The workers at Sunset Memorial Park stood at attention and removed their hats as the hearse carrying David Frederico Balderrama’s body led the motorcade toward the grave. As the family gathered for the burial, guitarist Vernon Reza played “Amazing Grace” and Spanish songs of faith.
The recitation of the Rosary and the Mass of Christian Burial had already taken place earlier in the morning at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. As with the Rosary and the Mass, the Committal was conducted in Spanish. The priest sprinkled the casket with holy water. He took the crucifix from the top of the casket, anointed it with holy water, and presented it to David’s sister Rosa.
All of the flowers were white. Everyone was given a stem with some kind of white bloom – roses, lilies, tulips, and others. The pall bearers placed their flowers on the casket first, and everyone else stepped forward to place their blooms in a gesture of farewell.
The cemetery workers placed the top of the vault dome over the casket before lowering it slowly into the grave. The guitarist played “Mi Christo Rey.” The women sobbed. The men stood solemnly nearby. One man kept his hand on the vault as it was lowered into the ground.
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Frederico was born in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1957, and he died at the age of 55 in Mexico. He was the youngest of ten children. His body was brought to Albuquerque to be laid to rest next to his parents. Many of his siblings live in Albuquerque and will be buried in the same cemetery.
Frederico was remembered as a good person, very intelligent and humble, with a great sense of humor. He enjoyed playing the guitar and spending time with family. Unfortunately, he suffered from depression for many years and died by his own hand. He lived alone and his body was not discovered for several days.
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After the casket was lowered into the ground, the family lingered around the grave. Eventually, they drifted off on their separate ways. It was a sad day for the family of a man who will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. May David Frederico Balderrama rest in peace.
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