Publications

Contact Us

Obituary Kenneth Olwell “Sonny” Major

Kenneth Olwell “Sonny” Major, born December 29, 1925 in Magdalena, NM, died on December 10, 2015 in Prescott, AZ. Kenneth was the fifth of eight children of Malcom S. Major and Lily Field Major, who were pioneer ranchers in New Mexico and Colorado. In his preteen years, Kenneth was a jockey; riding race horses for his father in New Mexico and Colorado and “Doc” Pardee at the Arizona Biltmore Stables in Phoenix, AZ. In 1942, a few months before his high school graduation, he joined the Army Air Corps (U.S. Air Force) as a flight cadet and trained at Randolph and Sheppard Army Air Field in Texas. When WWII ended, he returned to the family ranch in southern Colorado where he met Edith Faye Rogers, the daughter of ranchers Earl and Elizabeth Rogers. After their marriage on November 15, 1947 in Raton, NM, they moved to the Trinchera Ranch in Fort Garland, CO where Kenneth started as a camp man and later became cattle foreman. During the 50’s to 90’s, he managed ranches near Magdalena, NM and Seligman, AZ and owned and operated Major Cattle Co., a livestock hauling business in Belen, NM. Throughout his later years, he remained active, packing mules, guiding tourists on horseback, teaching the two-step to

camp staff at Yosemite National Park, and working and branding cattle with family and friends in New Mexico. In addition to ranching, Kenneth loved his dogs, smoking his pipe, painting, playing the harmonica and accordion, flying (obtaining his private pilot’s licence in the 60’s), snow skiing, boating, stream fishing, and riding the steam engine train in Chama, NM. He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Kenneth “Kenny” C. Major; former wife, Edith Rogers Major; his sisters, Alyce Zancanelli and Eugenia Major Dixon; and brothers Duncan K. Major and Malcolm “Buddy” Major, Jr. He is survived by his children, Daniel Major (Lyn) of Prescott, AZ; Denise Lyons (Garry) of Ballarat, VIC, Australia; Sindi Major-Martinez (Del) of Ashburn, VA; Sherri Goemmer (Shane) of Amissville, VA; and his daughter-in-law, Cheryl Major-Miller (George) of Gilbert, AZ; his sisters, Helen Graham of Miles City, MT, Maria Major Linsey of Benson, AZ, and Johanna Major of Albuquerque, NM; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Kenneth had a deep faith in God and love for his church and country. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 am on December 28, 2015 at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, 101 N. 10th Street, Belen, NM. He will be inurned with military honors at 11 am on December 29, 2015 at the Magdalena Community Cemetery, Magdalena, NM. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Kenneth’s name to any of the following organizations: Arizona Cowpunchers Crisis Fund, 5295 N. Dave Wingfield Rd., Rimrock, AZ 86335; Canyon River Community Hospice, Attn: Donations, 2050 Willow Creek Rd., Prescott AZ 86301; Friends of the Los Lunas Public Library & Museum of Heritage & Arts, P.O. Box 1209, Los Lunas, NM 87031; or Our Lady of Belen Church, 101 A North 10th Street, Belen, NM 87002. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Hampton Funeral Home & Cremation in Prescott, AZ and Noblin Funeral Service in Belen, NM.