Born on a homestead near the Gran Quivera ruins as one of 11 kids, Joe Wesley Hobbs grew up on the ranches of New Mexico, Arkansas and Texas. At a ranch bonfire & marshmallow roast in 1950, he met a skinny girl named Nedra Mae Smith. He wasn’t a fan at the time, but that sure changed after a while.
Graduating in 1956, he worked his parents ranch until he married Nedra on March 21,1959. They would remain together through thick and thin until he left this world two days shy of their 59th anniversary.
Looking for work to support his growing family, Joe journeyed to feedlots and ranches in California, New Mexico, and Texas, and even worked for the Acheson, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad for a while. At every step, his love Nedra was by his side and his faithful palomino Rusty was beneath him.
In California, their family expanded to three when Oren Garrett “Pete” Hobbs was born. Seven years later in New Mexico, Mary Jovon (Hobbs) Taussig joined the family. In 1968, they left the tornadoes of Texas behind and headed north. Driving up through Walla Walla and Yakima in August, Joe feared he had made a big mistake. But as he topped out over Rattlesnake Ridge and saw the green Kittitas valley below, he breathed a sigh of relief and thought maybe this could work out after all.
While he worked as cattle manager, Jeanna Gayle (Hobbs) Snell joined the family as did Sally “Fancy Bear”, the best mare he ever rode. Joe finally saved up enough to buy a place of his own in Badger Pocket. Duncan Terrell Hobbs joined the family there where they lived there for the next 30 years raising cattle, kids, and hay. Also, joining them was Oso Castano, son of Sally and his brother Ward’s horse Bosque Boy. He was the last of the Great Horses of Joe’s life. He authored his first book while living there which was a hit with friends and family alike.
In 2005 and all the kids out of the house, Joe sold the farm and moved Nedra back down to warmer climes in Carrizozo, New Mexico. There he became a vital part of the community, helping where he could and volunteering at the Carrizozo Heritage Museum to preserve the history he grew up with. He reunited with his brother Colin, whom life’s wandering trails had separated.
Joe Hobbs was many things during his life – a husband, a father, a cattleman, a farmer, a rancher, an author, a horseman, a poet, a railroader, and many other things as the need demanded. Through it all, he was a gentleman, a loving husband, and a man of his word. He is survived by his wife, Nedra; his sons Pete & Duncan, his daughters Jovon & Jeanna, his grandchildren Merri, Daniel, Rhyannonn, Khygann, Damaira, Kelsey, Klystia, Alorwrenn, & Joe, and great grandchildren Kain & Kinsey.
May the Sun be on his face, and the wind be at his back. May his horse be strong, and his cattle many.
May he ride the Pastures of Heaven until he is joined by his beloved Nedra. Thanks for the ride….
Memorial donations made be made in Joe’s name to the cemeteries at White Oaks and Ancho.
Funeral service will be Saturday, March 25, at 11:00 A.M. at the Carrizozo Assembly of God Church with burial at Cedarvale Cemetery at White Oaks Cemetery at 2:00 P.M.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.lagroneruidoso.com.