Marjorie Rose Tapia, 81, left our world on February 3rd, 2018, with her loving family by her side in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Marjorie is survived by her husband of 60 years, Celestino “Stino” Tapia; her two younger sisters, Dianne Endres and Fay Pullen; her four sons and spouses, Celestino D. and Karen, Dave and Kim, Greg and Diana, Michael and Michelle; 7 grandchildren, Aimee, Shaina, Josiah, Shane, Sydney, Tristan, Kasyn; and 2 great grandchildren with a third due in late February.
Marjeen, as she was affectionately known, was born on December 26, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois where she lived until moving to Albuquerque in 1952 with her parents and sisters. There she graduated from Highland High School in 1954 and attended the University of New Mexico where, in 1958, she earned a BS degree with a major in Elementary Education. During her senior year in college, Marjeen worked part-time as a waitress at the Honey Dew Restaurant in Albuquerque where she met Stino. Her infectious smile, stunning red hair and beautiful, expressive blue eyes captivated Stino and, after a short courtship, Stino and Marge were married on May 31, 1958.
During their first year of marriage, Marge taught at A. Montoya Elementary School in Tijeras, New Mexico before she and Stino moved to California where she gave birth to their first son, Stino D., in September of 1959. After making their home in Fremont, California in 1961, she took a teaching position at Ruschin Elementary School in Newark, California. Over the next 37 years, Marge taught Grades 4 through 6 for the Newark School District touching hundreds and hundreds of students lives before retiring in 1998. During that time, she continued her education on the latest teaching practices so she could provide her students with the best education. She often devoted much of her free time to helping students and working on many District Committees. Marge was treasured by her students, as well as highly respected by the parents and her colleagues. Teaching was a passion. Starting at an early age with her two sisters, then to her students, and continuing through to her great grandchildren, she never stopped being a loving teacher to those around her.
After Stino retired in 2003 from the USPS, they moved back to Albuquerque because of their love of the Southwest and to be near Marge’s parents and her sister, Dianne. Back in New Mexico, she had more time to pursue her passion for the outdoors, drawing and painting, as well as spending time with her family and friends. At an early age, she enjoyed drawing nature, animals and occasionally a younger sister’s messy room. In her retirement years, she took many drawing and watercolor painting classes to sharpen her skills. Although she enjoyed painting the beautiful New Mexico landscape, one of her favorite places to draw was the remote backwoods of Douglas County in Eastern Washington where her parents and sister, Fay, owned property. She would spend many weeks each year with her parents and sisters in a rustic log cabin that was hand-built by her family with wood harvested off the property which they referred to warmly as the Crooked H. Here, she enjoyed daily walks around the property where the beauty and simplicity of nature inspired many of her drawings. Her annual trips continued after both her mom and dad passed away in 2009 and 2011, respectively. Her final visit to her beloved Crook H was in the Spring of 2017 where she cherished those moments she had with her two sisters and these memories continue in their hearts.
In 2010 while in her mid-seventies, she found a new calling and became very active with the Albuquerque Tea Party (ATP) because of her love for our Country and its people. She and Stino volunteered their time and energy for the Recruitment and Activation committee spending many weekends speaking to and educating the citizens about our Constitution and our responsibility to actively participate in maintaining our democracy and individual rights. She eventually became a board member which she held until her passing. Her tireless efforts with the ATP were recognized by the New Mexico Business Coalition who honored her with the 2016 NMBC Hero Award.
But, of all her life accomplishments and awards, she was most proud of her husband and family. She wrote in a letter to the NMBC Award Committee of her husband, “… we work as a team, supporting one another. I couldn’t have done this without his support. He is always by my side.” This was true of their volunteering and of their 60 wonderful years together. And, of her family, she wrote, “I must say my greatest personal achievement has to do with our loving and beautiful family. We have four sons who are successful in their chosen professions, along with their successful wives. We also have 7 grandchildren and 2 great granddaughters.” She was very proud of her family and that pride could be seen through her wonderful smile that she shared anytime we were around her. She freely shared her love, tenderness, friendship and passion with all she touched throughout her life. She will forever be in our hearts. She is now with her parents at their Crooked H in the sky.
A date for a memorial service will be set at a future date.
Condolences may be sent to 10916 Kaibab Rd. S.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87123
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either:
New Mexico Heart Institute Foundation American Macular Degeneration Foundation
502 Elm St. N.E. PO Box 515
Albuquerque, NM 87102 Northampton, MA 01061-0515