Yvonne Paula (Cathey) Cordova was born in Reserve, New Mexico to Wallace and Mildred Cathey and reared in Shiprock, New Mexico. Just like New Mexico, the place of her birth, she was rich in beauty and diversity. She was the youngest of three siblings (George and Linda her older siblings), but assumed the top role simply due to her bigger-than-life personality, and particularly after announcing at a very young age that she was the Captain of the World (of which there was never any doubt).
She attended college, at Western New Mexico University, where she met her husband of 42 years, Joe Cordova. She and Joe then moved on after their 2nd year of school, going to Albuquerque where they both attended, then graduated from UNM. Yvonne followed in the path of her Dad, Wallace, in becoming an educator. Education was a perfect field for Yvonne to show what a brilliant, giving, and loving person she was. She loved the challenge and reward of transferring knowledge to and challenging her students to learn, but she also loved the wonderful young people that she taught. She had only a brief break in her teaching career when she and Joe added another member to their family – their son Jason. She was a devoted and loving mother to their son and enjoyed every minute she had with him. After the family moved from New Mexico to Texas, Yvonne continued her teaching career that allowed her to balance her life schedule with that of her family.
It was at Brewer High School in Fort Worth, Texas where Yvonne championed and started their Advanced Placement program in American History. As with everything in her life, she was a one-hundred-and-ten percent committed to its success. She loved the challenge and she loved the students. Over the course of her career, she was personally vested in preparing her students to succeed both in their future careers, but also in their personal lives. A past student so succinctly summarized Yvonne as “an amazing teacher, friend, mentor, cheerleader, and life coach.” In addition to her love for her students, she also loved her co-workers with whom she shared her professional life, and with many of whom she shared rich friendships.
After Yvonne retired from teaching in Texas, she made her way back home to New Mexico. Very shortly after returning, her passion for education called her back to the classroom. She resumed teaching AP classes at El Dorado High School in Albuquerque. And as was Yvonne’s nature, she gave all she had for her students and again made close friendships with co-workers that continued into her retirement.
The first year of retirement was a struggle for Yvonne – she had always loved having a purpose and developing bonds with others. But in her second year of retirement, she turned her passion to other things such as Tai Chi, gardening, landscaping, and joining a book club with her women friends. In her neighborhood, she became virtually everyone’s friend, confidante, pet sitter and event planner. When she fell ill, these same neighbors rallied to help her and her family and to grieve her passing.
Yvonne leaves behind her husband Joe; her son Jason and two grandchildren, Colin and Joscelyn; her older brother George; and her older sister Linda. She was preceded in death by her father Wallace and her mother Mildred. Yvonne was always proud of where she came from and who she was—a daughter of the Great State of New Mexico. We wish her Godspeed on her journey and pray that she rests in peace.
The Celebration of her life will take place on Monday, October 21st at 10:00 am at Sagebrush Church at 6440 Coors Blvd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120.
Daniels Funeral and Cremation
3113 Carlisle Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110