Gene Lujan, age 73, beloved father and husband, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife of 53 years, Antonia Lujan and family on Friday, November 13, 2020. He fought valiantly for four years after being diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. He entered this world on July 8, 1947 in Las Vegas, NM. He was preceded in death by his parents, Meliton and Abenicia Lujan; his in-laws, Domingo and Lilly Vigil; brother, Armando Lujan; sister-in-law, Mary Lujan, brother, in-law, Johnny Aragon; brother in-law, Leroy Sanchez; and nephews, Mario Sanchez, Joseph Lujan and Lester Aragon.
He is survived by his loving wife, Antonia Lujan; son, Gene and wife Leona Lujan (Albuquerque, NM); daughter, April and husband Joseph Paul (Yokosuka, Japan); eight grandchildren, Gene A Lujan III (Albuquerque, NM), Chris and Amy Madrid (Killeen, TX), Monique Lujan and Alexander Lauriano (Las Vegas, NV), Sean and Michelle Lujan (Albuquerque, NM), Savannah and Taylor Harrison (Camp Pendleton, CA), Trystyn Montano, Otto Paul and Kael Paul (Japan); four great- grandchildren, Izaiah, Preslie, Chris Jr. and Luxi; three brothers and one sister, Lucas and Jane Lujan, JR and Alice Lujan, Dennis and Mary Jean Lujan, Lucy Aragon (all from Las Vegas, NM); brothers and sisters-in-law, Marcella Hernandez, Carl and Yolanda Vigil, Theresa and Tommy Archuleta, Benjie and Yvonne Vigil, Veronica Jaramillo and Robert Baca(all from Las Vegas, NM), Elsie Sanchez (Albuquerque, NM), Orlando Vigil (Perryton TX), Darlene and Rey Gutierrez (Denver, CO); numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces throughout New Mexico and Colorado.
Gene was the epidemy of a life well lived. He was the patriarch of the family and led by example in every endeavor. He was willful, protective and his attention to detail was intense absolute. He shared his love for God with friends and Family daily and devoted countless hours in his workshop as a wood working artisan; anything we needed or wanted he would create in the “shop.” So many family and friends have shared that they are still enjoying the items he created for them over the years. His love for fishing and enjoying the great outdoors was a prominent passion in all our lives. Whenever we would ask him what he wanted to do for the weekend or an upcoming holiday, the answer was 99% “let’s go fishing.”
His work ethic began in his early teens when he first worked in his father’s little store or “Tiendita”. He gained his sharp fashion sense working at Tony’s Dry Goods and Taicherts clothing stores where he started his large collection of suits and ties. Realizing mathematics came easy to him he worked many years for the Bank of Las Vegas and later as a bookkeeper for The Plaza Hotel and even spent several years with West Las Vegas Schools in the administration building finance department. Some of these employers such as Bank of Las Vegas and Plaza Hotel were also primary sponsors of the many softball teams he organized/managed throughout the years in the summertime and of course the Denver Broncos in the fall surrounded by family.
On September 11, 2001, after selling “The Ranch”, Gene and Antonia packed up everything and moved to Albuquerque NM to be closer to Family and Antonia’s doctors. She had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and the warmer climate down south would be better than the cold winters of Northern New Mexico. He then turned a passion for playing poker into his next career as a casino table-games dealer, which also took advantage of his quick mind for numbers and statistics. He started off as a blackjack/roulette/poker dealer and worked his way up to Pit supervisor at Sandia Casino where he finally retired on July 14, 2013. Of course, never one to sit idle, he held other side jobs from then until his lung issues began to take over his life.
Gene was a very patriotic man who proudly and unselfishly served for 26 years in the armed forces. Having served honorably and faithfully his entire career he retired from the United States Army on July 8th, 2007. One of our favorite stories he told was about the year of the Santa Fe, NM prison riots, where his unit was called to assist with securing the perimeter. He often recanted times of his training on bases around the world including Germany and France.
Gene was a no-nonsense lead by example type of leader; whatever it was that he was trying to teach or pass on it was all hands on. No books or long lectures, it was “pick up a hammer and do what I do”. He came from a long line of leaders who believed if you see someone working or in need of assistance, jump right in and help, don’t’ ask just do. Most times he would not utter a word, just the sweat from his brow and the skill of his hands. No need for words just a nod or a look. We all know “the look” or the “head shake” that meant, “Nope Try it Again.”
One of his final wishes was to pass on to his children and grandchildren his life skills, experiences and love of family and country. He wanted to make sure that we carried on the family traditions and to create new traditions and continue to cultivate our own great memories with family and friends.
One thing about the nature of his illness is it gave Gene time to gather with family and friends to talk about his memories and wishes. He could convey how proud he was, how happy he was with the lives we were leading.
His proudest accomplishment was his 53-year marriage to his wife, which set a high bar for us all to follow. Throughout their entire marriage, until his last days, every comment and concern were regarding making sure the love of his life would be taken care of.
The family would like to give a special thanks to Karen from the Presbyterian Hospice team who was on stand by 24/7 to assist us through his illness.
Due to the current pandemic a private family service will be held. The family would like you to view the service which will be live streamed and available for viewing by clicking on the link below on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 4:00 p.m.
For the health and safety of family and friends the final services will be scheduled.
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