Mari-Luci Jaramillo Ph.D.
1928 - 2019
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MARI-LUCI JARAMILLO, PH.D. Mari-Luci Jaramillo, Ph.D. passed away with grace on November 20, 2019. Mari-Luci - as she was affectionately known to her friends - will be remembered by her notable accomplishments as the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras and civil rights advocate. Mari-Luci was born in Las Vegas, NM on June 19, 1928 to Maurilio Antuna Sr., a Mexican-born shoemaker and musician, and Elvira Encarnaci¢n Ruiz Antuna, a Spanish American with exceptional talent as a homemaker. Despite a humble upbringing, Mari-Luci was encouraged by her parents to escape their poverty by acquiring a good education. Little could she have imagined how her upbringing and schooling would open economic, educational and social opportunities for others. Upon graduating from New Mexico Highlands University with a bachelor's degree in education and minor in Spanish, Mari-Luci applied a novel approach, now called bilingual education, to improve the learning of her limited-English speaking students in the San Miguel County and West Las Vegas public schools. Word spread of her innovative methods and she soon found herself a teacher of teachers at NMHU, where she earned her master's degree. Moving to Albuquerque, she continued teaching and later obtained a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a minor in Latin American Studies. Mari-Luci's accomplishments soon earned her a full-time faculty position at UNM's School of Education. It was at UNM that her reputation grew as a civil rights activist for social equity and leader in bilingual education. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Mari-Luci as the first female Hispanic ambassador of the United States. Serving as Ambassador to the Republic of Honduras, she launched procedures for democratic development and helped ease out the military dictatorship. After her successful term as la embajadora, Mari-Luci resumed her mission of building democracy in other military run countries as the Pentagon's U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs. Mari-Luci returned to New Mexico and UNM in 1981, where she held the positions of Special Assistant to the President, Associate Dean for the College of Education, and Vice President for Student Affairs. In 1987, she moved to California and worked as Assistant Vice President for Field Services with nationally recognized Educational Testing Service. Mari-Luci was again called to service and worked with the Clinton administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Latin America in 1992. Throughout her career, she never forgot her community and served on numerous advocacy groups across the country, including the Board of Regents at NMHU and the National Hispanic Cultural Foundation in NM. Mari-Luci was acknowledged for her efforts with numerous awards throughout her life. Her most cherished were the Distinguished Citizen award from the U.S. Pentagon, the Order of Francisco Morazan Medal and Dual Citizenship Award for extraordinary achievement in Honduras, the Anne Roe Award from the Harvard School of Education, and the Elizabeth Payne Cubberly Scholar Award from Stanford University. Mari-Luci will be lovingly remembered by her husband, James Elliott; her children, Ross Ulibarr¡ and wife Kristin, Rick Ulibarr¡ and wife Dr. Rose Hessmiller, and Carla Ulibarr¡ and husband Mike Youngman; grandchildren, Kevin Potter and wife Gina, Geoff Smith and wife Amber, Dr. Nicola Ulibarr¡ and husband Dr. Ryan McCarty, and Sage Voorhees; great-grandchildren, Landon and Tina Marie Smith, Diego McCarty; and brother, Maurilio Antuna Jr. She will be affectionately remembered by her husband's children, Jim and Kim Elliott, John Elliott and Anne Peterson, and his grand and great-grandchildren. Mari-Luci is also fondly remembered by her many cousins, friends, colleagues and former students. A Rosary will be recited Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 10:00 a.m., followed by a Mass at 11:15 a.m., both at John XXIII Catholic Community, 4831 Tramway Ridge Dr. NE. A reception after Mass will be held in the Church Hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to NMHU Foundation (PO Box 9000, Las Vegas, NM 87701) or the U.S. Ambassador Mari-Luci Jaramillo Endowed Scholarship at UNM (UNM Foundation, 2 Woodward Ct. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102). Please visit our online guestbook for Mari-Luci at FRENCH - Wyoming 7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE (505) 823-9400

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Published in Santa Fe New Mexican from Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
December 8, 2019
Our deepest condolences to Mari-Luci's family. She was a trailblazer and a leader with kindness and humanity at her core.
I feel so fortunate that our paths crossed over many decades centered around education. We both spent time at UNM and New Mexico Highlands, but the greatest honor was to be with Mari-Luci when she was presented with the Anne Roe Award at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where I was completing my doctoral degree. No matter how many awards or senior leadership roles she attained, she was always the same caring and authentic person.
She will be dearly missed and her legacy will live on.
Dr. Howard and Carly Sanchez
December 6, 2019
Beautiful and talented lady, her services to our country were impeccable, and a legacy for all of us LATINOS to follow.
Marvin Romero
December 5, 2019
Condolences to Mari-Luci's bereaved family. May God bless you in this time of sorrow.
My tears are flowing for a very dear friend, daughter, and mother. She was a great woman, and I will never forget her kindness. God rest her soul in peace!
Carolyn Romero
December 3, 2019
Dear Profesora Jaramillo, Mil gracias por toda la ayuda en la batalla de la buena educacion, y de derechos civiles para todos aqui y en dondequiera. Con Profesora Gonzales tengan una buena fiesta bilingue celestial. Con Amor, Luisa Duran y David Bachelor, ❤
Luisa Duran
December 2, 2019
Mari-Luci was a wonderful person, professional also but most of all a delight to work for. As a female ambassador in a male dominated society, the Hondurans all thought her staff reallyran the Embassy, but she was really in charge completely and she did a great job.

As noted, one of our major goals was to help restore democracy there. Once, when the then-military government started complaining that I was too close to the civilian politicians and threatened to kick me out, she told me "Stuart, I would hate to lose you, but I want you to keep on doing what you are doing. When the civilians come back I want them to know we were with them." I replied "Madame Ambassador, that is exactly what I would have recommended to you."

We send you our mas sentidos pesames.
Stuart Lippe
December 1, 2019
Rest in peace. You will forever be in our hearts.
Al & Zee Griego, Raeford, North Carolina
November 29, 2019
Mari-Luci was a friend of nearly 50 years [we met in Washington, D.C.] advocating for Mexican Americans to have a better education, civil rights and respect. We continued our friendship via email until the very end. I was honored to call her my friend who I will sorely miss. Como siempre, gil
Dr. Gilbert Sanchez
November 28, 2019
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
November 28, 2019
I just had the honor of meeting this accomplished lady. I bought and she signed it for me. I can't believe she left us. She will always give courage and hope to the Hispanic population. Aurora Kim Delgado
Kim Delgado
November 27, 2019
What sad news. I spoke with her a few weeks ago when she was in her beloved home town of Las Vegas. What a remarkable person!!! May God bless all her family and close friends.
Con Mucho respeto,

Louie Trujillo
louie trujillo
November 27, 2019
What sad news. I spoke with her a few weeks ago when she was in her beloved home town of Las Vegas. What a remarkable person!!! May God bless all her family and close friends.
Con Mucho respeto,

Louie Trujillo
louie trujillo
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