Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Real People

Lois in New Mexico
Photo credit: —Barb Belknap

Signpost says farewell to Lois

—Barb Belknap

On April 22, 2015, the Signpost lost one of their beloved staff members, Lois Procter Nethery, at the tender age of 89. Lois had worked for years as a production assistant for the Signpost, making long stories shorter, and short stories longer. She formatted type and made sense of things that were hastily submitted. She typed up the Placitas Community Center’s menu for inclusion and wrote several public interest stories over many years. She was clever and stalwart and the fastest typist I’ve ever seen. She was also my mother.

She spent her first year of college at the University of Illinois and then transferred to Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Early in college, she contracted Polio. As a remedy, her legs and torso were packed in ice for two weeks until the disease went into submission. Thankfully, she had a complete recovery. Lois loved Coe College and her sorority and reminisced about her college days there for the rest of her life.

After college, she found a job at ABC-TV as one of the first women in behind-the-scenes production. She truly loved that job which helped pave the way for women in the workforce. Her sister Janet remembers that Lois would come home at night and watch the test pattern on the television screen.

On April 19,1952, Lois married a handsome, trumpet-playing musician and World War II veteran, Robert Harvey Nethery, also from Evanston, Illinois. As a member of the U. S. Air Force, Bob worked the radio in London during the war and was vital in defending the U.S. during the bombing of London.

Lois and Bob moved from Chicago to Cleveland, Ohio, where they made lifelong friends and were members of a local singing group called The Village Choraliers. Lois was an active mother of two and Girl Scout leader extraordinaire.

After a bit, they moved to Pittsburgh where Lois took a job at Kaufmann’s Department Store as a typist in their Executive Offices. She was such a great typist, organizer, and “people person” that she was quickly promoted up the corporate ladder. Soon enough, Kaufmann’s was bought by the May Company (now Macy’s) and Bob was offered a job as a manager of Magnaflux back in Cleveland. As luck would have it, there was a job opening at the May Company for Lois in Cleveland, which led to her eventual hiring as Executive Secretary to the President of the May Company for whom she happily worked for many years.

Throughout Lois’s life, she enjoyed playing tennis, Bridge, and the piano, and was treasurer for her social investment club group called “The Lucky Ladies.” She also belonged to the “Lois Club”—an exclusive, statewide Ohio organization for women named Lois. Their main function was to have lunch.

Lois and Bob traveled each year to visit New Mexico, sometimes staying three months at a time. Here Lois worked as a tax aide for the elderly, traveling with a small team to rural senior centers throughout Sandoval County to help those who needed assistance in filling out their tax forms.

In the last two years of her life, Lois moved to California where she was active in a local Bridge group and in the Daughters of the American Revolution program, which she enjoyed in part because of her interest in family history.

In April, Lois passed away from complications with colon cancer. Prior to that, she was driving, playing Bridge, was sharp-witted and fully engaged in life. She said right up to the end that she had had a wonderful life and appreciated all the people in it. She loved her New Mexico friends and acquaintances and wanted everyone to know how special each person was to her.

Placitas Sage group shares a potluck picnic
Photo credit: —Bunny Bowen

Placitas Sage Cohousing hosts picnic on site

—Joyce Thompson

On July 12, Placitas Sage Cohousing hosted a picnic on their new site on Forest Lane and Ridge Road in Placitas West. Attended by approximately forty neighbors and friends of Placitas Sage, the picnic was an opportunity for the community to learn about plans for the 18 casitas in Placitas to be built around a common house and studio on the nearly six-acre site. As a senior (fifty-plus) community, Placitas Sage is being designed by its future residents to provide the opportunity for folks who love living in Placitas to age in place by downsizing to a small home among friendly, supportive neighbors.

The nine member households in Placitas Sage (12 people) grilled burgers and hotdogs, and supplemented with potluck dishes. At the onset of a powerful thunderstorm shortly into the gathering, attendees huddled under the tent canopies borrowed from the Placitas Community Library.

Members, along with builders Jim and Gail Maduena, explained the site plan prepared by cohousing architect Bryan Bowen of Caddis Architects in Boulder. Questions about water availability and usage, traffic concerns, and the footprint of the buildings on the site were addressed. Studies by a hydrogeologist suggested an adequate water supply for new wells on this site. By utilizing low-usage fixtures and water-conservation methods, the projected water usage for the 18 independently owned homes indicates a significant decrease from “normal” water usage. The total square footage of the homes would be comparable to six average-sized houses on six acres. With carpooling and car-sharing, the group feels that the traffic impact will be minimized. The one-story pueblo-style “green” homes will maintain a low profile to preserve the views from the site of the Sandias, the Rio Grande Valley, and the Jemez Mountains.

Opportunities for learning more about Placitas Sage Cohousing are available by exploring the website,, in gatherings to be offered in the fall, or by calling Joyce Thompson at 697-8649.

Marissa Livingston

Miss New Mexico crowned

On June 20, Marissa Livingston, a 24-year old Albuquerque resident, was crowned Miss New Mexico 2015 at the Miss New Mexico Scholarship Pageant, held in Portales, on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University. A panel of judges selected Livingston out of 22 contestants from throughout the state who competed for the title in the areas of personal interview, lifestyle and fitness, talent, evening gown presentation, and an on-stage question session. Representing the State of New Mexico, Livingston will compete at the Miss America pageant on September 13 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. For more information about the Miss New Mexico Scholarship Organization, visit:

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