1973-2016 Melinda “Mo” Cruz, age 42, a 22 year resident of Los Chavez, NM, passed away on Saturday, August 13, 2016. She was a member of Calvary Chapel Rio Grande. Melinda was a valued and beloved family member of the Trinity Food Services and Valencia County Jail for many years. She was a warrior at life. Melinda was a true believer in Christ. Her faith and belief in the Lord helped her battle and defeat colon cancer, facing every hardship with a big beautiful smile and a heart of gold. She was the backbone of her family, Melinda loved her husband and her children dearly. She always looked for the good in everyone. Melinda’s involvement with her children’s academics and sporting events was her number one priority. Her most recent joy was the birth of her first grandson, Ryan. Throughout Melinda’s life she experienced many joys that fulfilled her. She is preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Pete and Fedelina Chavez; her paternal grandparents, Eloy and Emilia Rael; and other special family members. Melinda is survived by her loving husband of 26 years, Billy Cruz; her sons, Cody and Billy Jr. Cruz; her daughter, Brooke Cruz; grandson, Ryan Cruz; her parents, Sally and Victor Tafoya; her brother, Chris and wife, Yvonne Olguin Rael, and their children, Joshua, Jessica, and Alyssa Rael; her sister, Carol and husband, Michael Montiel, and their children, Michael Jr., Joseph, and Michele Montiel; her sister-in-law who was like a sister, Terri Cruz, and her daughter, Kristin Cruz Vigil; father-in-law, Bill Cruz who was like a dad to Melinda; special mother-in-law, Deanie Cruz; her friend who was like her brother, Robert Dealy; and father, Victor Rael. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. All services will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, on Thursday, August 18, 2016. A Viewing will begin at 8:30 a.m., with a Rosary to be recited at 9:30 a.m., and a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers are Joseph Montiel, Joshua Rael, Jordan Flores, Robert Dealy, Ray Flores, and Michael Silva. Please sign Melinda’s online tribute at romerofuneralhomenm.com Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main St. Belen, NM.