Rufus Choate


Rufus Choate, of Pie Town, New Mexico passed away on August 22, 2021, at the age of 85.

Rufus was born August 20, 1936, in Douglas, AZ to Miles “Poke” and Betty Choate.   He grew up in Southern Arizona and graduated from high school in Benson, AZ.  He married Janice Claridge on August 23, 1957, and they raised their family on ranches in Three Forks, MT, Gazelle, CA and finally Pie Town, NM where he moved for the last time on December of 1967.

Nothing was dearer to Rufus’s heart than his family, his friends, his beloved ranch and the Pie Town/Catron County community.  He was always glad to lend a hand to help anyone in need.  He also served on several local boards and commissions including two terms as a Catron County Commissioner and as the Chairman from 1991-1992.

Rufus is survived by his sons, Del Choate (Beverly), Shawn Choate, Ric Choate (Melissa), his daughter, Susi Kaufman, 12 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and our very beloved friend, Jeanie Nelson.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Poke and Betty Choate, his brother “Wampy” Choate, and his son Brett Choate.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 12, 2021, in the Datil, NM school gymnasium at 11:00 AM (Daylight Savings Time).  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Catron County Fair, or to a charity of your choice that supports the rural way of life he loved so much.