Albuquerque Mennonite Church
1300 Girard Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 254-1824
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Imogene Travis

1931 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Imogene Travis Obituary
Travis, Imogene

Jean passed away on January 10, 2016.

She was preceded in death by her son, Michael H. King.

Jean is survived by her beloved husband of 49 years, William Travis (Joe); daughter, Patty King; son-in-law, Dave Ellin; granddaughter, Robyn Mead; and great-grandson, Ryan.

Jean was born on August 24, 1931, in Huntsville, AL. She met and married her second husband, Joe, there in 1966. When Joe retired from the Army in 1979 and they made Albuquerque their home. For 17 years, she worked in civil service at Kirtland Airfare Base, at the Commissary and later the Finance Department. She retired in 1995, to be her son's caretaker in his home in CA during his fatal illness. While caring for her son, she met other AIDS patients and found that she wanted to extend comfort and love to them also.

Following her son's death, Jean and Joe dedicated their lives to serving AIDS clients. They both worked as volunteers at the New Mexico AIDS Services (NMAS) Food Bank in Albuquerque for 25 years. Jean's work there became legendary among the AIDS community. She greeted each client with a smile, a hug, her unique sense of humor and a warm generosity; everyone called her "Mom", a reflection of the great love and respect clients felt for her. In turn, her clients brought much joy and purpose to her life. In 2010, the Food Bank was re-named the "Jean and Joe Travis Food Bank", honoring their many years volunteer work. In addition to dispensing food each week, they gathered donations and fund-raised to enhance the weekly groceries and to provide complete meals at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Food Bank at NMAS closed in 2011. With support from the community, Jean and Joe were able to continue to serve people infected with HIV/ AIDS from a store front, funded on donations and operated by a team of volunteers. In 2013, when NMAS reopened the Food Bank, they continued there as volunteers until Jean became ill and could no longer work.

Jean & Joe served on Boards; with the United Court of the Sandias and the Board for NAMES Project. As volunteers with the NAMES Project, they provided community displays of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, with the purpose of raising awareness and fighting prejudice. They took panels of the Quilt into schools, as a tool for HIV prevention education. Jean helped many community members make panels to remember their loved ones lost to the AIDS epidemic.

Jean received many awards and honors for her service and commitment to the HIV community. She has been called a hero but she considered her greatest reward to be the reciprocal love between her and the community she served. "Mom" will be deeply missed.

A memorial service commemorating Jean's life will be held on January 30, 2016 at 11:00 a.m at the Mennonite Church at 1300 Girard Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Jean & Joe Travis Food Bank with NMAS.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Jan. 17, 2016
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