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Alfonso “Poncho” Sanchez Benitez went to be with the Lord on January 29, 2024, 5 days after his 96th birthday. Poncho was born in Langtry, TX on January 24, 1928. He passed away in his home, with his loving daughter Esther, and granddaughter Nicole by his side while under the care of Alamogordo Hospice.
At the age of ten he gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Grace and Mercy of God were evident throughout his life. He often spoke of God’s Goodness and Faithfulness and was grateful to know him as his Savior.
He graduated in 1948 from Alamogordo High School and played football for the Alamogordo Tigers as their quarterback. Playing, watching and coaching sports were his favorite hobbies. Poncho spent many years coaching little league baseball in the Alamogordo community. Anyone who knew him knows that he was a huge Los Angeles Dodgers and Dallas Cowboys fan which he referred to as “America’s Team.”
On January 1, 1971, Poncho retired from the United States Air force as a Master Sergeant. He also served in the United States Navy for four years and is a Vietnam Veteran. Serving in the military gave him the opportunity to travel all over the world which he loved, leaving him with many fond memories of his time in the service.
He loved to sing and took every opportunity he was given to do so; we often found him singing and humming hymns in his home. Poncho once got the opportunity to sing in the choir at a Billy Graham Crusade in which he took great pleasure.
One of his much-loved things to do was dining out at the Waffle and Pancake Shoppe, Alamo Grill and Rizo’s where everyone took such good care of him.
He loved his children and was very proud of them all. He was especially grateful and proud that each of them knows Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior as there is no greater gift to be given or award to be received. He spoke of the joy that this brought him.
Surviving Poncho includes his five children, Sarah Fino and husband Anselmo, Esther Christie and husband Scott, Ricardo Benitez and wife Janet, Daniel Benitez and wife Tammy, Victoria Pollock and husband Bruce; 18 grandchildren, Christina, Susan, Sophia, Nicole, Milinda, Ava, Elisa, Lindey, Nathanael, Elaine, Michael, Daniel, Christian, Noelle, Jamin, Major, Jordan and Serene; siblings, Joe, Elias, Elizabeth, David, Naomi, Paul, and Martha; multiple great grandchildren; multiple nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Severiano and Petra Benitez; his wife of 48 years, Juanita O. Benitez; his brothers, Modesto and Inez “Naya Benitez”; sisters, Rebecca Perea and Ruth Silva.
Service for Poncho will be held at 2:00 pm, Monday, February 5, 2024, at Alamogordo Funeral Home, 2301 E 1st St, Alamogordo, NM 88310. Service will be live streamed.
Burial will be held at 1:00 pm, Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso, TX where he will receive full military honors, 5200 Fred Wilson Ave, El Paso, TX 79906.
Pallbearers include Daniel Benitez, Scott Hester, Sophia Taylor, Michael Benitez, Milinda Benitez, Nathanael Benitez, and Seth Hernandez.
Honorary Pallbearers are Joe Benitez, Elias Benitez, David Benitez, Paul Benitez, Scott Christie, Anselmo Fino, Bruce Pollock, Thomas Taylor, Charles Martinez, Jeremy Taliaferro, Dean Lang, and Jeff Johnson.
The Benitez family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the funeral services.