obit mariavaldezcroppedMaria ita Valdez, 76, passed away May 24 in Albuquerque. She was born Jan. 19, 1940, in Taos. Tita was a devout Catholic and will be greatly missed. She was preceded in death by her birth parents, Guadalupe Romero and Abraham Vigil; father, Amarante Juan Romero and mother Otilia Romero; husband, Fred Valdez of Mora, and great-granddaughter, Anna Marie Martinez. Tita is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Miguel and Rachel Valdez, Fred L. Valdez , Marcus Valdez; daughters and son-in-law, Anna M. Valdez-Martinez, and Juanita and Frank Gallegos; sisters, Priscilla Romero Hughes of Albuquerque, Gloria Herrera and Tillie Martinez of Santa Fe. Tita was blessed with 13 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren; honorable mention to Pablo Martinez of Espala, Robert L. Gallegos of Santa Fe, and Denise Maese-Valdez of Santa Fe. A viewing followed by Rosary were held May 31 at St. AnnCatholic Church in Santa Fe. Celebration of Mass will be June 1 at 11:00 a.m., with Father Leo Ortiz officiating. Pallbearers will be Paul Martinez, Rodney Martinez, Adrian Kilkenny, Matt Valdez, Robert Gallegos and Abe Valdez. Honorary pallbearers are Larry Valdez, Joseph Valdez and Ronny Herrera. Arrangements were entrusted to Harris-Hanlon Mortuary.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.