Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Real People

Tom Quirk

Thomas J. Quirk

April 30, 1930-May 7, 2016

Thomas J. Quirk, of Placitas, NM, and Guilford, CT, was born in Natick, MA, April 30, 1930, and passed away on May 7, 2016, in hospice in Albuquerque. He served as an  officer with the Marines in Korea and has been grateful for the caring services of the VA during his many years’ struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Tom was a graduate of Boston College and CD School of Social Work, later serving in agencies in Worcester, MA, and as Director of New Britain (CT) Catholic Family Services for 27 years.

During his over 25 years in New Mexico, he was active in the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade, San Antonio Catholic Mission, and the Placitas Senior Center, and was a volunteer court mediator and avid golfer, camper, and hiker for many years, exploring the towns and trails of New Mexico.

He and his wife Aileen loved to sit on their patio watching the Sandias and Cabezon, marveling at their luck in having such a good life among the mountains and wonderful people of their adopted state. Friends enjoyed his warm smile and Boston accent, and that he never missed an opportunity to support his Boston and Connecticut sports teams. Part of every year, he loved being near family and walking beaches in Cape Cod and Guilford.

Tom was a loving husband and father, and a loyal friend. He leaves his wife Aileen Garriott; daughters Annemarie Alexa and her husbnad Joh of Old Saybrook, CT, and Kathleen Meagher of Manchester, CT; sons Kevin of Milford, CT, and Brian of S. Korea; stepsons Geoffrey Fix and his wife Jackie of Guilford, CT, and Erich Fix and his partner Margaret of Troy, IL; and step-daughter Jeanette Lauaer of Granite City, IL. He leaves 13 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. His special dog Vinny will also miss him.

A mass was celebrated at San Antonio Mission in Placitas on May 13. In lieu of flower, you may send gifts in Tom’s name to the Placitas Community Library or the Visiting Nurse Association of Guilford, CT.

Memorial to Sandoval County veterans to hang in County Administration Building

Sidney Hill, Sandoval County Public Information Officer

This Memorial Day weekend will have special meaning for Sandoval County residents who had family members that served our Nation.

On Saturday, May 28, 2016, the Sandoval County Historical Society and the Sandoval County Commission along with other dignitaries will dedicate a Pictorial Memorial to all Sandoval County residents who served from the U.S. Civil War through the Vietnam era.

The display will hang permanently in the first floor atrium of the Sandoval County Administration Building, 1500 Idalia Rd., Building D, in Bernalillo. The dedication will take place in that same building at 1:00 PM on the Saturday before Memorial Day. The ceremony will feature a blessing of the panels, an explanation of how the exhibit was created, along with tributes to the veterans by local dignitaries.

The memorial features more than 5,700 names and 1,500 photos. Some of the photos are accompanied by stories of particularly heroic acts carried out by some of these brave individuals. One story of great historical significance is that of Mexicana Chiquito and Muchacha, two Native American women who in 1886 served openly as women in the U.S. Army Scouts (special forces), thus becoming America's 1st GI Janes. With the help of U.S. Senator Tom Udall, the finding was recently certified by the National Archives in Washington, DC. You can learn more about these extraordinary women and our other Sandoval County veterans during the memorial dedication ceremony.

“This memorial has been two years in the making, as we worked to obtain photos, and resurrect some of these stories from the fog of history,” said David C’de Baca, a retired U.S. Army Colonel who was the driving force behind the exhibit. “We now finally have an exhibit that perpetually honors the more than 5,700 Sandoval County residents who served the United States of America as scouts, soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guard and merchant marines. With more than 1,500 of their pictures displayed, this in a one-of-a-kind memorial where you can literally look them in the eye and thank them for their service.”

Aging in place

—Elaine Sullivan

We are all aging. As we age, there are many options available to us and many decisions to be made. Health, family, financial, and other considerations play a part in these decisions. Many people want to continue living independently in their community for as long as possible. Our community is providing resources to help with that. The Placitas Community Library will present a panel of service providers to broaden awareness of what resources are available. The panel will include a representative from the Sandoval County Sheriff’s office, Jerry Malloy from our local fire department and EMT services, Janice Langdale from Placitas Sage Co-Housing, and Chris Wentz from Village in a Village. The panel will also include Janice Mortensen director of our very active Senior Center and Sandra Escarcida who runs the senior volunteer services and the frail and elderly program locally and also works with the fire department. Each panel member will speak for a few minutes, provide written information about their programs, and take questions. This informative program starts at 2:00 p.m., on June 11, at the Placitas Community Library.

Women marked for history

We’ve seen them along the highways of New Mexico, including State Highway 165 in Placitas.  They are the New Mexico Historic Markers named for people, many of them women, who have done something special to earn this recognition. Most of the time, we drive by so quickly we don’t register much more than the name, if even that. Who were these people? What did they do to earn this honor?

On June 4, at 2:00 p.m., at the Placitas Community Library, you can get the answers to these questions regarding the women honored on these markers. Authors Phil and Rosanne Archuletta spent four years researching 64 women honored this way, then published the stories in their book Women Marked for History. These women came from many different backgrounds—rich and poor, military and civilian, mothers, wives and daughters-—but all contributed in some way to the betterment of their communities and the State of New Mexico. One of the earliest was Doña Ana Robledo, born in 1604, for whom Doña Ana County is named. Learn what she did to be recognized and remembered with a marker.

The Archulettas received an award from the Historic Preservation Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs in 2015 for their publications and outreach throughout the Southwest and beyond, telling the stories of the women awarded with New Mexico Historic Markers. Phil and Roseanne are dynamic speakers who are inspired and motivated by the women—some famous, some not—who are honored with the Historic Markers and they are looking forward to sharing those stories

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