Terri Barbone Holland, 70, died on Friday, June 1, 2018.
Born in Middletown, NY, she adopted NM as her home as a young mom and bride and never left. Friends, loved ones, and the people she touched will remember her as a stalwart Democratic activist who was never afraid to mix it up and tell you how she felt or what she thought. No matter who you were, no matter how high a station in life you had achieved, you always knew where you stood with Terri. In a world of status updates and selfies, this is a good thing. You would never guess that this unassuming woman living in a humble Southeast Albuquerque apartment would be known by governors, members of Congress, mayors, and politicians across the state. She lived a simple life, but on a grand stage. In 1992, a widow with a teenage son, she walked into The Target Group, got hired as the first part-time employee of Diane Denish and during the 12-year life of the business kept the trains running on time. Her telephone welcome and personality were unmatched – knowing every voice that came through the line. When Diane took the leap to seek public office, Terri was by her side from Day One on a long journey that propelled Terri’s quiet interest in politics into a life of activism and the glamourous world of local Democratic politics and national conventions. To Diane and to many, she was the most loyal friend and supporter you could ask for. To some, she was an irascible and cantankerous foe. But no matter where you were in her orbit, there was no doubt her heart was in the right place. Despite fierce loyalty, Terri always had her own voice, often tangling with her boss, other members of the staff, and with other Democratic activists in NM and beyond. She was no shrinking violet and oftentimes, she was right. Because, the most important thing to know about Terri was that she had an unassailable moral compass, and that compass was always pointed in the direction of fairness. She believed to her core that rectifying unfairness and injustice was the responsibility of government, and of the people who make up that government. And that’s what made her a Democrat and an activist who was embraced by so many for so long. It’s also what fueled her side ventures of helping people through their bankruptcies and other financial travails. People shouldn’t be treated poorly simply because they are poor. As she would say, “It’s just not right.”
Terri most important job was as the mother of, Ben, who she loved more than life itself and of whom she was extremely proud. Her greatest achievement was shepherding him through life after the death of her husband and his father Richard in 1991. She gave him both roots and wings. Terri’s loyalty and friendship were returned to her by many but especially by her dear friend Richard Cooley who was by her side for years. They traveled together to National Democratic conventions, class reunions, and other gatherings near and far. He was with her to the end, helping to care for her and keeping her Democratic family updated about how she was faring. She adored her dad, Doc Barbone, and her mom, Mary whom she loved and cared for especially during her twilight years. Both predeceased her in addition to her husband, Richard in 1991 and her sweet canine partner, Pearl.
She is survived by son, Ben; her brother Joe Barbone and wife, Rosie; nephew, Sean; and many friends who dearly loved, respected, and were continually challenged by her.
The family is grateful for the friendship and support of Richard Cooley, Diane Denish, Claire Dudley, Rep. Debbie Armstrong and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham during these last few weeks.
Cremation and a private graveside service have taken place. A celebration of her friends, Democrats, and her life with them is planned for Saturday, July 14, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Los Duranes Community Center, 2920 Leopoldo Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104. In the Democratic tradition, there will be food!
In lieu of flowers, Terri's family and friends ask that you please donate to Planned Parenthood, Road Runner Food Bank, Paw Boost Alert, or the Democratic Party of New Mexico in her name. In her memory please vote in November 2018.