Sewing 13

Mary Helen (Guilez) Keppen

April 30, 1947 ~ September 18, 2021 (age 74)

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Mary Helen (Guilez) Keppen passed away on September 18th, 2021 at the age of 74. She passed away in the home she loved, surrounded by her loving family after a long illness.

Mary was born April 30th, 1947 in Tularosa, New Mexico to Lonicio and Tomasa Guilez.

Mary met the love of her life when she was a carhop at the Red Rooster drive-in restaurant in 1965. For him, it was love at first sight. She walked up and smiled at him, and he asked her on a date. From that point on, they developed a life time of memories. They were married on the 31st of December in 1965.

Her husband was starting his Air Force career when they met and together they became an inseparable team. She supported her husband and they raised two wonderful children.

Mary excelled in everything she put her hand to. She was an excellent mother, cook, baker, and housekeeper. She baked special cakes for her family and friends. She baked everything, from wedding cakes to retirement cakes for Air Force members depicting the aircraft they worked on. She always welcomed her children's friends into her home and treated them like family. She supported her children and husband in all their endeavors. She became a Cub Scout and Brownie mother and she joined the military spouses clubs to support her husband and the Air Force community. 

One of her many accomplishments was becoming a preschool teacher. Whenever her students saw her out in public, they would run up to her and give her a big hug. Mary's presence would light up a room when she entered.

Mary loved crafting and sewed beautiful dresses and gowns for her daughter. She learned numerous crafts along the way and used that talent to gift everyone she loved.

In 1991, her husband retired and brought her back to her childhood home and family. Due to the first Gulf War, she had to go to Tularosa alone to find a house. She found a house she liked and again, as a team, she and her husband made this house a wonderful home. She loved having family and friends come into her home for Thanksgiving dinner. She was an excellent cook and made special dishes everyone loved.

Many people were blessed by her presence and the memories of her will always be in our hearts.

Please consider making a donation to the Michael J. Fox foundation to find a cure for Parkinson's Disease at

Mary is survived by her devoted husband, Irven F. Keppen; her son, Irven F. Keppen Jr. and his wife Dixie of Manchester, New Jersey; her daughter, MeLissa Thresher and her husband Marco who resides in Wiesbaden, Germany; her grandchildren, Emily, Dakota, Devin, Brianna, Aidan, Dylan, and Joshua; her great grandbaby, Ikaika (Kimo) and her grandson, Josiah; her bothers, Joe and Mariano Guilez, her sister, Laura Maxwell and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Lonicio and Tomasa Guilez; her brother, Raymond Guilez; sister, Lucy Anderson; and her beloved God son, Lonicio Guilez. 

Visitation will be held from 10:30 am to 11:30 am on September 25, 2021 at the Alamogordo Funeral Home Chapel.

Memorial Service for Mary Keppen will be held at 11:30 am, Saturday, September 25, 2021 at the Alamogordo Funeral Home Chapel with Father Patrick Montgomery officiating.

Burial will follow at the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Tularosa.

Pallbearers include her son Irven Keppen, her son-in-law Marco Thresher, her grandsons Dakota, Josh and Dylan, and her nephew Gilbert Guilez.

Mary will be dearly missed, especially around her favorite holiday which was Thanksgiving, but she will live on in the memories that she helped create for our family and she will never be further than a smile away from our hearts. 


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Helen (Guilez) Keppen, please visit our floral store.


September 25, 2021

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Alamogordo Funeral Home
2301 First Street
Alamogordo, NM 88310

Memorial Service
September 25, 2021

11:30 AM
Alamogordo Funeral Home
2301 First Street
Alamogordo, NM 88310

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