Joseph (Joe, Jose) Lujan, 88, of Rawlins, Wyoming, passed away on February 18, 2021 at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. A Rosary and Funeral service will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Friday, March 5, 2021. The Rosary Service will begin at 10:00 am with the funeral immediately after, followed by graveside services.
Joe, was born on December 16, 1932 in Mora, New Mexico to Marenciana and Luz Lujan. His family moved from New Mexico to Rawlins, Wyoming in the 1940’s. He attended school in Rawlins and joined the United States Air Force along with his two brothers in January, 1952 during the Korean War. During the Korean War, Joe served on a Crash Rescue Team where he received, The National Defense Medal, Korean Service Medal, U.S. Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. While in the Air Force he also became the base boxing champion. Joe was very proud of his time in the military and the privilege of serving his country.
After the Korean War Joe returned home and married our wonderful Mother, Adelinda (Linda) Elena Manzanares on February 23, 1957. Joe and Linda moved to Los Angeles, California where they stayed until 1972. During this time, Joe attended college and received a degree in electronic engineering. He worked on the countdown module for the first flight into space and was a partner in an electronic repair company. While attending college also worked multiple jobs to support his family. It was during this time that he found his love of food and restaurants which would have a direct impact on his future endeavors.
In 1972, Joe and Linda packed up their family to begin a new adventure. After settling in Rawlins, Joe developed the J&L Trailer Court on the middle block of Donnel Street and bought, owned, and operated the “Chile Parlor”, with Linda and his children. The following year, Joe bought the “Willow Inn” and reopened it under the name “Elena’s Inn” which remains in the family to this day. During this time in Rawlins, he also owned the Steak and Stein restaurant and the Cliff Motel. He was also a member of the Kiwanis Club, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and proud to be a two-time commander of the VFW. Together with our mother Linda, he started the first Christmas Toy Drive and Annual Thanksgiving Dinner which continues today, 47 years later.
Joe is survived and loved by his brother Rafe Lujan (Rosalie), Children: Adelinda Christina Baugh (Bruce), Theresa Rene’ Gonzales (David), Joseph Michael Lujan, Jolene Michelle Johnson (Randy); Grandchildren: Angelina Elena Baugh (Craig), Mykle Baugh (Amy), Crystal Gonzales (Ron), Joseph Lujan, Anthony Lujan, and Jonas Lujan; numerous nieces, nephews, and great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his wife Adelinda (Linda) Lujan, brothers Guadalupe (Lupe) Lujan (Virginia), Eloy Lujan (Lucille), sister Carmen Lujan Archuleta, and his parents Marenciana and Luz Lujan.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Big City Toy Drive in care of Christina Baugh, 1020 – 12th Street, Rawlins, Wyoming 82301.