In the presence of her family at home, Sylvia S Armijo passed into the loving arms of Jesus on Saturday, January 8, 2022. Sylvia was born on Thursday, May 13, 1926, to Valentín and Antonia (Pino) Sais in Casa Colorada, New Mexico. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Ben; her parents, Valentin and Antonia; her brothers; Pilar and Valentín Sais; and sisters; Neph Sais, Carmen Gonzales and Dina Bisio.
She graduated from St. Mary's High School, was a beauty operator, worked at the County Clerk's Office, SWCEL, and Valiant Printing. She spent many years as a foster grandparent at Hodgin Elementary, La Luz Elementary, New Futures and YDDC. She was a parishioner of Queen of Heaven Church and Immaculate Conception Church. She served as a Eucharistic Minister for over fifty years at Mass, the Women's Hospital, the Heart Hospital and the homebound. She was a woman of unwavering faith. At the age of 80, she became a santera and painted over 500 retablos until the age of 90. She never sold a single one. For her it was a ministry of loving and teaching her faith, gifts to her many family and friends, and as prayers for the sick and dying.
Sylvia and Ben loved to dance. They danced the Polka, the Waltz, Jitterbug and Rancheras in many of the old dance halls of Albuquerque and continued at weddings, parish fiestas, parties and anywhere there was dancing. They were a joy to watch. They even won some contests. They also led countless Marchas for weddings and other celebrations. When she couldn't dance anymore, she loved watching any kind of dancing on television. She was an avid water aerobics participant at Defined Fitness. She believed the water to be healing and the best exercise for her but the best part was the many friends she made there. She loved playing basketball starting as a child for Casa Colorada and continued her love of basketball by attending Lobo games for many years and playing in the senior Olympics with her husband Ben.
She was very proud of her heritage of being a 10th generation Nuevo Mexicana. She loved New Mexican/Mexican music, novellas, New Mexican foods and all the tradiciones de Navidad.
She was proudest of her role as mother and grandmother. She was a founding member of the Wells Park Community Center where she was active in all her children's activities. She attended all of her children's and grandchildren's events from music lessons, karate, flamenco and ballet folklorico performances, basketball and baseball games.
She will be dearly missed by her children, Bennie, Dennis (wife Nancy), LaVerne (husband Joe), and Ken (wife Rosa); grandchildren, Alisa, Kenny, Jose, Michele, Daniella, Teresa, and DJ; great-grandchildren, Mari, Lucas, Zelda, Zephram, Gabriel, Azreal, Emma, Colin, Aubrie, Jax, Tyler, Charlotte, and Tommy. She also had a special bond with dear friend, Rosie and her niece, Elizabeth. Mom's greatest legacy is the love she leaves behind. She was quick to smile and laugh and truly enjoyed social gatherings. She loved her time in this world and all the people she met. She was always gracious and courageous through her many challenges. Our parents are our only link to our past, nobody knew us like them, nobody else ever will.
Sylvia generously donated a piece of her property in Sabinal, NM for the establishment of the Ben and Sylvia Armijo - Sabinal Community Center dedicated to the residents of Northern Socorro County.
Many thanks to the wonderful staff of Presbyterian Hospice and her caretaker, Debra White, for the excellent care she received. Sylvia's Life Celebration will be held on Thursday January, 27,2022, A visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m. and a Rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m. at FRENCH-University. A Mass will be held on Friday, January 28, 2022, 10:30 a.m. at Queen of Heaven Parish, 5311 Phoenix Ave NE, 87110. Sylvia will be laid to rest following the Mass at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, 1900 Edith Blvd NE, 87102