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zekeyoung zekeEzequiel "Zeke" Polanco Santa Maria entered peacefully into eternal rest at his home on Saturday, September 8, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Zeke was born in Vanadium, New Mexico on January 28, 1942 to Ezequiel and Soledad Santa Maria. A graduate of Cobre High School and Western New Mexico University, He was a member of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church and a lifelong resident of Bayard. He proudly served his country as a combat medic in the Vietnam War, and was honorably discharged in 1966.

He worked for Kennecott Copper Corporation / Chino Mines before moving on to the City of Bayard. Zeke was passionate about serving his community, serving 16 years in the Bayard City Council and was currently serving in his 17th year as a Bayard City Council member, 14 years as the Bayard Certified Municipal City Clerk, and two terms as Grant County Commissioner. He enjoyed coaching for Copper Little League spanning 14 years, and served as District Seven Administrator for little league baseball for ten years.

He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Socorro Santa Maria of the family home, his daughter Monica Garcia and husband Rick of Bayard, his sons, Joel Santa Maria and wife Laurie of Las Cruces, Steven Santa Maria and wife Veronica of Mckinney Texas, his brothers, Ernesto Santamaria, Jesus Santa Maria and wife Maria Dolores all of Tucson, Arizona, Edward Santa Maria and wife Lucinda of Bayard, Alfonso Santa Maria and wife Laura of Santa Clara, his sisters, Lydia Santa Maria of Bayard, Connie Soliz and husband Antonio of Silver City, Delia Jurado and husband Emilio of Deming, and Dolores Santamaria of Las Cruces, Brother-In-Law Bill Maldonado of Silver City, Brothers-In-Law Longino Bustillos (Rufina), Gabriel Bustillos (Grace), Ernesto Bustillos (Rebecca). One Uncle Napo Sanchez of Fort Bayard, grandchildren: Emily, Briana, Isaac, Brandon, Ricardo, Chantel, Katrina and great-grandchildren: Jerek, Hailey, Nevaeh, Presley and Melody, along with many loving nieces, nephews, godchildren and cousins.

Zeke enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, was an avid sports fan, and a voracious reader. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ezequiel and Soledad Santa Maria, three siblings, Sister-in-Law Raquel Santa Maria, Nephew David Jurado and his sister Maria Elena Maldonado.

Visitation will take place on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at five o’clock in the evening at Baca’s Funeral Chapels in Silver City. The Prayer Vigil and Rosary will follow at six o’clock in the evening. The Funeral Liturgy will be on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at eleven-thirty in the morning at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Bayard. Concluding services and burial will take place at one o’clock in the afternoon at Fort Bayard National Cemetery. Officiating will be Father Abraham Solis.

Serving as casket bearers will be Rick Garcia, Ricardo Garcia, Brandon Santa Maria, Ernest Santa Maria Jr., Alfonso Santa Maria Jr., and Emilio Bustillos.

He was a dedicated servant to his family, his community, and his country and he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

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