Family, friends mark matron's 80th birthday
Larry Torres, The Taos News, August 8, 2001
On June 30, 2001, Taoseña Juanita Varos reached a birthday milestone. The former Seco resident, widow of the late Juan B. Varos, just celebrated her 80th birthday.
Many members of her family and friends gathered at the home of Sam and Tommie Martinez in Arroyo Seco to fete the occasion. Both Happy Birthday and Las Mananitas were sung by everyone present to honor the venerable matron.
Music and entertainment was provided by talented family member Desarey Martinez, who is Juanita's great-granddaughter. She sang songs joined by Juanita's son, Toby, daughter, Pat, her brother, Ben, and niece, Jenna. John Archuleta completed the musical tribute to Juanita.
Juanita gave a heartfelt testimony of some of her life and also sang one of her favorite songs, "Maestro."
Present at the joyful event were Juanita's seven children -- Dolores (Carl) Garcia, Carmen (Harold) Burkholder, Dennis (Pam) Varos, Toby (Deena) Varos, Tomasita (Sam) Martinez, Pat (Luis) Duran and Juan B. Varos Jr. There were 20 grandchildren also present, including Steven, Susan, Sydney, Tim, Helen, Marcia, Stephen, Luis III, Amy, Julie, Laura, Tony, Amanda and Angie. There were 15 great-grandchildren including Ariana, Marlene, Desaray, Alisha, Luis IV and Mateo. Four out of Juanita's five brothers and sisters were able to make the festive event. They were Ben and Ernesta Maestas, Florimel and Helen Maestas, Thomas Maestas and Emily Bedford. Corina and Thomas Cardenas couldn't come, but they sent many blessings. Cousins, friends and neighbors there included Debbie, Joe Graves, Bea, Jena, Jim, Virginia, Andrea, John, Benita, Richard, Alisha, Santiago, Amy, Chris and his children, Sabino and Christine of Denver. Continuing the list were Celina Salazar, Mante and Gloria Chacon, Ernest and JoAnn Lucero, Teresa and Ernest Gonzales, Donald and Francis and Virginia and Tony from Monte Vista. Rounding off the list were Joe and Medalia Martinez, Margarito, Cecilia, Maya and children, sister-in-law Mae Maestas, Elias and Connie Espinosa, Abe Garcia, Rubeyn, Alice and Barbara from Albuquerque, and Mr. and Mrs. John Brodwater. The official photographer was long-time family friend Eunice Camel.
Juanita wishes to thank everyone who could not be there and to all those who were; many thanks for helping to make her 80th a birthday she'll always remember.
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