Joseph William "Bill" Tafoya

Joseph William “Bill” Tafoya, age 90, was born on June 25, 1929, in Cokedale, Colorado to Antonio and Catherine Tafoya. He grew up in Cokedale.  

He joined the Army in 1948 and served eight years. He finished his military service in the Navy, serving in Vietnam. Bill served on the USS Oriskany (CVA 34) and the USS Tortuga (LSD 26), attained the rank of Petty Officer Third Class, and received an honorable discharge from Navy Fleet Reserve in 1973. 

Bill was a member of the Elks and Eagles in Mena where he generously contributed his time as a volunteer in service to the Mena community. 

His hobbies included leather crafting, brewing, collecting mugs, and poetry. He enjoyed camping, fishing, baseball, and an occasional cowboy novel. 

Bill passed away peacefully on July 7, 2019 at the Rich Mountain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after several hospitalizations for congestive heart failure. 

Bill is survived by his wife of twenty years, Betty LaVene Tafoya, his daughter Susan Lynn Volz, his two sisters Stella Cabrera and Mary Louise Velasquez, his extended Kelsey family including Mike and Sue Kelsey, Justin and Sana Kelsey, Daniel and Megan Kelsey, Brian Kelsey, Neal and Myrna Kelsey, Michael and Litz Kelsey, Cole Kelsey, Casandra Kelsey, Antonio Kelsey, and many friends in Western Arkansas. 

Bill was a generous and quiet soul and 100% cowboy who loved his wife and family. 

He will be missed by all who knew him. 

At the family’s request, there will be no memorial or graveside service. 

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