Biographies/People (86)


It is with a heavy heart that the State of New Mexico lost one of our
heroes and legends on February 8th, 2014. Mr. Tony Garcia, Don Antonio Garcia, passed away yesterday after an incredible and full life. Mr. Garcia was born in 1912, within the same month New Mexico became a state.

Mr. Garcia served in the US Army from 1930 - 1937 - before WWII started.

He was well known across the Southwest as a collector of the most rare
Spanish Colonial Artifacts. He wrote a book entitled "The Beginning of
The Casa San Ysidro in Corrales, New Mexico". He wrote in his book "I
went into every village and town and looked almost house to house
finding and buying the rarest and most historical Spanish Colonial
artifacts I could find to provide for Casa San Ysidro and make it what
it is today".

Mr. Garcia collected and assembled what is known as the largest
collection of New Mexico Spanish Colonial artifacts made in the 18th and
19th centuries. Mr. Garcia built, furnished and supplied La Casa San
Ysidro Museum in Corrales, New Mexico. It is a true New Mexico

During Hispanic Heritage Month in 2012, Mr. Garcia was invited to speak
to our Agency on Kirtland AFB. He was asked a question about his
fondest memory in his 100 years of life. People expected him to say
when he got married or when his children were born. Mr. Garcia being
who he was - a man who had a deep appreciation for history and humor
responded, "The most memorable day of my life is when I found Don Juan
De Oñate’s
  sword at Acoma Pueblo". The crowd got a great laugh out of
that one.

It is true. Mr. Garcia visited the Acoma Pueblo in his search for
Spanish Colonial Artifacts and he spoke to the Acoma Pueblo leadership
many times and visited the Pueblo many times until they finally gave him
Don Juan De Oñate's Sword. Mr. Garcia eventually donated the priceless
sword to the City of Albuquerque Museum.

Mr. Garcia once told me he gave priceless rare books to the Smithsonian
in Washington DC. He said he could have made a lot of money with the
rare artifacts and books he found and donated but he wanted to do all he
could to preserve our Spanish art and history.

The Hispano Round Table of New Mexico is very proud and honored and to
have honored Mr. Garcia at our 2012 Annual Tribute to Hispano
Legislators Dinner as our Military Honoree with our Hispano Round Table
of New Mexico Medal of Valor and Honor. His daughter and his niece told
me he loved and treasured that medal very much and often wore it while
sitting in his chair at home. Mr. Garcia was a widower for many years
and he had an extended family. 

Rest in peace Don Antonio Garcia. You earned your place with the Angels
in heaven Hermano Mayor. So proud to call you my friend, un amigo con
mucho cariño y respeto.


Ralph Arellanes







Thursday, 06 February 2014 23:03


Contributed by

Hermanos y Hermanas;

The Vietnam Veterans of America / Northern New Mexico Chapter has been asked to host "The Wall That Heals," It is a half scale replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C.  The "Wall" is coming to Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 24, 2014. The memorial will be available for viewing 24 hours a day, through March 24th at 6:00 a.m. at Fort Marcy Ball Park, located just North of the Old Taos Highway and will be open to the public with no charge for admission.  The "Wall" is scheduled to arrive in Santa Fe on March 18th, at approximately 1:00 p.m.  Welcoming Ceremony scheduled for March 20th at 11:00 am. and Honoring Ceremonies scheduled for March 23, at 11:00 am.  Other activities include: Taps at dusk, reading of the names on the wall, and a candlelight vigil.  The Key note speaker for the Honoring Ceremony will be Jan Scruggs, Founder and President of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. During the ceremony Mr. Scruggs will pay tribute to the New Mexico Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans 'CALL FOR PHOTOS' Project. They will be recognized for their success in collecting the photographs of the 398 New Mexicans whose names are inscribed on the Wall. Mr. Scruggs will also acknowledge that New Mexico was the first to collect all  the photographs of its Fallen Heroes. MAY THE GOOD LORD BLESS ALL OF THEM.

Friday, 27 December 2013 19:10

Our Tia Mercedes Trujillo of Centinela/Chimayo

Contributed by
Mercedes Trujillo of Centinela near Chimayo was affectionately known as Tia Mercedes to those near and dear to her.  She was the sister to Jacobo Trujillo, master weaver and father of Centinela/Chimayo Historian Patricia Trujillo Oviedo and award-winning master weaver Irvin Trujillo of Centinela Traditional Arts, as well as a grand-Tia to LA IT Director, who created the beautiful Santuario photo we used as a Voces Christmas cardVictor Archuleta, all Voces members here.  
Mercedes' mother and my great-grandmother, Epimenia Ortega Jaramillo, were sisters.  Adored by the family, Mercedes was known to many of us as "Tia".  My mother was very close to her her whole life.  As a child, I would love to sit and just hear the two of them converse in Spanish.  I appreciated the preciousness of those special moments as they discussed their lives growing up in Chimayo--la gente de antes, como concinar la comida, y caminando de carro a Santa Fe*, all special memories to the two of them. I also enjoyed that, since she was many years older than my mom, it made my mom feel like the child in their shared memories long ago.  We visited her often in later years as my two sons were growing.  They had a gifted opportunity, in the long journey that was her life, to know her well--a life in that area of Norte New Mexico which is rapidly becoming extinct.   They will forever hold dear those memories spent with Tia. 
She never married and lived in the same house she was born and raised in all her life--a thick adobe farm house in Centinela, next to Chimayo, with a large property of apple orchards and fields of chile and corn she labored over.   Tia Mercedes is the story of that area and of that era.   
(In these two photos she is working near her family home as she did her entire life.)
In later years, Tia primarily used a few rooms of the big farm house.  You entered through her large kitchen, the room where people gathered to socialize in days gone by.   She always had a large pot of food cooking on the stove ready for the many visitors who stopped by to visit with her.  In later years, her bedroom, which also served as her "parlor," with bed covered with homemade colchas and small sofa and chairs, was where we sat and conversed only in Spanish, her primary language.  Those who visited her were close friends and family, some living nearby and others who had moved to far regions of the country, all wanting to just be in her presence--our humble yet powerful Tia, representing the journey and the story of our heritage.
Always neatly dressed in her long dress and apron, hair nicely twisted, Tia always wore her silver earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, ready to greet her visitors.  On her bedroom walls, she displayed dozens of framed family photos, including the annual family Christmas photo I would send her each year.  I once asked her how she arranged her wall with those photos.  There seemed to be some logical order.  She replied with a smile, "Bueno, aqui en esta pader, estan todos lo que todavia estan vivos; y en la otra pader, los que estan muertos." ("Well, here on this wall, are all who are still alive; and on the other wall, those who are deceased.")  Later, I would tease her upon visiting telling her I had come by to make sure my photo was on the right wall.
We visited her often, a must for us, during long summer and Christmas visits from California, where my two sons, Ben and Zachary, were growing up.  Now both living in NYC, amongst their most cherished childhood memories are visiting Tia Mercedes, visiting in her bedroom/parlor and transfixed in listening to her speak in Spanish de la gente de antes,  como concinar la comida, y caminando de carro a Santa Fe*, undying memories, woven into the tapestry of who she was.  At the end of our visit, they knelt before her one at a time, as she made the Sign of the Cross y en espanol gave them the bendicion, blessing them with good health and safe travels through life.  It has worked.
Tia passed a few years ago just short of her 100th birthday.  She would be humbled to know how adored she still is and, for those of her who got to know her intimately, that she will remain one of the most powerful relationships of our lives.  Bless you, Tia.  We miss you.  We need you.  But we know you are taking care of us from above.
Con amor,
Tu familia
*the people now gone, how to cook our food, and traveling by car to Santa Fe
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