Things You Don’t Want to Hear
Thanks to all who checked in after the last email. They included Henrietta Boyer Ruland (Hank) from New Mexico—alive and kicking; Glenn Wogstad, Sam Kersh, Nancy Driesslien Pearce, Ron Bridges, Sylvia de la Rosa Cueva, Geri Gabehart, Warner Fassnidge, Dorothy Crawford, and Rudy Alvarez.
It is a bit worrisome not to hear from people from time to time to know they are still above ground.
All said they are well, some said they are bored. I just don’t see how there is time to be bored. Always something to do in my bailiwick, and it is not watching TV. I find there are so many books, so little time. I try to walk two to four miles daily, usually surpassing two, but four not so often. The daily New York Times crossword puzzle is a challenge from Friday through Sunday, when they get hard. Spider solitaire on line is a dreadful time waster and somewhat addictive. Even the occasional jigsaw is entertaining.
Genealogy is fascinating and easy if you don’t want to spend a lot of time researching. The Church of the Latter-Day Saints has a monumental data base of ancestry, free for signing up. You can discover if any of your extended family and ancestors are in the data base by entering names and seeing what comes up. Just go to www.familysearch.org and create a no obligation account. The data base is not checked for accuracy, but it is fun to follow. I was very surprised to see that my Stutts name goes back to Switzerland, as I always thought it was German. If you want to start a family tree of your own, you can get a free account at www.ancestry.com. This is affiliated with the Latter-Day Saints. And don’t worry. No one will come knocking on your door.
Say a prayer.
Rich and Carol Kaufman drove to San Antonio in their 39-foot RV and parked for eight or nine weeks in Castroville. In late October, Rich, Barney Cline, Dan Sciaraffa, Charles Levinson,
and I took a sandwich to Hardberger park and visited. Rich has had a number of health issues but claimed good health when we lunched. Today I learned that Rich and Carol returned early to their Santa Rosa, CA home because of pain in his legs. Rich has been diagnosed with cancer of the spine. The prognosis does not sound good, so say a prayer for Rich and Carol.
Raquel Odila Velasquez—RIP
Sylvia de la Rosa Cueva
sent along information about Raquel’s passing. At Jeff, Raquel was a member of the Girls Cadet Corps, Talents Inc., Jaspers, and JIC, which I sort of believe was the Jefferson International Club. Reading her obituary which follows, I realized that here was another outstanding grad from our class who made a name for herself in Albuquerque. I last spoke with Raquel in 2016, when our class history book was published. She ordered five of the books—one for her and one for each of her four children.
March 8, 1937
October 16, 2020
Raquel Odila Velásquez, 83 passed away on October 16, 2020. Raquel was born in Laredo, Texas on March 8, 1937 to Dolores Contreras Velásquez and Juan Ángel Velásquez.
Raquel was an Honor Student who graduated in 1954 from Jefferson High School, San Antonio, Texas. She moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1962 where she raised four children and worked full-time as a secretary with the U. S. Forest Service and later Kirtland Air Force Base.
At 41, Raquel returned to college and graduated with honors earning a bachelor’s in Sociology. In 1987 she earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the UNM School of Law. She was on the School of Law Dean’s list and was a member of the Delta Theta Phi Law fraternity and the Mexican American Law Student Association (MALSA).
Raquel received the prestigious Dean’s Award and the Hispanic Law Student’s Award upon graduation. In her law career, Raquel worked across the state as a District Attorney and Prosecuting Attorney and retired as an attorney with the Child Support Division of the New Mexico Department of Human Services.
Born on the day that became known as Women’s Day, Raquel was a woman born before her time. She was a strong role model, honored women’s rights and believed a woman could do anything. Her heritage was mixed with roots from the Tlacaltecan tribe in Mexico, and Honduras, and Morocco. She was the first female attorney to represent a Native American female client in a tribal court in New Mexico.
Throughout her life, Raquel performed ballet folklórico at the schools she attended. As an undergraduate student in 1972, she co-founded the Ballet Folklórico de Albuquerque at the University of New Mexico.
Raquel was an honored member of the Hispanic Women’s Council. Her tribute appears in the book Mujeres Valerosas. She was a longtime member of El Buen Samaritano United Methodist Church.
Every summer, Raquel drove her children back to San Antonio to reconnect with family, and to maintain the family’s bilingual and culture heritage. In New Mexico she enjoyed hiking and studied for the bar exam sitting high upon the rocks of the Sandia Mountains. She created weekend trips taking her children to explore the history and land of the state and visiting friends, especially in Northern New Mexico. Her love of travel took her to Mexico, Canada, Italy, the Philippines and many states including Washington, California and Alaska to name a few.
Raquel is survived by her daughter Diane Torres-Velásquez and grandsons James and Josh Raborn; her son Michael Anthony Torres; daughter Kathy Coffey (Bob); daughter Linda Renner (Marc) and grandsons Nick, Stephen, and Michael Renner; and by their father Robert L. Torres. She is survived by her brothers Joe M. and Daniel Velásquez (Leticia) and by many loving cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Due to Covid and current limitations, a private family viewing was held. A memorial service is planned for a future date. Donations in Raquel’s name can be made to UNM for older MALSA students or to the Alzheimer’s Association.