Luevano, age 89, passed away Friday afternoon, June 4, 2021 at her home in Artesia.
Maria was born to the late Ramon and Cruz Chavarria in Dexter, NM on February 11, 1932. The Chavarria family included brothers Reynaldo, Ruben, Rolando, Ramon Jr. (Guy) and sisters Ophelia, Josie, Elfida, Criselda, and Connie.
When Maria was a young child, the family moved to Marfa, TX. They lived there until she was about 14 years old. The family followed the cotton crops back to New Mexico. Maria never had “formal schooling;” however, she was highly intelligent, teaching herself how to speak, read and write in English and in Spanish. She also taught herself how to sew and to cook at a very young age. She possessed a natural maternal instinct – always caring for her younger siblings.
At the age of 17, Maria married Elias Luevano. They had four children together: Ida, Elias Jr. (BB), Santiago (Jimmy), and Dolores (Dolly). The children were born and raised in Artesia, NM. Maria made sure that all of her children graduated from Artesia High School. Making sure that her children had an education was very important to her.
Because she lived through the Depression, Maria was a very hard worker. As a young girl, she picked cotton. She also washed dishes and did light housekeeping to earn extra money. Years later, she worked construction with her husband laying sheetrock which at that time was considered a man’s job. Later, she became a single mother, and she learned to make ends meet with very little. She was a great money manager.
Maria’s joy were her children and later, her grandchildren. Maria’s daughters fondly recall the experiences that their mother provided for them: their yearly school shopping in Roswell, eating at Furr’s Cafeteria for the first time, their first vacation to Texas. Her grandchildren remember all of the special times with her too: vacations, softball tournaments, sleep overs that included marathon horror movies, painting rocks, and making whistles from coke bottle tops. When her great grandchildren were born, she was instrumental in raising them. She took care of three grandchildren, loving them and teaching them. She was such a FUN grandma – always laughing and providing adventures. Her great-great grandchildren also cherished their time with their grandmother: playing checkers, barbies, building with blocks. Her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren lovingly referred to her as “Mimother.” This nickname soon was used by many who knew her and loved her.
Maria leaves a legacy of love, work ethic, and faith for her family. She is survived by her children Ida Perez, Elias (BB) Luevano, and Dolores (Dolly) Luevano and Calletano (Raunchy) Chavarria; grandchildren Tina Perez-Oliver, Marina Perez, and Ismael (Sonny) Perez Jr., Eric Luevano, Martin Luevano, Lisa Gutierrez, Aleka Rosales and Sasha Luevano. Great grandchildren include Michael Perez, Marcus Oliver, Mia Oliver, Kambree Luevano, Karmen Luevano, Thaddeus Luevano, Arazeli Gutierrez, Sebastian Luevano. Great-great grandchildren include Miracle Perez, Michael Perez Jr., Mireya Perez, and Mason Perez.
Maria was preceded in death by her husband, Elias; her son Santiago (Jimmy) Luevano, granddaughter Selena Luevano, great granddaughter Nayeli Gutierrez, and brothers Reynaldo and Rolando Chavarria.
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