Carl Faubion's life story is a classic. He was raised in Tucumcari during the Depression. "There wasn't any question that once a kid got big enough to carry a hoe, he went to work." As soon as he was old enough he worked before and after school at the Safeway. Every member of his family worked hard to contribute during the hard times.
After high school, Carl served his country during World War II in New Guinea and returned to get his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from New Mexico A&M. He met his wife, Joanne Hoskins while at college, got married at the First Baptist Church, with a reception at the Women's Improvement Association building by Pioneer Park. He and Joan had a two week honeymoon in Mexico and came back to Las Cruces to finish up their education.
Directly upon graduating, Carl accepted a position with the Bureau of Land Management in Farmington. He worked there long enough to realize that he wanted to be his own boss and scraped up enough savings from his $200. per month paycheck to buy some farm land here in Mesilla Valley. He and Joan started their farming life with 50 acres. In 1951 they put in their first crop of cotton.
His success as a farmer is exemplified by the respect he is given by his peers. He served 25 years on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Farm Credit Bureau. He spent 18 years on the Farm Bureau Board. He was elected to the Las Cruces School Board and served six years. He was appointed by then governor, Garry Carruthers, to the Board of Regents at New Mexico State University. There is no doubt that Carl was an active and esteemed community member. He reflects that his service on the various boards was a way to give back to his beloved Mesilla Valley.
Tom Simpson, a neighbor and fellow farmer, says, "Carl was an inspiration to me to do more for my community. He was a hard working farmer who made the time to serve on boards and give back to his fellow man. It's easy to give your life to your farm, but Carl did more than that."
"I've been blessed in many ways. Mostly I've been blessed to have Joan as my wife for 55 years. Our sons are two fine young men and we have two of the best daughters-in-law that we could ever have." Robert and Charles and their families live and farm here in the Mesilla Valley, close to their parents' home. A farmer's love for the land has been passed down in the Faubion family.
Carl's story continues with a diagnosis of cancer at age 80. When he decided to let things take their course rather than undergo the rigorous and likely futile treatments, his good friend and doctor, Bill Baker set him up with hospice services. Charlotte Reid, his hospice nurse, has worked with Carl to maximize the good days and keep him as comfortable as possible.
For Carl, staying as active as possible has been his goal. He cherishes his time with family and friends, keeps his daily "appointment" with his long time friends for morning coffee, has helped to oversee the building of his new home, and generally made the best of the last eleven months. One of the central tenets of hospice care is to support the patient's wishes, give him every chance to enjoy this time of his life.
Friendship has been a continuing thread in Carl's life. He still keeps up with several of his friends from grade school in Tucumcari, he corresponds with some of his Army buddies, and he is gratified to be able to see his friends from college. Of course, his years of farming and community activities have brought him many close friends as well. "It's hard to pin down the importance of the people you know through life, how they contribute to what leads to your success and certainly to your happiness."
"I would like to see everyone have as good a life as I've had," Carl said recently. He was reflecting on his life to his new friend and hospice volunteer, Dorothy Webb, as he looked out at the morning sun. His new home, built by his son, Charles, is close to his farm and gives Carl and Joan the chance to be right where they want to be, surrounded by the family they raised, the farm they love, and the community that they have been a big part of for the last 53 years.
Dorothy Webb, 2004