Nora was born on January 6, 1927 in Questa, NM and named Nora Estella. Her first name is derived from the Arabic word Noour, meaning Bright Light and describing great beauty and wisdom; Estella is Latin for the word, star. On Friday, November 10, 2023, her light on earth dimmed, but that same day she rose into the sky and became a brilliant star and an ancestor.
Nora was born to José A. Rael and Andrellita Mandonado and woven from a beautifully complex ancestry. Her parents preceded her in death, along with all of her siblings (Clarence, Eli, Honorio, Corina, and Selimo). Taken too soon, her son David passed in 2005 and her grandson Jonathan in 2022.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Erineo Eric Gálvez whom she met when she was looking for bolita beans and found them and love in him. They lived most of their lives in Jaroso, CO until their move to Albuquerque, NM.
Nora lives on in her son, Estevan Rael-Gálvez who along with his partner, son-in-law, Juan R. Ríos, cared for Nora lovingly for the past several years. She is also survived by daughter-in-law, Michelle and grandchildren, William and Hope (partner, Corey) and great-grandchildren, Emiliano and Aliyana. She leaves behind many beloved nephews and nieces.
While family was core, education was a thread that also defined her life. She graduated from Questa Elementary in 1941 and Loretto Academy in Santa Fe in 1945. She began attending Highlands University in 1946, but was hired that year, at the age of twenty-one, in Questa as an elementary school teacher. She eventually earned her Bachelor's Degree in 1956 from the College of St. Joseph. She loved teaching, which she did for decades in her home villages, instilling basic skills, core values, and encouraging generations of students to recognize their own potential.
A beautiful light, Nora was elegant, intelligent, and beautiful and will always be loved and forever missed.
Memorial Services will be held in Spring 2024.