Aspen Rae Salazar Ruiz, born Nov. 18, 1996, lived a life filled with immense joy, love and kindness. From the moment one first met Aspen, they'd encounter a warm, contagious smile that was ever-present, paired with an amazing laugh that exemplified the bright, vivacious attitude she had each day.
Aspen was a blessing to everyone's life she touched and was equally loved by all. Rarely did anyone go a day without hearing Aspen laugh or show her trademarked grin.
A resident of Kyle, Texas, Aspen was loved by friends and family for her exuberance, along with her honesty and frankness.
A natural athlete on the softball diamond, Aspen earned a myriad of postseason and individual accolades during her playing career at Jack C. Hays High in Buda, Texas. Her talents were exceptional enough to earn her a scholarship to play at Luna Community College in Las Vegas, NM. After earning an associates degree in Early Childhood Development at Luna, Aspen then went on to continue her academic career at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
An ardent team player, Aspen always went the extra mile to cheer on her teammates and ensured the mood was light in the dugout. Upon stepping foot on the field, Aspen displayed a work ethic that was unrivaled, always willing to go the extra mile to make the key play in the contest.
Aspen also harbored an ironclad will that never wavered, along with a deep, profound courage to overcome any obstacle that might have come her way.
Aspen took any and all challenges head on and was always ready to step up to the plate for her friends and family.
Aspen is survived by her mother and father Justin and Heather Ruiz, brother Corbin Daniel Ruiz and sister Majrlie Clemintine Ruiz; Grandmother Leslie Hartsell and grandfather Jack Ruiz; Uncles and aunts Jeremy and Sarah Ruiz and their son Teal Ray Ruiz; Joel and Jennifer Ruiz and their children Caleb Ruiz and Abigail Ruiz; Sam and Emily Ruiz and their children Roper, Brentlee, Jase and Chy’Ann; Mr. Eric Hartwell and his children Drew Davenport, Bryce Hartwell, Aiden Hartwell and Abigail Hartwell; Great-grandmothers Mrs. Rita Ruiz and Mrs. Joyce Hartsell; Great-great-grandfather Mr. Gene Pool and hosts of many other friends and family members.
She is also survived by father John-Alex Salazar Jr.; Grandparents John-Alex and Mable Salazar; Uncle and aunt Andrew & Janell Salazar and fiance, Wayne Valdez, and their children Destiny, Rio, and Rome; Ms. Elisa Jolene Salazar and her daughter Allison.
She was preceded in death by her maternal grandmother Mrs. Luann Bates and Grandparents Raymond and Amy Bates; Great-grandparents William B. and Lavonne Bates; Great-grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Barbara Stockstill; Great-grandfather Mr. Herb Hartsell; Great Grandfather Mr. Jenaro Ruiz; Great-great-grandmother Mrs. Helen Pool.
Aspen was also preceded in death by great-grandparents Joe I. and Ramcita Salazar and Joseph and Elizaida Romero.
Viewings will be held Sunday, Sept. 16 from 12:00 PM until 6:00 PM and Monday, Sept. 17 from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM at Wheeler Mortuary. A rosary will be held Monday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Portales. A meal will follow in the reception hall.
Memorial services will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. at Wheeler Mortuary. Burial will follow services at Portales Cemetery.
In lieu of cards and flowers, contributions can be made to https://www.gofundme.com/aspen-salazar-memorial.