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Leonor Ida Valdez Carrillo
10/12/1946 – 12/19/2023
Leonor Ida Valdez Carrillo was welcomed into the arms of Jesus Tuesday evening,
December 19, 2023. She was surrounded by her loving family. Her husband John, of
nearly 60 years, sat by her side holding her hand.
Leonor was born October 12, 1946, in Farmington, NM to Belarmino and Odelia “Lillie”
(Sanchez) Valdez as the oldest of 4 daughters. When she was 5 years old, the family
moved to Salt Lake City, UT where she attended the Pillar of Fire private school.
As a teen she met the love of her life, John Carrillo, and they were wed on March 21,
1964. They began their life-long journey together and welcomed four children, 9
grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren in the coming years.
She was a gifted seamstress. In her teen years she created dresses and outfits for her
and her sister Nancy. As her children grew, she sewed outfits for them for Christmas
and Easter as well as costumes for various church plays. She put many hours into a
wedding dress for her daughter Sandie and several of the bridesmaid’s dresses. When
her grandchildren came along, she enjoyed sewing elegant Christening outfits as well
as other items for these precious little ones that she loved dearly.
Mom was a fantastic pianist. She played in church and enjoyed all the hymns as well as
southern gospel music. Some of her favorite music artists include Jimmy Swaggart, all
of the Gaither Homecoming friends: The Happy Goodman’s, Jesse Dixon, Lillie Knauls,
Ivan Parker and Guy Penrod. Southern gospel wasn’t the only genre that inspired
her playing style. She also drew from the music of her childhood from artists like Brenda
Lee, Elvis, Fats Domino, and Jerry Lee Lewis. We will miss her playing and the times
we shared as a family singing around the piano. Her love of music was spread to her
children as all four of them learned to play and sing. Nothing made her prouder than to
see her children playing instruments or singing in church.
While we are deeply saddened about Mama’s departure from this world, we will rejoice
with her as she celebrates her new heavenly body and the reunion she is having with
many loved ones.
Leonor is survived by her husband John, her four children Adam (Cindy) of Highlands
Ranch, CO; Sandie Rutherford of Muskogee, OK; Myke (David) Naranjo of Greeley,
CO; and John Jr (Alicia) of Highlands Ranch, CO; eight grandchildren and 6 great-
grandchildren; sisters Ann Mondragon, Marlene (Ryan) Sagendorf, and brother Ric.
She is preceded in death by her parents Belarmino and Lillie Valdez, sister Nancy
Martinez, grandson Noah Carrillo, son-in-law Virgil Rutherford, and many aunts and
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude for all of the prayers and
expressions of love for our family over the past year and especially these last two
weeks. We would also like to say a great big thank you to Drs. Tierney and Mitchell and
all the staff at Medical Center of the Rockies. You all provided amazing care for our
Mama. And a special thank you to Uncle Jerry, cousins Jerilyn and Marlo and their
families for their love and support.
The family would like to invite everyone to a Celebration of Life service on Sunday,
14Jan2024 at 3:00 PM at Upper Room Ministries Church of God, 919 18th Ave. Greeley, CO 80631.
If you are local and would like to provide food for the dinner immediately following the
service, we would like to ask you to sign up through the following link: