Reynaldo “Rey” Lujan Gaytan, a resident of Springer, New Mexico, entered eternal rest on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, at the age of 73 years old in Raton, New Mexico.
He was born on July 10, 1947, in Seguin, Texas, to Andres Gaytan Sr. and Maria Anita Lujan Gaytan. Rey was a 1967 graduate of New Braunfels High School. A distinguished student, he earned Bachelor degrees in Studio Art and Art History from the University of Texas at Austin (UT), as well as two Master of Art degrees in Anthropology and Studio Art from UT’s Institute of Latin American Studies.
Throughout his professional career, Rey served as a consultant for various individuals, organizations, and communities dedicated to the arts. He taught in local and regional museums, school districts, housing community centers, arts agencies/centers and universities. Rey’s gift to teach extended across a wide variety of students which included mainstream students, as well as individuals with disabilities, underserved populations, individuals from rural and urban environments, and the elderly. Throughout his thirty-five year career span as a dedicated educator, Rey was a faculty member at Austin Community College, St. Edwards’s University in Austin, Luna Community College-Springer Campus, New Mexico and New Mexico Highlands University-Raton Campus. He was a registered Artist-in-Education in Texas and in New Mexico. He completed over twenty-six artist residencies under the auspices of the Texas Commission on the Arts and the New Mexico Cultural Arts Division.
Throughout Texas, Rey conducted numerous art courses and his masterpieces were displayed at Texas Lutheran University, Westside Community Center, Carl Schurz Elementary and numerous Senior Citizens Centers. He was Teatro de Artes De Juan Seguin’s first Artist-in-Residence which provided services to students in the Seguin, Marion, Navarro, and McQueeney school districts. He conducted art classes for the Luling ISD ACE program where students learned about watercolor painting. Rey also was a visiting artist during the 2nd Annual Juan Seguin Memorial Week in 1991. He was commissioned by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Former State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, and Guadalupe County Community Symposium. LULAC Council 682 appointed Rey to spearhead the Columbia Project which provided arts outreach for the Seguin Housing Authority’s community centers as well as Cinco de Mayo art classes. In 1995 Rey held a solo art exhibit at Seguin State Bank.
Rey served in the United States Marine Corp during the Vietnam Conflict. In his Semper Fi spirit, he volunteered as a driver for the Disabled American Veterans organization. He provided transportation for veterans who resided in parts of New Mexico and Southern Colorado.
Rey is preceded in death by his parents, Andres and Maria Anita Gaytan; brothers, Xavier “Harvey” Jamie Gaytan, Raul “Rudy” Gaytan; as well as dear friend, Tomista “Tommie” Potts.
He is survived by his sisters; Maria Anita Vega (Humberto), Isabel “Kookie” Barboza (T.R.) Dahlia”Dolly” Arambula (Felix), and brothers; Andres Gaytan Jr. (Maria), Gustavo (“Gussie”) Gaytan (Olga) and Anthony Gaytan; countless loving nieces, nephews and cousins; as well as his church family at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Springer, New Mexico.
Rey will be laid to rest at Angel Fire Veterans Cemetery in New Mexico; however, due to health and safety concerns, formal funeral services will be held at a later date and time. Arrangements have been entrusted to Alderette-Pomeroy Funeral Home in Raton, New Mexico.
Preparations for a memorial service to be held in Seguin, Texas, at the Teatro de Artes De Juan Seguin are currently underway and will be released soon. This will be a time to remember and appreciate Rey’s enthusiasm for the arts and to share cherished memories of those whose lives were enriched by him.