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Obituary - Elberta Louis Honstein

Elberta Louise Honstein passed away unexpectedly but peacefully on May 19, 2016 in Espanola, NM. Elberta was born July 29, 1927 in Denver, CO to Elbert and Ada Lowdermilk. 

She attended the University of Denver after World War II where she met and married her husband Roy Honstein. In 1948, at the suggestion of her father whose road construction company had built the main road to Los Alamos for the Manhattan project, Elberta and Roy moved to northern New Mexico and opened a gas station on the road to Los Alamos in Totavi, NM. 

In 1954, Elberta and Roy settled in the Espanola Valley and began a long life of entrepreneurship and community service where they built many treasured friendships, raised a family and created one of the most successful Morgan horse farms in the country. Elberta pursued many interests with great passion. She was active in numerous local organizations including the Espanola Hospital Auxiliary, Santa Fe Opera Guild and served on the Board of the Northern New Mexico College Foundation, among others. She started the Jo-Gi-Ro 4-H club in Espanola in 1963 and for almost 40 years remained active in 4-H, eventually being inducted into the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame in 2002. Through 4-H she mentored Espanola's youth with her leadership, compassion and encouragement. In recognition of her community service she was selected as Espanola's Women of the Year in 1967. Elberta loved to sing and during the 1960's and early 1970's she was a member of Las Conquistadoras, a trio that sang traditional American and Mexican songs at local churches and benefits. Traveling the globe was also a special interest of hers, having made it to all seven continents. 

Elberta's greatest passion was her family and farm. She and Roy raised three wonderful children and took advantage of all the activities New Mexico had to offer from art and opera, to skiing and camping. With Roy and daughter Debbie they built one of the most successful Morgan horse operations in the nation, breeding and training Morgan horses to become champions at the highest national and world levels. Elberta's granddaughters, Elberta Seybold and Erlene Seybold-Smythe, also became world champion riders. Elberta was recognized for her dedication and vision toward Morgan horses by the American Morgan Horse Association as Women of the Year in 1991. Her farm was inducted into the American Morgan Horse Association Breeders Hall of Fame in 2012. 

Elberta leaves behind many cherished friendships. Her friends brought love, laughter and heartfelt companionship throughout her life. Elberta was a generous woman who always found the good within a person and helped bring out the best in others. For her family, friends and community she always provided sage guidance and inspiration. Her strength in character and dedication will be missed. 

Elberta is survived by her three children, seven grandchildren, three great grandchildren and seven nieces and nephews. Children and spouses: Rod and Anne Honstein of Santa Fe, NM, Debbie Seybold of Espanola, NM, Robert and Jeaninne Honstein of Vero Beach, FL. Grandchildren: Wesley Honstein, Wyatt Honstein, Elberta Seybold, Erlene Seybold-Smythe, Robert Honstein, Emily Honstein Stanton and Heather Honstein. Great grandchildren: Henry Honstein and twins Judy and Teddy Stanton. Nieces and nephews: Karin Tomlinson, Kevin Tomlinson, Kelly Tomlinson, Valerie Collier-Woodall, Stuart Collier, John Collier and Greg De La Castro. Her sister Eleanor Collier of Alta Vista, KS also survives her. Elberta is preceded in death by her husband Roy Honstein and her sister Phyllis De La Castro. 

A funeral service is scheduled for 10:00 am June 1st at the De Vargas Funeral Home in Espanola. Elberta will be buried with her husband Roy at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. The burial service will take place at 1:30 pm. All are welcome to celebrate the life of Elberta Honstein. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either the Elberta Honstein Memorial Scholarship with the National Morgan Horse Foundation through this link: or to the New Mexico State 4-H Foundation in honor of Elberta Honstein at MSC 3AE, P.O. Box 30003, Las Cruces, NM 88003. Condolences or messages are welcome through this link: 

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