Buried within the news of another traffic fatality, John Kelly Stevens’ passing was mentioned the next morning—albeit with the requisite reporting error—in the Albuquerque Journal.
Stevens died in Presbyterian Hospital Wednesday of injuries he suffered in a one-car crash early last Friday morning.
Both the Journal and the other Albuquerque newspaper, the Tribune, carried Kelly’s obituary that Thursday, February 12, 1970. Brief, it noted his seven years’ residency in the city and his affiliation with the church, Queen of Heaven. There wasn’t much more to say about a nineteen-year-old.
Significantly, he was remembered by a guitar mass on Friday morning. The ever-present Father Paul M. Baca was the celebrant, once again standing by the family in their latest loss, as were Kelly’s friends who now served as his pallbearers: Chris Davis, Steve Davis, Wayne Rich, Bill Oden, John Romero and Mike Rakes.
At 2:00 p.m. that Friday afternoon, the funeral procession completed its one hour journey from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, where the family said their last goodbyes to another Stevens family member at the National Cemetery.
Kelly was laid to rest next to his father.