Funeral services for Alfonso S. “Al” Gonzales, 83, will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 at St. Mary Catholic Church conducted by Rev. Thomas O’Toole. His ashes will be interred in the Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, N.M.
Son of the late Petrolino and Ramoncita Lujan Gonzales, Alfonso was born in Moses, N.M. on Feb. 18, 1926 and moved here in 1994. He and the former Clorinda Ulibarri were married Nov. 21, 1948 at Raton, N.M. A member of St. Mary Catholic Church “Al” had been a member of the Knights of Columbus, served as chaplain of V.F.W. Post 4574, the American Legion and Ardmore’s Military Memorial Museum, where he was inducted into the Military Hall of Honor Sept. 5, 2005. He died Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 at the Oklahoma Veterans Center of Ardmore.
During World War II “Al” enlisted in the U.S. Army and was soon shipped to the European Theater of action. While serving in the campaigns of the Rhine Land and Central Europe from 1944 to 1946 in a mortar platoon, he and another soldier captured 228 German troops while working as the point persons in a unit assigned to clear out and capture German soldiers; a feat that was to earn him the Army’s Bronze Star for meritorious combat service. As the war in Europe wound down his unit was transferred to the Philippines for a Pacific Theatre assignment. Following his discharge from active duty in 1946 he entered the U.S. Army Reserves. Returning to New Mexico he worked there for four years before called to active duty in 1950 for the Korean Conflict and served two years active and two years reserve duty.
For his military service Sergeant First Class Gonzales was awarded the Combat Infantryman badge (2nd Award), the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Army Occupation Medal with Japan Clasp, the American Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Honorable Lapel Button W.W.II and the Bronze Star Medal, Citation for Bronze Star Medal, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Badge and the Korean Service Medal with four Campaign Stars. Upon returning to New Mexico he became employed in civil service with the Atomic Energy Commission retiring in 1983 after 32-plus years of service.
Survivors include his wife, Clorinda Gonzales of the home; a son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Jane Gonzales, Ardmore; a daughter, Carol Waldman, Irving, Texas; four granddaughters, Lauren Gonzales, Shannon Steele and husband, Daryl, Cassandra Waldman and Clorissa Waldman; a sister, Elenor Lavato, Albuquerque, N.M.; and two brothers, Emanuel and Richard Gonzales of Raton, N.M.
A Rosary Service and time of visitation and support for the family will be tonight at 5 p.m. at Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed online at www.hdouglasfuneralhome.com.