At the age of 95, Frances “Francisquita” Romero Luján, passed away on Friday, July 5, at her home in Nambé, with her loving family at her side. Affectionately referred to as Mom, Mama, Mamacita, Suegra, Grandma, Granny, Tía, friend and girlfriend, she was born on October 4, 1923, in Nambé, to Sofía and Benigno Romero. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband José Medardo Luján on September 20, 2008, and her grandson Pavlo Quintana on March 12, 2016.
The youngest of 13 siblings, Mom passed away in the same home where she was born and lived in for the past 95 years. She is survived by her daughters, Cecilia Matic and husband Emil of Santa Fe, Patricia Quintana and husband Sammy of Nambé, granddaughter Ana Quintana Sanchez and husband Louis of Albuquerque and two great-grandsons, Marcus and Darren; and many nephews, nieces and special friends. Her brothers and sisters who preceded her in death include Libradita, Carmel, Delfino, Rumaldita, and Ruby.
“At a young age, obtaining an education was of utmost importance to Mom,” Cecilia and Patricia said. Upon graduating from Pojoaque High School in 1941, she became a teacher’s aide and was soon recognized by the superintendent of having excellent teaching skills and was given her own classroom in the Nambé Elementary School. She worked in that capacity for several years. During that time Medardo served in the U.S. Army from February 6, 1942 to October 15, 1945. He was held captive as a POW in Germany for 11 months. Upon his return he worked as a mason and foreman on construction projects in Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque and later as the caretaker for a Nambé ranch. After he returned home from the war he met Frances, dated her and married on June 1, 1947. They were the first couple married in the newly constructed Sacred Heart Church in Nambé.
Frances’ love for teaching the children grew and grew. She treated each student as her own child. She knew that more education was necessary to continue to work in the school system so she enrolled at the College of St. Joseph on the Río Grande in Albuquerque and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1954. She retired from her teaching career in 1974.
As busy as she was as a full-time teacher, her second love was music. She taught herself to play the piano, and also sang in the Nambé church choir. When the choir director stepped down, she took over. She continued in that role for many years.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 9 at 6 p.m. with a Rosary to follow at 7:00p.m. at the Sacred Heart Church in Nambe. The Mass of Christian Burial is on Wednesday, July 10 at 10 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Church in Nambe. Interment will be Thursday, July 11, at 9 a.m., at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.