Obituary Notices and Memorials

 
 

PENA, Juan Enrique Henry
PENA, Juan Enrique 'Henry' Age 76 of Palmdale, Calif., passed away June 14, 2015 at his home following a courageous battle with Glioblastoma. He lived life on his own terms and passed on in the same manner. He was born in Las Vegas, N.M. on May 16, 1939 at the home of Joe and Clara (Bustos) Pena. He grew up in Fort Sumner, N.M. where he attended school. There he met the women who would become the light of his life, Lucia Griego at the age of 14. Henry always said the moment he saw Lucy, that she was the one for him. They married on October 7, 1961, in Fort Sumner; after which he pursued his degree in education at ENMU Portales where he received his Bachelor and Master Degrees in Business Administration and Spanish. Henry made his home in Clovis and Portales, N.M. before moving on to Mojave and Palmdale, Calif. A longtime educator, Henry taught school at Clovis High School, and was a TRIO Program Coordinator at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. In 1988, he moved to California, where he taught Spanish at Mojave High School. In 1999, he became a teacher of incarcerated youth. Henry touched countless lives with his belief that armed with an education that anything was possible. He placed many students, especially those of poverty, in work and school programs. Encouraging them to finish high school and get their college degree. He succeeded many times over in changing the lives of others by demonstrating a passionate, purpose filled life. He loved every moment of his life and lived it with the kind of ferocity and zest that many of us wish we could. He was strong both physically and mentally, and incredibly intelligent, much to the delight of his feisty family who could debate him hours on end. Henry was the patriarch of his family in every respect of the word and we will miss his love, temper and dedication for the rest of our days. A man of faith that he was, he always looked forward to the day he would meet up with his true love, Lucy Pena. We are so happy that they are finally together again, at peace with the Lord. Henry is preceded in death by his parents Joe and Clara Pena, his wife Lucy Pena on March 24, 2009, and a brother Eddie Pena on April 5, 2015. Survivors include his daughters, Lorraine Zapata and her husband Steve of Palmdale, Calif., Kathy Standefer and her husband Bruce of Waller, Texas, a sister Irene Kesler of Hilbert, Wis.; two brothers, Joe Pena Sr. and his wife Rose Ann of Muldrow, Okla., and Fred Pena and his wife Pat of York, Pa.; five grandchildren, Erica Rojas and husband Daniel of Palmdale, Calif., Derek Standefer of Waller, Texas, Ashlee Zapata of Palmdale, Calif., Zachary Zapata of Palmdale, Calif., and Jared Standefer of Waller, Texas, and one great grandchild Lucy Rojas. Also surviving is a host nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends. A rosary will be recited at 10am Saturday, June 20, 2015 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Fort Sumner, N.M. Mass of Christian burial will follow the rosary with Father Christopher Bernabe officiating. Burial will take place in the Pena family plot, Fort Sumner Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Derek Standefer, Zachary Zapata, Jared Standefer, Daniel Rojas, Casey Pena, Joseph Pena, Robert Pena, and Richard Griego. Arrangements are under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 830 N. Fifth Street, Fort Sumner, NM. (575) 355-2311. To place an online tribute or sign the guest book go to www.chavezfuneralhome.com

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