Veronica Carbonale

The Department of Defense providing military funeral honors for Veronica Carbonale a United States Veteran.

The Department of Defense providing military funeral honors for Veronica Carbonale a United States Veteran.

Sophia Chavez

Veronica Carbonale began her days smelling the fresh tortillas cooking in the kitchen, the sound of the oil burning and popping because of the cooking eggs, the small chatter coming from the kitchen slowly getting louder and louder.

She often relates these senses to her mom’s cooking. Just to realize a morning like that hasn’t happened since 2006. Carbonale lived a great life up until her last breath. She loved the world and all it had to offer. She bought things from everywhere she went hoping one day she’d have all of these small things to give to her nieces and nephews, her grandchildren, her friends and family. Her niece Heather Chavez was lucky enough to have a painting that has been passed down through three generations in memory of her.

She said she didn’t know what else she could give because she didn’t have much, but she didn’t know that all they needed were her adventurous memories, her resilient personality, but most importantly the love she had. You’d walk in the room and know she was there. Her nonchalant jokes that could fool you if you didn’t listen carefully enough. Her long stories pointed out her younger days where she had to take care of her four other siblings. 


Living alone in the Delta house on Main Street gave Carbonale a lot of free time to plan her funeral from top to bottom, from what type and color of flowers she wanted to what the choir singing Pan de Vida meaning Bread of Life. She wanted a traditional Catholic mass too. Being that her family was raised in a Catholic church, it made it that much easier for Carbonale to understand what her last mass would be like. The week prior Carbonale went to the church for the last time to recieve her last viaticum, meaning the bread and wine. From that point on she recieved her bread and wine through the annointing of the sick from her church..

She walked from the Delta House to Saint Michaels Catholic Church every Sunday. She spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with her niece’s family every year making sure they wouldn’t miss the beautiful mass on the 24th every Christmas Eve. 

Carbonale’s daughters live in New Mexico and Denver making holidays together rare; but she always said “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Her daughters may live far but she gained a family by being so present in the church, in her last ceremony, after her death, she had friends and family reminiscing old times like when she taught them how to sing ‘Un Dia A La Vez’ for the church choir, memories like that remind us that no matter how far or close her blood family was… she had family within walking distance at her hometown church.