Cover photo for Lorraine Fernandez's Obituary
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1930 Lorraine 2023

Lorraine Fernandez

May 5, 1930 — December 22, 2023


Lorraine (Laurie) “Caisse” Fernandez, age 93 of Albuquerque, New Mexico passed peacefully surrounded by the love of family and friends, December 21st, 22023,023 after a two-year battle with lung cancer. 


Laurie, the firstborn child of Alfred and Antoinette Caisse, was born and raised in Port Chester, New York. At a time when women’s roles were narrowly defined, Laurie pushed the norms by going to college.  She attended Good Council College where she obtained a BA with a focus in Foreign Language Education followed by Columbia University where she obtained her a Master’s in Spanish. While in school, she helped pay the bills and indulged her love of sports by playing semi-pro basketball for a team called the “Beebops”. After teaching in New York City, the opportunity to try something new brought her to Carlsbad, New Mexico where she taught Spanish for several years. It was during faculty basketball games and teacher conferences, she met the love of her life, Bernie, her future husband.  After returning to Bernie’s hometown of Detroit, Laurie enjoyed raising her two children before resuming teaching in the Detroit Public School system.  Laurie’s warmth, compassion, humor and gift for teaching, impacted many lives. Her dedication and personal connection to her students was her superpower and resulted in many lifelong friendships with former students.  Laurie volunteered to host the school Spanish Club. Their weekend field trips, took them to concerts, dance performances and restaurants once a month. These adventures provided her students with fun, unique insights into Hispanic culture and are still spoken about by those who had the good fortune to attend.


 Laurie’s love of animals brought the entire family into raising and showing Alaskan Malamutes. Her dog adventures included great friendships made through Alaskan Malamute Club of Greater Detroit, attending dog sled races in Kalkaska, Michigan, organizing dog shows and a lifetime of lint rollers.


Fulfilling the dream to return to New Mexico, Laurie and Bernie retired from teaching and moved to Albuquerque in 1981. Always active and community focused, Laurie involved herself in many endeavors. Laurie’s close friendship with MaryAnn Weems of Weems Art Gallery, blossomed into a partnership and eventually, the directorship of Weems ArtFest.  They were twice honored to grace the cover of New Mexico Woman Magazine together. 


In addition, Laurie and Bernie also volunteered many years at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, working in conjunction with the museum curator. They cherished their friendships made through IPCC, square dancing, and monthly breakfast get togethers. Laurie made friends wherever she went. She was the kind of friend we would all like to have; fun, loving, kind, supportive and nonjudgmental.


Laurie’s way of operating in the world was beautifully summed up in a quote written about her in her college yearbook.  “Is there something to be done?  If so, one can depend upon the energies of Lorraine to see it accomplished. With her flair for leadership and management, she has overcome many obstacles.  Her happy disposition will be a valuable equalizer in later life.”


A Mass will be held on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Assumption Church, 811 Guaymas Pl NE, 87108. 


In lieu of flowers donations may be made to:


St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital

P.O. Box 50

Memphis, TN 38101




Animal Humane of New Mexico or your favorite animal rescue organization


To send flowers to the family in memory of Lorraine Fernandez, please visit our flower store.
In memory of Lorraine Fernandez, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, January 2, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church

811 Guaymas Pl. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

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