Cover photo for Luz Elia Cullen's Obituary
Luz Elia Cullen Profile Photo
1930 Lucy 2023

Luz Elia Cullen

November 17, 1930 — March 27, 2023

Albuquerque, NM

“Lucy” was born in Los Lunas, New Mexico on November 17, 1930. The end of her life adventure came on March 27, 2023 in Albuquerque, NM surrounded by love and support of her family. 

Lucy attended Los Lunas High School from 1945-1948. She then attended the State College at Las Cruces from 1948-1949. Lucy transferred to the University of New Mexico and graduated with Bachelor of Science in Home Economics in 1952.  She received college distinction and honor as a member of the Pi Lambda Theta (Women’s Honorary Education Fraternity), Kappa Omicron Phi.

Lucy was appointed as Reserve Commissioned Officer, Officer’s Reserve Corps in the Army of the United States, in the grade of Second Lieutenant on July 21, 1952. She received her certification for “The Medical Service Women Company Officer Course” at Fort Sam Houston, Texas on October 11, 1952. She went on to complete her 12 month dietetic internship at Brooke Army Hospital.  Her first assignment was the US Army Hospital at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on October 1953. She received her commission as First Lieutenant and served as a Hospital Dietitian. Lucy’s Honorable Discharge from the Army of the United States was on January 11, 1955.

During her tour of duty, she met “Chuck” and fell in love.  She remembers this fondly as her “awe moment.”  She married Charles Edward Cullen on November 9, 1954 in Los Lunas, New Mexico. They celebrated 62 years of marriage and raised 5 children together.

Lucy is preceded in death by her husband Charles Edward Cullen; her brothers Leo, Gilbert, Avelino, and Daniel Gutierrez; her sister Linda Davila; and her parents Avelino Gutierrez and Eloisa Sanchez Gutierrez.

She is survived by her sister Celina Archuleta from Durango, Colorado; her 5 children Kathleen Marie Bridges from Albuquerque, New Mexico; Annette Marie Cullen from New Braunfels, Texas; Michael Joseph Cullen from Rutheron, New Mexico; Elaine Maureen Cullen from Shallotte, North Carolina; and Maureen Anne Cullen from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Lucy will forever be in the hearts of her grandchildren Shannon Michelle Holmes; Justin Michael Bridges; Codie James White; Kaitlyn Elizabeth Graham Corbett; Landon Cullen Graham; Neven Lee Zapatka; and Lilee Marie Zapatka.

Lucy was blessed with 5 great grandchildren to include Emma Rose Holmes, 9 years; Hunter Ray Bridges, 8 years; Corbin Michael Bridges, 7 years; Christian Brintnall Holmes, 6 years; and Oaken James White, 3 years.

As Lucy raised 5 children, managing her husband’s dental practice for 50 years, and cared for 2 Cuban sisters refugees, Nuria and Sylvia, doors opened to her love of tennis and the many long-lasting friendships it brought for over 42 years including her cherished friend, Gloria.

Her creativity was expressed through the beautiful clothes she made for her children. This creativity helped Elaine design and sew her puppy apparel; create center pieces as she worked with Annette’s catering business; and paint many beautiful water-color paintings with Maureen as she participated in art classes and beyond.  She loved supporting Michael in his construction endeavors and making breakfast burritos at the Corrales Farmers Market with Annette and Landon through the years.

Lucy kept active by taking Yoga classes and walking weekly with her faithful neighbor, Gwen. She was an avid reader, loved history, and jumped in and held her own in every conversation with all our opinionated ideas. Lucy had a love of travel and her adventures took her to the Holy Land, Paris, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, and so many more places. She found tranquility walking along the beaches in her travels gathering sea shells.

She was a member of Queen of Heaven, Church of the Risen Savior, and Prince of Peace. Lucy completed the deaconate formation with her husband, Chuck, and served with him for 38 years in his deacon responsibilities. We always knew every Monday evening, she was at Centering Prayer connecting to her spirituality. She dedicated her time as Hospital Volunteer, supported Daffodil Days, the Family Christmas Wish Lists, and Society of St. Vincent de Paul assisting many people during hardships with her dear friend, Carolyn.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Society of St. Vincent de Paul ( in honor of her hours of volunteer time to help people in need or The Barrett House Foundation ( to end Homelessness for Women and Children in honor of her strength as a woman of her times paving new trails.

Services for Luz Elia Cullen will be held at Prince of Peace Church on May 11, 2023 at 11:00 am.  She will be laid to rest at Santa Fe National Cemetery next to her husband at 2:30 pm.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Prince of Peace Catholic Church

12500 Carmel Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122

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Thursday, May 11, 2023

Starts at 2:30 pm (Mountain time)

Santa Fe National Cemetery

501 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

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