By Tony Parra
Charlie Lucero, a music-lover, was best defined by family members as a giving, hard-working man with a great sense of humor.
Lucero died on March 7 at Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis. He was born on Feb. 6, 1923, in Trementina to Juliana and Gasper Lucero.
“He raised us when my mother passed away along with my aunt and uncle,” Betty Salaz, Charlie’s daughter, said. “As we grew older, he was always there by my side. He had a great sense of humor, loved to dance and loved to go to weddings.”
Lucero’s sense of humor along with other characteristics were infused in his children.
“I think we’re (family members) all comedians at heart because of him,” Jake Lucero, Charlie’s oldest son, said. “We’re open with each other because of him. I gather my strength from my dad.”
Family members said Charlie was the type of man “who would give you the shirt off his back.” Salaz said even though he didn’t own much, that didn’t keep him from sharing with his neighbors when they were in a time of need.
“He didn’t have much but he shared it,” Salaz said. “He was a very giving person. He would go to dances and after the dance was over, he would help clean up. He was a go-getter. Everybody in the community knew him as ‘Grandpa Charlie’ or ‘Uncle Charlie.’”
Charlie married Julia Urioste on Nov. 28, 1946, in Clovis. They moved to Portales in 1951. He worked as a repairman at Benny Aday’s body shop in Portales and later as a mechanic at Riding Motor Co.
Family members said their mother Julia past away when Charlie was in his mid-40s.
“My dad was the type of person who was a good listener,” Frances Gonzales, Charlie’s daughter, said. “I could be open with him. He preached honesty. He taught us to do a job right the first time.”
Charlie’s son and two daughters said he didn’t just instill work ethic into his sons and daughters — he lead by example.
“He was good with all of his grandkids and he treated everybody equally,” Gonzales said. “He would invite you into his house and offer you something to eat. He was good not only to his grandkids, but also to cousins and other members of the family. He would greet them and invite them into his home.”
Family members said he enjoyed gardening, playing the guitar and playing the harmonica. Jake said his father taught all of the boys how to play the guitar.
Charlie was a member of the St. Helen Catholic Church and Los Abuelitos. He was active in the Portales Senior Citizens and participated in the Senior Olympics. Family members said he enjoyed fishing and camping, especially because of the time he could spend with his loved ones.
“My dad was a hugger,” Jake said. “There are some families that are not huggers, but not in our family. My dad was not shy about giving someone a hug. He was not afraid to show his emotion. He was a fighter until the end. He left a void in this family.”
Name: Charlie Lucero
Born: Feb. 6, 1923, in Trementina to Juliana and Gasper Lucero.
Died: March 7 at Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis.
Family: Jake Lucero (and wife, Mary Lou) of Las Vegas, Benny Lucero (Beatrice) of Albuquerque, Jimmy Lucero (Mary) of Albuquerque, Henry Lucero (Elvia) of Portales, Charles Franklin Lucero (Chrissy) of Springfield, Ohio; three daughters, Frances Gonzales (John), Betty Salaz (Gino), all of Portales and Sadie Perea (Leroy) of Hobbs; a step-daughter, Margaret Segovia of Portales; 29 grandchildren; and 33 great grandchildren.