Edna McNiel, 84, a resident of Mountainair, passed away Feb. 7. Edna was a lifelong resident of Mountainair. Her mother and father moved to Mountainair in 1931 where they homesteaded and farmed beans. At that time, Mountainair was known as the pinto bean capitol of the world. Livestock continued, but the bean farm succumbed to the late 1940s drought. Edna owned a tax and accounting business in Mountainair for many years. She loved sports and was in attendance where ever her son and daughter’s games would be. This continued with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. From the time the grandchildren began playing Little League baseball, YAFL football, soccer or basketball in Albuquerque, through the time they graduated from high school, Edna and her mother Corene would be in attendance at most games. Driving time and distance was not an issue. Edna was an ardent grandparent fan for whichever school one of her grandkids played for, first La Cueva, then Albuquerque Academy, and lastly Eldorado High School. She could not attend every college game they later played, but was sure to attend some every year. Edna most of all loved her grandchildren and wanted to be there to enjoy watching and supporting them every chance she had. When the great-grandchildren had a rodeo, Edna was probably the only one there that never complained about the cold, wind or rain and refused to sit in the truck. She had her chair and it was just not a problem to sit outside all day because “I can see better and hear the announcer out here.” She was just happy to watch them compete. Edna was preceded in death by her father Herb Wright on Feb. 10, 1962, and her mother Corene Wright on Dec. 9, 2010; also preceding her in death was her granddaughter Katie Coffman. She is survived by her son Danny McNiel and wife Rosanne of Peralta; daughter Debbie Coffman and husband Mike of Albuquerque; grandchildren, Bobby McNiel and wife Keleigh of Forney, Texas, Chris McNiel and wife Summer of Los Lunas, Scott Coffman and wife Kristin of Albuquerque, and Kylie Coffman of Albuquerque; seven great-grandchildren, Hayley McNiel, Payton McNiel, Cheyenne McNiel, Kirk McNiel, Landrey McNiel, EmiJayne Coffman and Hadleigh Coffman; along with numerous other family members and friends. A viewing was held at Harris-Hanlon funeral home in Mountainair Feb. 11, followed by the funeral service. Pastor Doris Jacques and Pastor Darrel Roberts officiated and interment was at the Mountainair Cemetery. Pallbearers were Darrel Webb, Gary Webb, Ronnie Webb, Wayne Farmer, Bill Harris and Larry Zamora. Honorary pallbearers were Tommy Eschberger and Albert McNiel. Arrangements were handled by the caring professionals at Harris-Hanlon Funeral Services.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at email@example.com.