On September 8, 2020, Vickie W. Rattanapote of Rio Rancho, NM, passed away peacefully at the age of 70 years.
She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 44 years, Art; daughter Melody; son Arthur, his wife Marlayna, and their three children; three sisters, one brother, and their spouses and families in Thailand; and numerous friends and colleagues.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Rungchai and Rumpai Panpeng.
Vickie was born in Bangkok, Thailand, as the second of five children. She was fortunate to live in different regions of the country moving with her father who worked as a police officer. She graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree from Thammasat University in Bangkok in 1971. Vickie and Art met in the music department of the university and spent a few years performing in a band together. Art immigrated to the US in 1975. He returned to Thailand to marry Vickie in 1976, and she joined him in the US soon thereafter. She became a stay-at-home mom for her two children until the fall of 1990 in which she started her career as an educational assistant at Rio Rancho Elementary School. She spent most of her years working with kindergarteners. Vickie loved to sing, play, and teach, but ultimately she loved to create. She was known for sewing her own wardrobe, cooking delicious food, and designing and executing beautiful and fun bulletin board displays and door decorations. She volunteered her time to school events such as Art in the Heart, talent shows, and musical performances. She retired from education in 2013.
Vickie filled her retirement years with so many things she loved. She continued to sew elaborate outfits and costumes for herself. She enjoyed playing with her grandchildren and watching them grow into smart and independent individuals. As an active member of the Meadowlark Senior Center in Rio Rancho, she attended classes for exercises and dance and was an avid ping pong player; she and her doubles partner qualified for the National Senior Games. She befriended many people through the senior center and loved going to karaoke parties where she would sing and dance for hours. Vickie also helped to drive her friends to medical appointments and activities when others could not.
Vickie was forever changed after a stroke she suffered November 17, 2018. The stroke she endured was completely debilitating and robbed her of the things she enjoyed. For nearly two years, with the support of her many friends and various home health care agencies, Art dedicated himself to caring for Vickie in their home until her passing.
While there is sadness, there is also immense relief that she is at peace.
Vickie was dearly loved by many, and she will be deeply missed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In light of the current health crisis, the family has opted not to hold services at this time. A gathering in her honor will be planned in the future.
Memorial donations may be made in Vickie Rattanapote’s name to the Children’s Miracle Network at UNM Children’s Hospital using this link: https://www.unmfund.org/fund/childrens-miracle-network/
By using the above link, donations are certain to serve families in the state of New Mexico. 100% of gifts donated through Children’s Miracle Network at UNM Children’s Hospital will go towards special programs, equipment and supplies not covered by insurance, including at their partner hospital, Carrie Tingley. Donations ensure New Mexico’s only Children’s Hospital continues to fulfill its mission as a patient-family centered hospital and New Mexico’s only safety-net hospital, ensuring all patients will be seen regardless of ability to pay.
To learn more about Child Life, one of the main programs that donations will support, please follow this link: https://youtu.be/nfACjW8T_9s
Every year, UNM Children’s Hospital focuses on telling the story of one special patient. Watch the video below to see how donations have helped one person and know that over 66,000 New Mexico kids will benefit from donations this year. https://youtu.be/CBS_j-Ps0ds
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Vickie (Panpeng) Rattanapote, please visit our floral store.