1920 - March 29, 2008
Jesse M. Mascarenas, a longtime Craig resident, died March 29, 2008, at his home at the age of 87. Jesse was born June 8, 1920, in Pina, N.M., to Gavina Arellano and Clemente Mascarenas.
In May 1943, Jesse married Virginia Lopez, who passed away January 1952. On Dec. 27, 1952, Jesse married Emma Romero Grajeda at St. Michael Catholic Church in Craig. They joined their two families together to form one.
Jesse served in the U.S. Army, Company E 23rd Armored Engineer Battalion from 1941 to 1945.
He received five medals, including the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, American Defense Service Medal and was a recognized sharpshooter.
He also was honored for his service during the Normandy invasion.
Because of his World War II service, he was awarded an honorary diploma from Moffat County High School in 2005.
Jesse worked many jobs during his life, but his main career was underground coal mining.
He was a member of the United Mine Workers of America for more than 60 years. During that time, he held many positions including president of the local union and financial secretary.
Through the years, Jesse never slowed down and was involved in the Knights of Columbus, Veterans of Foreign Wars, United Mine Workers of America as well as the Craig Roping Club.
Jesse was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed camping, fishing and hunting. His favorite sport was team roping, and he spent countless hours at the roping arena.
His horses were a bigger part of his life. He raised them and trained them to rope and do tricks.
In the summers, Jesse would travel around Colorado and New Mexico with his horses and compete in rodeos. He continued with his love of roping and riding well into his 80s.
Jesse is survived by his wife of 55 years, Emma Mascarenas; his children, Jay Mascarenas and wife Terri, Susie Herrera and husband Pat, Clem Mascarenas, Anthony Grajeda and wife Shamra, and Michael Mascarenas and his wife Rhonda; his sister, Lala Torres; his brother Rudy Mascarenas; and 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jesse was preceded in death by his mother, Gavina; his father, Clemente; his first wife, Virginia; his daughter, Mary Lou; his son, Ernest; his great-grandson, Layne Grajeda; and siblings, Daniel, Abran, Delfina, Elba and Dolores.
According to Jesse, there was no such thing as a stranger. He loved life, his family and all of his friends.
Jesse will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Mass of Christian Burial was at St. Michael Catholic Church on April 4, 2008.
Father Jim Fox was the celebrant, and Elaine Depree was the organist. Celeste Sanchez and Della Baldwin were soloists.
Pallbearers were Tony M. Grajeda, Michael A. Mascarenas, Roberto Holguin, Matt Beckett, Billy Bingham and Timothy Mascarenas.
Honorary pallbearers were Ernie Allen, Bill Harding, Fran Lux and Jake Garcia.
Interment happened at the Craig Cemetery.
Military honors were by VFW Post No. 4265. Burial services were provided by United Mine Workers of America Local No. 1799.