James Joseph Lenzo entered eternal peace while surrounded by his loved ones on March 22, 2023 at his home in Alamogordo, New Mexico at the age of 90.
Jim was born on November 2, 1932 in Calumet City, Illinois, the son of James and Norma Lenzo. He graduated from Hammond High School, Hammond, Indiana, in 1950. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in February 1953 and spent his military career with the Signal Corps stationed in Germany. Following his discharge from the service, he attended Valparaiso Technical Institute in Valparaiso, Indiana, where he received an Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering. This was the start of a long and satisfying career in Missile Research and Development. He moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico in September 1957, and worked for various contracts at Holloman Air Force Base in data collection and analysis. During this time, he earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University. Upon graduating in 1971, he was employed by the Department of Defense as a Civil Servant at Holloman AFB. He began his 27-year career with the 6585th Test Group as a Flight Test Engineer developing an Infra-red air-to-ground missile system. Upon completion of the project, he was assigned to the Guidance Division Laboratory Branch where he worked on the development of the Peacekeeper and internal systems for other ICBMs. During his tenure he worked as the supervisor of the Sled Test Section and was chief of both the Operational, Plans and Programs, and the Laboratory branches at the Guidance Division. He transferred to the High-Speed Test Track in 1993 and served as Chief of Engineering of the Applied Mechanics Flight as well as the Program Manager for the concept development of a Magnetic Levitation rocket sled-test system. He retired from the Test Track in 1996. He had fond memories of the many interesting projects he was fortunate to be part of throughout his career, and the many highly talented and devoted people he met and had the opportunity to work with.
He was predeceased by parents, Jim and Norma; and Joan, his beloved wife and soul mate for nearly 56 years; and brothers, Carmen, Frank, and Peter.
He leaves loving memories to be cherished by his son Vincent (Dana) Lenzo and grandchildren Dalton and Adam of Ruidoso, New Mexico; daughter Susan (Mark) Bolinger and grandchildren Ian of Alamogordo, New Mexico and Trisha Meg of Albuquerque, New Mexico; son Steve (Barbie) Lenzo of Alamogordo New Mexico and grandchild Tristan Lenzo of Albuquerque, New Mexico; his brothers Joe (Patty) and Ralph (Bobby) Lenzo of New Port Richie, Florida; and sister Charlotte (Dennis) Matusiak of New Port Richie, Florida.
Jim was a lifelong member of St. Jude Catholic Church and an active participant in numerous ministries of the Church. Jim was a man of many talents and interests. He was an accomplished woodworker and built a variety of projects for his home, church, friends, and other agencies in Alamogordo. He was most proud of the altar and other furnishings he designed and created for St. Jude Catholic Church.
Testimonials for his love of church and faith. He was a 3rd Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus (K of C) Council 3355, and a 4th Degree Member of the K of C Assembly 0689. He held several officer positions within these organizations, and served with the Color Corps and Honor Guard of the Assembly. He was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, serving as Exalted Ruler in 2003-2004.
He loved gardening which was evident by the beautiful landscaping around his two homes in Alamogordo. A generous and kind person, he was always ready to lend a helping hand to whomever needed assistance. He loved to dance. He and Joan were members of two dance groups: the KIOT Kickers and Cactus Moon. Hardly a weekend could go by without seeing them strutting their stuff at various dance halls in the community. He and Joan were members of the Dust Devils RV Club and the Los Paisanos Chapter of the Good Sam Club and were often joined by family members, which fulfilled his love of the outdoors while creating an opportunity to create memories with family and friends.
For 5 years preceding his death Jim found loving companionship with Beverly Root. The family is grateful for the care, support, and comfort that she provided him in the years after his wife Joan’s passing in 2016.
The Lenzo family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Scenic Chapel to direct the services. Cremation has taken place at PCS.
A memorial service will be held at 7 PM at Scenic Chapel, 1334 N. Scenic Dr., Alamogordo, New Mexico, on April 28th.
Rosary will be held at 10:15 AM on Saturday April 29th at St. Jude Church, 1404 College Avenue.
Funeral Mass will follow at 11 AM presided by Father Marcel E. Okonkwo.
Interment will be in the St. Jude Columbarium immediately following the service. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Knights of Columbus, Council 3355.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at the Alamogordo Home Health Care and Hospice for the support and care.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Jude United in Ministry Fund.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7.
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