Our dear friend and loved one, Vonda “Jo” Graham, passed unexpectedly in January at the age of 68 at Albuquerque at Lovelace Hospital. From Oklahoma originally, Vonda had lived in New Mexico since the 1970s, and made her home in Mountainair. She is survived by her brother Gary in California; her aunt and uncle in Oklahoma; and a son and daughter and two grandchildren. Living alone, Vonda spent her last years as a caretaker for others, gardening, and enjoying her many craft interests. She was a member of the Mountainair Senior Center and attended the Nazarene Church in town. A memorial service will be held at Alpine Alley Restaurant at 210 N. Summit (Hwy. 55) Mountainair, in the banquet room at 3 p.m. March 11, with a reception to follow.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.