Obituary: Olivia Roybal (Barbara) Stover Sept. 2, 1926 – Dec. 20, 2020

OLIVIA ROYBAL (BARBARA) STOVER Sept. 2, 1926 – Dec. 20, 2020

Olivia Roybal (Barbara) Stover, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend passed peacefully on Sunday, December 20, 2020.

Barbara was a successful business woman, partnering with her husband Charles “Smokey” Stover in opening La Mesita Restaurant in 1951 and operating the same for 45 years. She was known throughout the Pojoaque Valley for her homemade pies and chocolate and carrot cakes which were made fresh daily, and on request, she would make her famous biscochitos, and delicious papita sandwiches (which today are now commonly known as breakfast burritos).  She was also famously known for her secret recipe, the “La Mesita salad dressing.”

She loved driving her Nissan pickups (2 cherry red and a final light blue). She was often seen driving between Santa Fe and Espanola or White Rock and Los Alamos, running numerous errands for family and friends, all while setting mileage vehicle high records till the age of 90. She prided herself in being able to teach each of her grandchildren how to drive.

She greatly cherished the family time that the chile harvest season brought including, picking, roasting and peeling, and was an extremely accomplished ristra maker. Barbara always kept busy, whether it was knitting, sewing, or doing garden (huerta) work and tending to her pigs. And anyone who knew Barbara knew that she was a collector of eclectic monkeys. Her monkeys always made her smile.  She also enjoyed watching baseball and softball games, no matter which teams were playing.

Barbara and Smokey loved traveling the world on ocean cruise liners. They visited by sea Australia, Spain, and the Panama Canal.  She also enjoyed gambling in Las Vegas and seeing her favorite entertainer, Dean Martin, who she saw perform 23 times. She made sure to teach all of her grandchildren when to “hold them” and “when to fold them.”

Christmas time was one of her favorite times of the year. She maintained her tradition of touring the lights throughout neighboring communities including decorating her home in El Rancho with several hundred farolitos each year.  It truly was a sight to see. Her Catholic faith was paramount, and she cherished receiving and caring for the Holy Family once per month, as well as reading the Bible each night and praying the rosary. Another one of her timeless traditions was her treks to Santuario de Chimayo during Holy Week. 

She is survived by her daughter Sharon Stover (Steven Girrens), and the loves of her life, her grandchildren Craig Girrens (Ally), Quinn Girrens (Jared Pehrson), Shannon Vigil (Randy), Sean Ewy (Paula) and Liz Ramirez (Jimmy) and great grandchildren Megan and Devon Ewy, and Nico and Rio Vigil.

Barbara is also survived by her brother, Melisendro “Chendo” Roybal (Nina) and sister, Sally Ortiz, and sister-in-law Delia Roybal.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 32 years, Charles “Smokey” Stover and her children, Sheila Ewy (Ron), and Charles “Titi”; her parents, Melisendro and Juanita Roybal; her brothers, Nevarez and Laco Roybal and her sisters, Donna Torres, Sue Alexander, Linda Baca, and Louise Jaramillo. 

Honorary pallbearers are Liz Roybal, Leon Ortiz, Missy Ortiz, Steve Roybal, Beverly Martinez, Benny Armijo, Julie Valdez, and Henry Sandoval. 

A celebration of her life will be held when the Governor lifts the maximum five people in-person attendance rule.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations are made to the Roadrunner Food Bank, Alzheimer’s Association, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Please visit our online guestbook for Barbara at