Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Tribute to the late Trophy Country owner John Moen. planned

LAS CRUCES – Former students from Las Cruces and the greater Doña Ana Counties gather at Las Cruces High this weekend to honor John Moen, longtime owner of Trophy Country who passed away on October 16.

Mön was 67 years old.

For decades, high school, college and other students have walked the doors of Trophy Country, the Mesilla Valley’s “letter jacket headquarters” and provider of trophies and awards. Equipping them with a Moen jacket was a milestone for many students.

Las Cruces, Hatch, Gadsden, Deming, Alamogordo, Truth or Consequences, Lordsburg, Animas and even El Paso students own a jacket sewn by Moen. People with their own interest in letter jacket style or patches or badges have also ordered custom designs over the years.

According to Moen’s daughter Amy Garcia, he and his late wife Frances started the company in the late 1980s – adding envelopes in the 1990s. Garcia said her father would custom make all of the patches for the jackets, cut them out with an X-Acto knife, and finish all of the embroidery.

John Moen, longtime owner of Trophy Country, passed away on October 16, 2021. He is pictured here with his twin grandchildren Andrew and Matthew Garcia.

Hundreds of jackets were ordered through the store every year, and Moen made sure they were all ready for the students – even if it meant homework for him.

“Dad was always a perfectionist,” said Garcia.

To celebrate the impact Moen has made on the community, his family organized a group photo with anyone who received an envelope through Trophy Country. Garcia said the idea came from something a friend said: “All students who have their jackets will carry on his legacy.”

Everyone is cordially invited to join the Moen family with their jackets on the practice field of the Las Cruces High Showcase Band on the corner of El Paseo Road and Butz Road on Sunday, November 14th at 2:30 p.m.

Moen’s wife, Roseann, said the family was working with a realtor to sell. She said he plans to retire and sell the business. Without the COVID-19 pandemic, he would likely have retired by now.

“We wanted to retire and travel, so I kept that thought in mind,” said Roseann. “(Selling the business) is going to leave a huge void in the community and I feel terrible about it, but I couldn’t fill it anyway.”

John Moen, longtime owner of Trophy Country, passed away on October 16, 2021. He is pictured here with his twin grandchildren Andrew and Matthew Garcia.

Little business was done at the start of the pandemic, Garcia said. Orders have only recently been picked up. But none of the family members know how to make the custom patches and can’t keep up with the demand.

Trophy Country is currently issuing refunds for orders that cannot be fulfilled and are not accepting new orders.

Garcia and Roseann each said that Moen wants to be reminded of how much he cares about each of his customers.

Moen has also made a huge impact on the shotgun sports community. His family said he was instrumental in building the trap and skeet stand at Butterfield Shooting Range. They said he made it his business to teach shooting and gun safety to others.

“His own wants and needs and whatever always came before the others,” said Roseann.

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Leah Romero is the trend reporter for Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached on Twitter at 575-418-3442, [email protected] or @rromero_leah.

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