Cleofas (Padilla) Benavidez was born April 9, 1923. She was born in a place called La Caniada close to a community known as El Rito in New Mexico. She worked very hard as young girl. Her family used to make syrup and she worked in the fields. Cleofas' brothers were Sotero, Furtoso, Fildelfio, Arsenio, and Candelario. Her only surviving sibling is Onecimo Padilla. She had one sister was Miquela - the two were close and visited often. In this small community in New Mexico; they married opposite siblings. Cleofas Padilla married Jesus Benavidez, Miquela Padilla married Antonio Benavidez and her brother Onecimo Padilla married Rafelita Benavidez. For this reason the family says that they are strongly related with strong genes. She had a close relationship with Rafaelita and her nephew Rudy who have both passed. She was very proud of a rosary that Rudy had given her. Cleofas enjoyed making blankets, she loved to knit and crochet. She made manteles (dollies) and taught her daughters and granddaughters this art. She enjoyed cooking and made various specialities; like bread, bread pudding, tortillas, and panocha. She loved to have company and whenever someone would visit she was quick to offer something to eat. She was of strong faith. She went to church with her husband and and they prayed in their home with their children. She had spiritual candles lit throughout her home. It is certain that she lit them with special intentions for those she loved.
She is preceded in death by her husband; Jesus Maria Benavidez, infant son Herminio, sons Rudy, Phil, and her daughter Dora.
Cleofas is survived by her children. Brigido (Emily), Jose Ramon (Ruth), Ofelia LeFebre, Angie Vasquez, Robert (Eleanor), Matias, Viola (Dan), Dimas (Rose). She is also survived by her brother, Onecimo Padilla, Son-in-Law, John Nucci and Brother-in-Law, Luciano Benavidez. She is survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great- great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, extended family, and friends.
Cleofas loved her family. It was only fitting that she pass with her family around her as she took her last breathe on April 1, 2012. She has given us the gift of life and we return her to our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ. Que Dios te Bendiga!