Cover photo for Ruth Carolina Montoya's Obituary
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1937 Ruth Carolina Montoya 2023

Ruth Carolina Montoya

April 1, 1937 — December 31, 2023

Albuquerque

 

Ruth Carolina Montoya was born in Mogote, Colorado to Beatriz Gonzales and Alfredo Suazo on April 1, 1937. She was raised by her maternal grandparents, Acianita (Ruybal) and Bonifacio Gonzales in Las Mesitas, Colorado where she attended primary school. She was the oldest of five children born to Beatriz and Alfredo but the youngest in the Gonzales household.

 

When she was a freshman in high school, she was sent away to boarding school at McCurdy Mission School in Española, New Mexico where her uncle, Manuel Martinez, was the science teacher and football coach. Her three brothers followed her there to school. Although Ruth graduated as the Valedictorian of her class in 1955, the severe case of rheumatic fever that she contracted during the Spring of her Senior year prevented her from enrolling in college, one of her few regrets in life. The following year, in December of 1956 she married Fred Montoya, who was in the Air Force. They departed immediately for Springfield, Massachusetts where he was stationed and where they lived for two years.

 

Upon Fred's discharge from the Air Force in 1959 they returned home, eventually deciding to settle in Albuquerque, NM. Ruth worked for Lovelace Clinic as a secretary and was soon working in the Lovelace Aviation Clinic, which was in charge of medically evaluating the astronauts for the Apollo and Gemini programs. In 1964, she cut back to part-time after she and Fred adopted a daughter, Maria Elaine.

 

In 1968 the family moved to Arvada, Colorado after Fred took a job at the Rocky Flats Plant. Ruth worked part time as a guitar instructor both privately and for the North Jeffco Recreation District. In 1980, Ruth returned to full-time work at The Children's Hospital of Denver, from where she eventually retired as the Executive Assistant to the President in 1997.

 

Ruth was a long-time and devoted member of the Presbyterian Church (USA). In the course of her work with the Church both in Arvada and Albuquerque she served as a Deacon, an Elder, President of the UPW at Arvada Presbyterian Church, and a representative to the Synods of Denver and Santa Fe as well as to the General Assembly. In 1988, she was elected as the Vice-Moderator of the General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church, USA, the first Hispanic woman ever to hold that position. In 2020, she was the Moderator-Elect for the Presbytery of Santa Fe.

 

Ruth was a devoted friend, cousin, sister, aunt, mother, and grandmother. She will be remembered lovingly for her effortless hospitality, endless humor, and abundant generosity. She is survived by her daughter María E. Montoya and son-in-law Roderick M. Hills, Jr. (Rick) of Brooklyn and her two granddaughters, Emma Hills of Brooklyn and Sarah Hills of Minneapolis. She is also survived by her sister, Corine Salazar of Dixon, NM and her three brothers Isaac Suazo of Vallecitos, NM; Abe Suazo of Manitou Springs, CO; and Ed Suazo of Lake Jackson, TX, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins all of whom loved and miss her deeply.

 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a contribution to Second Presbyterian Church of Albuquerque where the money will be used to fund a memorial in the name of Ruth and Fred Montoya, and will be used to fund the projects most dear to her. To donate you can send a check to: Second Presbyterian Church, 812 Edith Blvd, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102-2408.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Carolina Montoya, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, January 13, 2024

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