Writer: Pojoaque News.com
Friends and family honored Juan David Sanchez with a Tuesday night memorial service in Ben Lujan Gymnasium. Juan David Sanchez beloved son of Lorenzo and Geraldine Sanchez passed away unexpectedly Friday, September 3, in Chamita, NM.
Juan was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, Julia Sanchez; fraternal great grandmother, Rosita DeHerrera, whom he loved dearly, and numerous relatives and friends. He is survived by his parents Lorenzo and Geraldine of Arroyo Seco, NM; grandparents David and Marie DeHerrera of Chamita, NM and Dr. Willie Sanchez of Las Vegas, NM. He is also survived by his uncle and Padrino, Leonard DeHerrera of Chamita, uncles and aunts Billy Sanchez, Beverly Sanchez and companion Louis Maestas, Dolores Sena, his Madrina, and husband Vernell of Las Vegas, NM, Mark Sanchez of El Paso, TX and Tim Sanchez of Alamosa, CO. Juan is also survived by his long time best friend and companion Rhonda Trujillo of Rio Chiquito, NM, and by numerous relatives and friends who will miss him tremendously.
Juan was a gifted athlete and student. He was a wonderful child and from a very early age he displayed his academic ability, athleticism and sportsmanship on and off the field. He led his Pojoaque Little League division in homeruns as an eleven and twelve year old and played on numerous Little League All-Star teams. Juan played football for the Pojoaque Elks and was their starting quarterback and middle linebacker for three years. Juan played varsity baseball at Pojoaque Valley High School, starting for the Elks as an eighth grader, culminating his playing career at Pojoaque High by winning the 2005 Triple A State Championship his senior year as team captain. In his last bat as an Elk, at the direction of coach Brian Ainsworth, Juan hit a 400 foot shot into deep center field at Isotopes Park that sealed the title for the Elks and sent the Pojoaque fans into a frenzy. He was a North-South All Star in both sports.
Juan graduated from Pojoaque Valley High School in 2005 with academic achievements and was honored as both Athlete and Student-Athlete of the year. He went on to play Jr. College baseball for the Luna Community College Rough Riders in Las Vegas, NM for two years. While at Luna he received numerous academic awards and honors, was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity in recognition of his academic honors.
Juan was presently enrolled at NMSU where he was pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering. During his college years Juan had worked for several engineering firms, the NMDOT and City of Santa Fe, performing a variety of engineering duties. Juan had just concluded a six-month coop co-sponsored by the NMDOT and NMSU where he inspected bridges statewide for deficiencies as part of the Obama administration ARRA program.