diáspora y cultura vasca

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Juan Baleztena Petricorena

Juan Baleztena Petricorena
Juan Baleztena Petricorena

26/05/2019 - Fruita, EEUU

(nota necrológica publicada en The Daily Sentinel, el 30 de mayo de 2019)

March 10, 1934 - May 26, 2019

Born March 10, 1934, in Zubieta, Navarra, Spain, Juan was the son of Maria Petricorena and Sabas Baleztena. 

He was raised working on the family farm and sheep ranch in Zubieta, and served in the Spanish Army. He later set out to work in the French lumber industry and was soon running his own business. 

In 1964 he took a contract with Western Range Association, and left the Basque country to work in Cheyenne, Wyoming as a sheepherder for Warren Livestock. 

Juan became a foreman and transferred to Cimarron, CO to work for Emmett Elizondo. During his years as a foreman, Juan worked in Cimarron, Silverton, Eastern Utah, Fruita, and everywhere in between. 

In 1969 Juan met Sharon Jones in Cimarron. They were later married, moved to Appleton and welcomed two beautiful daughters. While working at Stockert's Dairy he began the start of his own sheep business. Juan and Sharon parted ways in 1977.

First National Bank in Fruita is where Juan met Vira Bernal the two were wed in 1980. Juan and Vira lived in Loma, Colorado with their two boys. Baleztena Sheep was beginning to flourish. Juan spent his time loving his four kids and spending many hours tending his sheep ranch.

Juan was a founding member and the president of the Western Slope Basque Association. Countless Sunday afternoons were spent at the Basque Handball Court playing handball, telling stories, and drinking whisky with his many friends.

Juan was always the life of the party and a friend to all until a tragic accident in 1988 when he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Juan's strong spirit of survival brought him back from the brink of death more times than we can count. 

With the loving and devoted help of his four children and his brother, Fernando, Juan was able to live independently on his ranch for almost 30 years after his brain injury. In 2016 Juan moved into The Willows Assisted Living in Fruita. He received excellent care and was surrounded by his loving family for the remainder of his life.

Juan's faith in Jesus was inspirational to his entire family. Regardless of his suffering, Juan prayed daily and called out to Jesus often. Even with a broken body and impaired mind, Juan knew God and shared his faith with us all.

Juan was preceded in death by his parents, Sabas and Maria; brother, Jose, and sisters, Maria Isabel and Maria Jesus.

Juan is survived by daughters, Elisa Blair (Duane), Fruita, CO; Angela Baleztena of Castle Rock, CO; sons, Juan Mario Baleztena (Randi), Loma, CO; Michael Baleztena (Brittniy), Loma, CO; grandchildren, Kiedan Baleztena-Blair, Cole Jamieson, Luken Blair, Daniel Denton, Isabelle Blair, Gabriel Baleztena, Joaquin Baleztena, Clara Baleztena, and Maia Baleztena; great-grandchildren, Emmie-Marie Baleztena-Blair, Kiedan-Jay Baleztena-Blair, and Wrenleigh-Nevaeh Baleztena-Blair.

Visitation will be Friday, May 31, 2019, 5:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1210 17 1/2 Road, Fruita, CO, followed by a Rosary at 6:00 p.m. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1210 17 1/2 Road, Fruita, CO. Internment will follow at New Elmwood Cemetery at 1175 17 1/4 Rd. Fruita, CO.

Please join us for a Basque meal at AP Ranch at 1351 Q Road in Loma immediately after Mass and internment.

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