Jose "Joe" U. Otero, 89, a resident of Peralta, was born on Sunday, May 25, 1930 and passed away into the arms of his Savior on Thursday, November 7, 2019 with his whole family at his side. Jose was a life-long and devoted member of Our Lady of Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Peralta. He graduated high school in 1948 from the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. Joe then enlisted in the Army on August 18, 1948 where he served in the Korean War with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, the Proud "Rakkasans.” Joe was wounded on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1950 and was awarded many medals, including the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged on May 20, 1952. Jose married the love of his life, Filomena Baca on January 27, 1952. They built a successful business and life together. He graduated from UNM in July 1955 receiving the degree of Registered Pharmacist. After graduation, he started his pharmacy career in Belen and later opened Joe’s Pharmacy near his home in Peralta which also allowed him to pursue his true passion of farming and ranching.
Joe served on the Los Lunas School Board of Education (1971-1983) and, along with the Belen School Board of Education, was instrumental in the establishment and construction of the UNM Valencia Campus. He also served on the Board of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (1985-2007). Jose was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus, the NRA, the VFW and the American Legion, and was active in his community. Joe is survived by his loving wife of 67 year, Filomena B. Otero; son, Leon Otero and wife Joan, Daughters, Kathy Otero, Ana Otero, and Maria Otero; son, Mark Otero; sisters, Peggy Otero and Juanita Sanchez. He is also survived by his loving grandchildren, Andrea Otero, Jose Otero and wife Veronica, Manuel Otero and wife Jade, Antonio Otero and wife Julia, Monica Otero and husband Joseph, Raquel Waters and husband David, Claudio Chavez and wife Sara, Juan Chavez and wife Lorena, Andres Chavez and wife Loren, Olivia Montoya, Ross Otero, Sabine Otero, Patricia Otero, Patricia Camacho and husband Victor; 25 great grandchildren, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. The Family wishes to thank Father Emmanuel Izuka for attending to our father’s spiritual life, for all the family and friends who loved and visited our Dad, to the wonderful care provided to our Dad from the VA Hospital, Compasses Hospice Care, and to Romero Funeral Home. "Papa Joe” was a legend and a hero, a man of integrity, kindness, courage, and incredible generosity. He has left a great void in our hearts and in our life’s. He was a man full of Life and Love with Boots too big to fill. We will greatly miss you and love you always. Vaya Con Dios. Please sign Joe’s online tribute at Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St., Belen, NM