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Hobbs car wash to benefit the ‘Drone Boss’

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Hobbs car wash to benefit the ‘Drone Boss’

RICH TROUT/NEWS-SUN

After “Drone Boss” Leroy Gonzalez, 43, died March 12 during a car cruise in Hobbs, the financial responsibility for helping his two sons through college fell entirely on the shoulders of his widow, Casey Gonzalez of Hobbs.

The couple’s friend, Kristina Hamilton, said she could never replace the generosity of Leroy, an active force in the Hobbs community, but she had to do something.

“My first thought was taking care of Ms. Casey,” Hamilton said.

Leroy was known as the “Drone Boss” in Hobbs because his passion was flying drones.

“That was a big part of his life,” Hamilton said, noting he enjoyed drones for the past five to seven years.

The car wash and bake sale begins at 9 a.m. May 25 at the recently opened Bud Board Dispensary, 2206 W. Marland Blvd., and will continue all day. Donations of bake sale items are welcome.

“Let’s bring as many people as we can,” Hamilton said.

Casey Gonzalez, 49, said her family is thankful for the community support.

“The community has been amazing,” Casey said. “Leroy made a huge impact on our community — more than I realized.”

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. May 20 at Hobbs First Assembly with a 4 p.m. reception at the Lea County Center for the Arts.

Leroy and Casey have five sons, including Josiah, 22, and Diego, 24.

“He was an amazing father, his kids adored him, his grandkids even more so,” Casey said. “He was the fun grandpa, and the kids got in trouble with him; he was their partner in crime.”

It would be fair to call Leroy a prankster.

“He always had something funny to say no matter the situation,” Casey said.

Lea County Commissioner Jonathan Sena offered his condolences.

“It breaks my heart that Leroy Gonzalez’s life was lost in this senseless tragedy,” Sena said. “While my prayers are with Casey and her family for peace and comfort, we as a community have to work to ensure that our streets are safer for all the people of Hobbs.”

Hamilton recalled a fundraiser nine years ago at the Western Heritage Museum in which Leroy “showed up and showed out.”

“He had a big army truck, and he let people sit in the truck,” Hamilton said.

Crystal Landeros, a bud tender at Bud Board, said Leroy and Casey have been family friends.

“A lot of people knew him,” Landeros said. “He was very involved in the community.”

Bud Board manager Terry Sowell said Landeros told him about Hamilton’s idea for a fundraiser.

“I figured I like helping people, [so] come on by,” Terry said. “We’re trying to get involved in the community overall.”

Casey and her boys are the priority, Hamilton said.

“We’re trying to get as much money as possible for Ms. Casey, that’s what we’re fighting for.”

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