Naomi Louise Harrington passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Monday, July 31, 2023, at the age of 91. She was born December 24,1931, in Walters, Oklahoma, to Sotero Dela "Dave" Cerday and Herlinda Portillo Cerday. She was an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation. She was married to George Calvin Harrington in 1951. He served 27 years in the military, starting first in the Navy in World War II, and then in the Army during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Naomi and George were stationed around the world, with children born in the Alaskan Territory, Maryland, Italy, New Mexico, and Missouri. George died of a heart attack in 1972 while on active duty with the US Army. Naomi put herself through nursing school while continuing to raise her children. She became a nurse at the Albuquerque Indian Health Service Hospital in 1975, serving 25 years and eventually rising to the position of Acting Director of Nursing. After retiring in 2000, she became active in state politics, serving as a Precinct Representative and Affirmative Action Committee member on the Central Committee for the Democratic Party of New Mexico and a founding member of the Native American Democratic Caucus of New Mexico, advocating for Native American, veterans, and women's issues. She was a tireless volunteer on the campaigns for Senator Tom Udall, Senator Martin Heinrich, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Senator Bernie Sanders, and several local and state level Democratic candidates. As a member of the NM Native American Indian Nurses Association, she promoted the development of nursing education activities and support for American Indian students pursuing health careers. Through her membership in the Society of Military Widows she worked to educate the American public and political candidates about the problems and needs of military widows and veterans in today's society.
Naomi was preceded in death by her mother Herlinda and father Dave, as well as her brother Edgar, sisters Bertha Tabbytite, Marie Cox, Maryetta Sheldrew; her half-sisters Phoebe and Bertie; as well as her grandson Trevor. She is survived by her half-sister Carol; her six children, Barbara Borgeson, George, Michael, Gary, John, and Christopher; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A private interment ceremony is planned for Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Her family is proud to celebrate her long and productive life. Memorial donations may be made to the Native American Democratic Caucus of New Mexico.