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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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1920 - 2022
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Obituary for Emilia Maese (Duran)

Emilia  Maese (Duran)
Emilia D. Maese- “You Are My Sunshine”
Went on to Glory peacefully at her home in Lubbock,TX on Friday, November 18, 2022. She was surrounded by her beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Emilia, known as “Grandma Maese” to many that knew her, was born October 13,1920 in Las Cruces, NM to Alfredo Duran and Emiteria Rodriguez Duran. She attended high school in Las Cruces, NM, and shortly after began working for a local dry cleaner. Then Pearl Harbor happened, and America was engulfed in WWII. Emilia went to Santa Fe, NM and enlisted in the newly created Women’s Army Air Corps (WAAC) on September 1,1943. She was stationed at Army Air Corps Station No. 8 (Keesler Air Base) in Biloxi, Mississippi and was assigned an administrative position. Emilia was about to be deployed overseas when word came that the war had ended. She holds many fond memories of her service and made many lifelong friends who remained in contact for over 60 years. Her enlistment ended at Fort Sam Houston when she was discharged on November 28,1945. She was awarded the American Theater Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Ribbon, and WAAC Ribbon. Prior to her enlistment, Emilia met her husband, Benjamin O. Maese. They married soon after the war ended and started a family. The young couple moved into a small house near Mesilla, NM and had five children. Emilia worked first as a devoted mother to her children-ensuring their needs and prioritizing the importance of higher education. Secondly, as a housekeeper for several local families for many years. There were many long days and nights of sacrifice. Emilia soon discovered a faith in God that carried her through those hard times. “God is my everything”. Emilia also worked in the cafeteria of Las Cruces County Hospital and as a housekeeper at the Coach Light Inn, until she retired at the age of 84 years old.
Emilia’s zest for life was unrivaled. She enjoyed simple pleasures such as: Shopping, spending time and making memories with her grandchildren, and going out to eat at her favorite restaurants (La Posta, Village Inn, & Golden Corral). No meal went unserved without her favorite course, DESSERT.
Emilia will be remembered for her kind and generous heart, love for music, and her contagious smile that brightened the room. But most of all, her love for the Lord!
Prior to her passing, Emilia was recently recognized and honored for her dedicated military service, and as the oldest living WWII Woman Veteran in Lubbock, TX by U.S. Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX) and Senior Living Magazine. Emilia was later presented a plaque and recognized by the VFW of Lubbock, TX on Veteran’s Day 2022 to commemorate her.
Emilia is survived by her four children: Raymond Maese of Mesa, AZ. Alice Maese (Jim) of Albuquerque, NM. Kenny Maese Sr. (Mary Helen) of Las Cruces, NM. Benjamin S. Maese of Dona Ana, NM. Emilia is “Grandma Maese” to seven grandchildren: Shaunna Kendrick (Jeff) of Sunset, TX. Christy Bownds (Bill) of Lubbock, TX. Kenny Maese Jr. (Ellyn) of Omaha, NE. Travis Maese (Martin) of Austin, TX. Katrina Maese of Las Cruces, NM. Kamala Maese of Las Cruces, NM. April Maese of Las Cruces, NM. Fourteen Great Grandchildren: Christian Kendrick (Ele), Kyle Kendrick (Brandi), Casey Kendrick (Kaylee), Jay Kendrick, and Noah Kendrick, all of Sunset, TX. Matthew Bownds, Haley Kinsler (Jackson), and Charley Ann Bownds, all of Lubbock, TX. Willow Maese, Ronin Maese, Vienna Maese, and Luna Maese, all of Omaha,NE. Alexis Weaver of Las Cruces, NM. Four Great-Great Grandchildren. As well as many nephews, nieces, cousins, and life-long friends that she held very dear to heart.
Emilia was preceded in death by her late husband Benjamin O. Maese (7/23/02), her daughter, Gloria J. Maese (12/5/12), and her two brothers Alfredo Duran and Henry Duran.
Visitation and Services will be held on Friday, December 9, 2022 from 9am -11am at Getz Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will immediately follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, located at 5140 W. Picacho Ave. Las Cruces, NM.

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