Thomas Noah Mobley Jr.
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November 29, 1937 – November 2, 2020
Thomas Noah Mobley Jr., 82, a long-time pillar of the Las Cruces, NM community, passed away on November 2, 2020 from complications arising from the COVID-19 virus. To most he was simply known as Tom, but to his family he was Papa. He was born on a farm in Artesia, NM on November 29, 1937. Tom was raised by his father Thomas Noah Mobley and his grandparents, in Artesia where he developed his work ethic and integrity at an early age. It served him and his future family well throughout his life.
At Artesia High School Tom was very active in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and with the guidance and encouragement of his FFA advisor, Truman Short, he chose to attend New Mexico State University (NMSU), where he was the first in his family to attend college. In 1961, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.
In December of 1960, as fate would have it, Tom needed a date to attend the Sun Bowl football game in El Paso, where NMSU was pitted against Utah State University. However, NMSU was on winter holiday and date options were in short supply. To his great fortune he found a home-town girl, Ann Hille, that happened to be available to join the festivities. Ann and Tom had been casual acquaintances over the preceding two years through friends in Tom’s Fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, where Tom was popular and ultimately elected President. The NMSU Aggies won the game and so did Tom and Ann. They both kept regular company until Tom graduated in January 1961. However, two days later Tom had to leave for his first job out of college to join Asgrow Seed Co. in San Antonio, Texas. They parted with sad adieus, but no commitment to each other. After running up phone and gasoline bills to a staggering amount, love prevailed and Tom and Ann were later married on September 29, 1961. Ann was the love of his life for 59 wonderful years.
Working as a traveling seed salesman was not ideal for a young marriage, so Tom and Ann moved back to Las Cruces where Tom became a foreman on a cattle ranch. After their first of ultimately three children was born in 1963, Tom realized he needed a better plan for the future. He soon found an opportunity to join the Federal Land Bank as the Assistant Manager of the Las Cruces office and in 1965 was later promoted to Manager.
Banking and developing relationships came natural to Tom, which attracted interest in the Las Cruces business community. Tom was recruited to join the First National Bank of Dona Ana County (FNB) in 1970 as an Agricultural Loan Officer. After a few years and multiple promotions, he was asked to lead the Trust Department for FNB. He spent the rest of his career with FNB as Senior Vice President and Head of the Trust Department addressing the financial planning needs of countless clients as a trusted advisor and confidant. After a few mergers of FNB into other banks Tom ultimately retired from Wells Fargo in 2002.
Tom had an innate desire to fulfill a civic duty. He was very active in the Las Cruces community, NMSU and the NM agricultural industry. He served as a Rotarian, President of NM Farm and Livestock Bureau, member of the NM Cattle Growers Association, President of the NMSU Alumni Association, member of the NMSU Foundation Board of Directors, member of the NMSU Presidents Associates, member of the NMSU Aggie Scholarship Association, Secretary of the NM Farm and Ranch Museum Board of Directors, member of the NM Farm & Ranch Museum Foundation, member of the Mesilla Valley Hospice Board of Directors, member of the Memorial Medical Center Professional Advisory Committee, President of the Southern NM State Fair, and President of the Dona Ana County United Way. Most notably, Tom was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the NMSU College of Agriculture in 1994 and named Citizen of the Year by the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce in 1987.
While Tom made his career in banking, his true passion was ranching. He and his father-in-law A.R. (Dick) Hille were partners in the 50-section VO Bar ranch situated north of the Jornada Experimental Range in southern NM. In 1997, Tom purchased the 14-section Sierra Alta Ranch south of Hatch NM. He loved ranching and always said that mending fence and riding a horse was good for the soul. However, what he really enjoyed most was being able to share the ranch with others and spend time with his family.
Lastly, Tom enjoyed his 20-acre farm north of Las Cruces. On the farm Papa taught and guided two generations about the agriculture industry, about how to care for livestock, about the value of participating in 4-H and the FFA, about work ethic, about integrity, about responsibility, about how to compete, and about how not to quit until the job is done.
Tom is survived and will be greatly missed by his wife Ann C. Mobley of Las Cruces, daughter Lori C. Snodgrass (Mel) of Santa Teresa, NM, sons Fred G. Mobley (Rebecca) of Las Cruces, NM and Jeffrey L. Mobley (Cristy) of Houston, TX. Six grandchildren, Stephanie Chenoweth (Drew), Chance Snodgrass, Brannon Mobley, Annalies Mobley, Mackenzie Mobley and Madison Mobley and two great-grandchildren Jacob Chenoweth and Charlotte Chenoweth.
Tom is preceded in death by his father Thomas Noah Mobley
Public Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 pm, Thursday, November 5, 2020 at Getz Funeral Home. Services will be held at 10 am, Friday, November 6, 2020 Getz Funeral Home in Las Cruces, NM. Services will be streamed live on the Facebook page of Getz Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you instead consider a donation to the Mobley Family Endowment through the NMSU Foundation. PO Box 3590, Las Cruces, NM 88003. Or call (575) 646-1613.