Lourdes Maria Monserrat (1947 - 2019)

  • "Holding my Aunt Lourdes dear to my heart. She was a giver..."
    - Debbie Maddox
  • "Lourdes was one of my favorite friends from my time at UNM..."
    - Robert Cates
  • "Lourdes strong and loving woman. I as a Cuban Pedro y Pan..."
    - Rita Cuba - Romero
  • "Lourdes, estas con los angeles en el cielo despues de..."
    - ERNESTO ANTONIO PEREZ
  • "I have known and admired Lourdes for years - both as an..."
    - Liz Stefanics
Service Information
Celebration of Life
Saturday, May 11, 2019
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Santa Fe Community Center, on the upstairs terrace
Obituary

LOURDES MARIA MONSERRAT Lourdes Maria Monserrat left us peacefully in her sleep at home on March 26, 2019 after spending the day walking her dogs, Domino and Squirt, at the dog park. She was born July 16, 1947 in Havana Cuba to a comfortable middle-class family of four children, mom, dad, brothers Bernardo and Javier and sister Alina. She excelled in swimming in her youth and represented Cuba in the Pan-American games in Chicago in 1959. At the time of the Cuban Revolution, Lourdes and her family were forced to leave Cuba and did so via the US CIA's operation Pedro Pan. Aided by Catholic Charities, Lourdes and brother Bernardo were placed with the Helwig family in Albuquerque. The rest of her family eventually joined them in Albuquerque and they built a new life in New Mexico. Lourdes' father worked for the City of Albuquerque until his retirement. Lourdes attended Holy Ghost parochial school, St. Pius High School and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Albuquerque. She went on to teach high school in Rochester, New York, then joined the Peace Corps with her brother, Bernardo. In Honduras she created a system of pre-schools, something unheard of in Honduras at that time. After a second stint in the Peace Corps, this time in Africa, Lourdes returned to New Mexico to life on a ranch south of Santa Fe. She took in foster children, was a Big Sister, started a summer camp for kids on the ranch, volunteered at the Animal Shelter, was involved in Attitudinal Healing and became a member of the Santa Fe Buddhist Center before her death. In addition to being a licensed New Mexico practicing attorney and having a master's degree, she completed all but her PhD dissertation in Latin American studies. Lourdes was an avid student of politics and public affairs. Her personal journey instilled in her the obligation to become informed and to participate in politics and discussion of public policy. She loved the governmental institutions of our democracy. She volunteered for Jerry Apodaca's Gubernatorial campaign and was given a staff assignment in his new government. She twice served stints in D.C. on behalf of New Mexico. Her annual legislative staff work analyzing bills and discussing public policy was a passion. In Santa Fe she was a leading member of a church without borders, organization, pastor, boundaries, except one: "you cannot be the light and hold another in darkness". She believed with the Dalai Lama: "There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples, my philosophy is kindness." On October 8, 1998 Lourdes' Angel Isabela was born. Lourdes and her husband of 25 years, Frank Coppler, immigrated and adopted Isabela into this country from Chihuahua State, Mexico. Isabela, now 21, is scheduled to graduate from UNM next year with a BA in International Relations. Lourdes is survived by her daughter, Isabela, brothers Javier and Bernardo, sister Alina and nieces Caroline and Cristina. Life Celebration on Saturday, May 11, 2019 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Santa Fe Community Center, on the upstairs terrace.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Apr. 24, 2019
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