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Robert Sawyers
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1410 E Bowman Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88001-3001
Phone: (575) 526-2419
Fax: (575) 526-7944

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Obituary for Norma Jean Lonsway (Watts)

Norma Jean  Lonsway (Watts)
Longtime Las Cruces resident Jean Lonsway passed away on October 8. She was 90.
Jean was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma on September 29, 1928, to Joseph and Lilla Watts. She graduated from Crooked Oak High School in Oklahoma City in 1946 and married Bill Lonsway in 1947. Because of Bill’s occupation as a Border Patrolman, she relocated numerous times in the ‘50s and ‘60s to South Texas towns and Florida, finally settling in Las Cruces in 1963. Jean had seven children while married to Bill and worked full-time as a secretary from 1963 to 1975. She also owned a typing service for two years until retiring in 1977.

She is survived by all seven children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Jean was preceded in death by four siblings, her husband, and one grandchild. She elected cremation and wished to forego memorial services. In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family requests donations be made in Jean’s name to Roadrunner Food Bank.

Jean worked full-time and raised seven children, long before the days of fast food and instant meals. An amazing accomplishment! She grew up poor during the Great Depression and therefore had a lifelong appreciation for helping others in need. She was sociable, a hard worker, and made friends easily. Jean remained active in the latter years of her life with exercise, playing bridge, and she also enjoyed hosting dinner parties. Her shining talent was as an interior decorator and she loved flower and vegetable gardening. From a young age, Jean desired a houseful of children – a wish generously granted. She made her children’s birthdays and Christmases special, despite meager finances, and also supported their diverse choices as young adults. As one of her now senior-citizen children, I admired the perseverance, talent, and adaptiveness she wielded toward life’s challenges. She was independent and headstrong – but also loving, endearing and loyal. I can’t help but treasure the ordinariness of those simpler times and I, along with my siblings, will miss her terribly. So long, dear friend.

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