The 60-year-old retired Marine Corps helicopter mechanic had no close family and lived alone in Santa Fe. He died alone too, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
But strangers, some touched by what they found in Eloy Timothy Tafoya's apartment, came together to organize a burial with military honors.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Tafoya was found dead in his apartment after he hadn't paid his rent or picked up his mail.
The apartment was filled with memorabilia from Tafoya's 20-year Marine Corps career. Those touched by the death included Joe Chavez, an employee of a company that cleaned the apartment.
Chavez and several co-workers, a funeral home employee and a chaplain are among those who organized the Tuesday afternoon burial at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
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