Ramon Michael Gonzales
May 8, 1955 – March 9, 2018
A Life Well Lived
Ramon passed peacefully from all who loved him in the early morning of Friday, March 9, 2018. At 62 years of age, Ramon leaves his husband, Ross K Henke of 17 years and his two best dog friends, Sophie and Jake. Also surviving Ramon is his sister and best friend, Frances V. Gonzales of Albuquerque who has provided immeasurable love and support throughout; sister, Patricia V. Vanderkrabben and brother-in-law, Robert of South Holland, IL; uncle and aunt, Ed and Pauline Rael of Albuquerque; aunt, Irene Rose Rael of Loma Linda, CA; aunt, Tesse Garcia of Santa Fe; as well as numerous cousins. Also surviving are his mother-in-law, Audrey L. Henke of Hannover, ND; siblings-in-law, Valorie Cartwright, Vickie Lambrecht, Randy Henke, and Rick Henke. He also leaves four nieces, five nephews and four great-nephews.
Ramon fought his battle of three years with Parkinson’s disease/Multi System Atrophy bravely and without complaint. Fighting alongside Ramon have been the loving staff of Presbyterian Palliative and Complete Care, Kevin Hoover, friend and massage therapist, Marina Baden, friend and yoga instructor, and his dear caregivers Miguel Ulloa and Fermin Cervantes. Also, Ramon’s many friends have provided support, prayers, visits, and food. Included in Ramon’s circle of love are Father Bill McNichols and Dawn Wenzl of St. Joseph on the Rio Grande and his friends and neighbors at La Luz Del Sol, with special thanks to Oleta Saunders and Sunshine Hilliard.
Ramon is preceded in death and reunited with his parents, Ramon B. Gonzales and Cecilia Rael Gonzales; father-in-law, Kenneth E Henke; and numerous dear family and friends who have gone before him.
A distinguished attorney, Ramon dedicated his professional career in labor law to the improvement of conditions for workingwomen and men. After graduating with First Honors from St. Pius X High School in 1973, Ramon attended the University of Denver, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1977 with a degree in Political Science. Ramon proceeded to study law at Stanford University, earning his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1980.
Ramon began his law practice at Lillick, McHose and Charles in San Francisco, CA in 1980 and returned to Albuquerque in 1984 where he continued as a Labor Litigator at Suttin Thayer & Browne. Ramon Joined PNM in 1992 where he served as the Assistant General Counsel for litigation and as Director of Human Resources. He retired from PNM as VP of People Services in 2010. Following a brief retirement, Ramon began his tenure at Presbyterian Healthcare Services where he served as Director of Employee/Management Relations until his disability in 2015. Throughout his legal career, Ramon believed it important to give back to his community, thus providing pro bono legal services to many individuals and organizations including the National Institute of Health (Research Grants Allocation Committee), Challenge New Mexico, The American Diabetes Association (National Board Member) and most recently the American Civil Liberties Union.
An avid traveler, Ramon explored the wonders of numerous countries as well as logging many miles in the United States. He was a premier travel planner and guide for both family and friends. Ramon enthusiastically made two all-important trips to Washington DC for both of President Barack Obama’s inaugurations. Ramon was passionate about family and friends, politics, New York Times, dogs and cats, and spending time with family and friends in the “Taos House.”
A Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, March 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph on the Rio Grande, 5901 St. Joseph’s Dr. NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87120. A Celebration of Life reception will be held immediately following at St. Michael and All Angels Church, 601 Montano Rd NW, Albuquerque.
Heartfelt gratitude is extended to all of Ramon’s colleagues and friends for their many years of love, fidelity, and support. Ramon loved generously and will be profoundly missed by all who knew and loved him.
In lieu of flowers, family requests donations to the ACLU or the charity of your choice.