Rosary planned for Benjie Apodaca

Jesse Moya/The Taos News Benjie Apodaca carefuly watched his students as they worked in the kitchen. News of his passing was circulated through the community Monday (July 15).

Taos mourned the loss of Taos High School Culinary Chef Benjie Apodaca, who was found dead this morning (July 15) at his home in Taos. He was 55.

News of Apodaca’s death began to circulate on social media on Monday as friends and colleagues offered their condolences and memories for the beloved local chef.

Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said his officers responded to a report that Apodaca had been found dead at his home around 7:30 a.m.

"There was nothing suspicious noted in the at-scene investigation," Hogrefe said. "OMI will conduct their investigation and make a determination of the cause and manner of death. "

Apodaca was best known for his contributions to students as the instructor of the culinary program at Taos High School, where he helped many students develop skills that sent them more than once to compete at the national level.

“Today we have lost one of the most passionate educators in the New Mexico ProStart family,” members of New Mexico ProStart posted on social media. “Benjie Apodaca was an incredible man and a force of life who will be missed everyday.”

Apodaca recently took his students to the national ProStart culinary and business competition where they competed against top tier teams from high schools across the county.

Apodaca is the brother of Robert Apodaca, a Democrat who announced this year his bid for the 3rd Congressional District in New Mexico.

For more on Apodaca’s passing, see this week’s edition of the Taos News .

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