Antonio G. Baca, “Tony”, 96, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, March 1, 2018. He was born on June 17, 1921 in Leasburg, NM to Andres Baca and Susana Garcia.
Tony attended Hill Public School and took agricultural classes at NMSU. He served in WWII as a Sergeant in the USAAC United States Army Air Corp, 551st Bomb Squadron Heavy, Campaign Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe, Air Offensive Europe stationed in London, England. Tony volunteered as a tail gunner to go into battle and was declined because he was told he was too essential as a cook. He received the European African Middle Eastern Ribbon Good Conduct Medal and Distinguished Unit Badge. He was patriotic, and he believed in freedom and justice.
Tony was a farmer at a very young age working on his father’s farm. He helped his parents with the younger siblings before and after he left to the service. He was a good provider, a cattle rancher, and a hunter. He loved farming which he did all his life. He planted a pecan orchard in the 60’s and it became his sanctuary. He enjoyed feeding the birds which he also thought was pleasing to his “Ta-Ta Dios.” He was happiest when working, whether it be at work or pulling weeds and picking pecans. He planted all sorts of vegetables and flowers on “El Ranchito” and in his garden at home. He was a positive person in every situation in life and was grateful for all he had. He lived through the Great Depression and knew how to survive. He retired from Lockheed/NASA as a Mechanical Technician Class B.
He was married to Tomasa “Tommie” Lujan Baca, for 56 years. He was very strong and loved life. He was a very social and likable person and a great friend to many. Tony always did what he could to help the family. He enjoyed helping the less fortunate by giving them odd jobs or just feeding them. He loved to tell jokes and make people laugh. He loved to sing with his brother, Fred, who played the guitar. As much as he loved the outdoors he also enjoyed watching Boxing, MMA, and Rodeos; his favorite all time show was Sanford and Son; also COPS, Ninja Warrior, Wipe Out, Nature shows and old Western shows. Some of his favorite movies were Rocky, Rambo, and Karate Kid.
Tony was a storyteller and told old family stories which intertwined with history. A few years ago, Story Corps traveled through Las Cruces and Tony had the opportunity to record some of his stories which are now registered with the National Library of Congress in Washington D.C. He also received a letter of recognition from the President of the United States for designing a part for the space shuttle that would save NASA lots of money.
Later in life he enjoyed going to church and we watched his hunger and faith in God grow.
Tony is survived by his children are Mary Helen Duran, Las Cruces, NM, Tony Baca and wife, Anna Griego, Albuquerque, NM, Rosina Carrasco, Las Cruces, NM. His grandchildren are Paul Duran, David Duran, Daniel Duran, Dominic Sandoval, Victoria Carrasco, and Michael Carrasco. Great-grandchildren: Joshua Duran, and Celeste Duran. twin sisters, Lilia
Baca Fernandez, Las Cruces, NM, Virginia Baca Flores, San Gabriel, California. Cousin Enrique Lucero who was like a brother and his wife Edna, Las Cruces, NM, and other cousins and many nephews and nieces, and a lifelong friend, Lalo Rodriguez.
Tony is preceded in death by his wife Tomasa “Tommie” Lujan Baca, April 4, 2006. Father, Andres Baca, Mother, Susana Baca. Siblings, Reynaldo Baca, Fred Baca, Raul Baca, Beatriz Baca, Natalia Baca Ponce, Emilio Baca.
A visitation will be held from 5 PM to 7 PM on Friday, March 9, 2018 at Getz Funeral Home; with a video tribute service at 6:00 PM. Funeral services are at 10:00 AM Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Las Cruces First 5605 Bataan Memorial Las Cruces, NM 88012 with Pastor James Gildon officiating both. Burial will follow at Masonic Cemetery. A reception to follow at Las Cruces First Church.
Serving as pallbearers, Paul Duran, Joshua Duran, Jose Luis Carrasco, James Bulger, Larry Gloria, and Stanley Gloria.
Honorary pallbearers, Lalo Rodriguez, John Del Ferrero, Alan Ferrera.
We would like to give a very special thank you to all who fought and did their part to get Tony healthy, so he could continue to enjoy and live his life. Also, a special thank you to everyone at Las Cruces First for the love and support extended.