✖ Close Social Content

It is our mission to provide a deserved, lawful, proper and dignified manner of disposition for those decedent residents who are indigent or go unclaimed upon death, and to handle every case accurately and lawfully with the utmost attention. Bernalillo County respects each individual in the community and will treat all with maximum regard and dignity. 

The Bernalillo County Procurement and Business Services Department administers the Unclaimed/Indigent Cremation Program for deceased persons who have passed away within the geographical boundaries of Bernalillo County, as directed by state law.

A local funeral home is under contract with the county to provide direct cremation only.

28 Bernalillo County Veterans Interred at Santa Fe National Cemetery

Twenty-eight veterans from Bernalillo County were interred at the Santa Fe National Cemetery on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015 as part of the New Mexico Forgotten Heroes Burial Program. The Bernalillo County veterans were identified through the county’s Unclaimed/Indigent Cremation Program.

The veterans’ cremains were escorted from Albuquerque to Santa Fe with a motorcycle escort from the Patriot Guard Riders of New Mexico. The procession left Riverside Funeral Home in Albuquerque on Tuesday morning. Twenty-eight of the riders then rode to the the cemetery in Santa Fe, carrying a placard with the name of one of the veterans being honored.

Click to see a video of the Patriot Guard Riders escort.  Click here to see a slideshow of the Patriot Guard Riders assembling in Albuquerque

Click to see a slideshow of the burial ceremony at the Santa Fe National Cemetery

The gravesite ceremony was part of the New Mexico’s Forgotten Heroes Burial Program, established by the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services to provide a military funeral, with an honor guard and flag fold ceremony, for any honorably discharged veteran who upon death goes unclaimed by family members or friends.

"We are pleased to honor our military veterans with the dignified burial they deserve,” says Commission Vice Chair Art De La Cruz. “This Forgotten Heroes Burial Program is a truly collaborative effort where federal, state and county officials work together to make sure these heroes are remembered for their service to our country. I am proud of the fact that Bernalillo County and the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services were the first in the nation to collaborate and create a program like this one.”

The members of the Bernalillo County Procurement & Business Services Department have worked diligently to create and continue this very special program and were honored by the National Association of Counties with a 2014 Achievement Award for work on the Forgotten Heroes Burial Program.

Since 2010, Bernalillo County, the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services, the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Santa Fe National Cemetery and the rest of the New Mexico counties have worked together to arrange honorable dispositions of unclaimed/indigent deceased veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Forgotten Heroes Burial Program is the first program in the nation featuring such a partnership between state and local governments and other agencies to care for deceased unclaimed/indigent veterans.

For more information on the county's Unclaimed/Indigent Cremation Program, go to www.bernco.gov/finance/unclaimed-indigent-cremation-program.aspx

In Memoriam

Branch/Rank               Name                         Years Served              Date of Death

USA    PVT                 Kenneth Carnes          10/9/69-5/6/70            1/12/11

USN    Unknown        Robert Darden            3/29/73-6/27/77          2/21/11

USA    SPC4               Brock Parker               6/26/67-6/25/70          3/16/11

USA    PFC                 Joseph Wallheimer     6/29/68-5/4/72                        4/12/11

USA    PVT                 Robert Axtell              7/25/72-9/26/74          6/4/11

USN    Unknown        Michael Stange           5/26/77-2/22/80          9/10/11

USA    Unknown        Stanly Minge              3/21/67-4/29/69          1/17/12

USN    Unknown        Keith Goodman          1/4/46-10/31/47          1/18/12

USA    SGT                 Chester Smith                         6/7/66-6/6/69              3/1/12

USA    SGT                 David Slygh                7/11/49-9/6/52            3/14/12

USA    Unknown        Adrian Greene            6/27/57-12/9/59          6/22/12

USA    SPC4               Wayne Summers        10/5/66-8-30/68          7/21/12

USN    Unknown        John Scott                   10/1/68-8/18/72          8/24/12

USN    SR                   Eugenia Tatum           2/27/51-3/16/51          1/19/13

USMC Unknown        William Perdue          7/5/73-10/18/73          2/22/13

USMC LCpl                James Wesenberg       10/1/62-2/3/67            5/22/13

USA    Unknown        Norman Grady            6/21/70-4/23/75          6/16/13

USAF SrA                  Arthur Sharkey           12/14/77-12/13/83      7/9/13

USN    Lt                    Gerald Lalley              7/23/59-7/8/62                        8/14/13

USA    PFC                 Glenn Loney, Jr.         11/10/65-3/8/68          8/20/13

USA    SSG                 Carl Thompson           9/12/61-7/11/74          11/18/13

USAF Am                  Bruce Davis                1957-1961                   11/20/13

USA    Unknown        Curtis Wheeler           2/15/55-2/27/57          11/30/13

USA    Unknown        Harold Chalupa          2/23/68-2/22/71          1/21/14

USAF Capt                 Charles Smith                         8/3/61-10/21/63          3/17/14

USA    PVT                 Arturo Gavilanes        9/13/51-1/12/52          5/3/14

USN    Unknown        Stanley Boyett            4/7/71-12/23/75          5/6/14

USA    PVT                 Thomas Ricks                         6/8/56-11/21/58          6/26/14

Address: City/Government Building
One Civic Plaza NW, 10th Floor
Suite 10010
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Phone: (505) 468-7013
Fax: (505) 468-7067

Hours: Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - noon; 1 - 5 p.m.
​Closed on observed holidays

Email: ramaestas@bernco.gov

View All Events
    Powered by Real Time Solutions - Website Design & Document Management