Obituary: Paula Roybal Sánchez Jan. 10, 1954 – July 7, 2021

Paula Roybal Sánchez, 67, passed away peacefully in her home with her husband and sons by her side on July 7, 2021.Paula was born on January 10, 1954 and was the eldest daughter of Pablo & Ruby Roybal. She grew up on the Rancho Las Lagunas dairy farm in Nambé, NM where she returned after attending New Mexico State University to live and raise her family.

Paula is survived by her Husband Gary; Sons: Andrés (Stephanie) and Diego (Vianey); Granddaughters: Devon, Eva & Liana; Siblings: Roberto, Ricardo (Judy), Santiago, Alfredo (Orlinda), Anna (Thom Price), and Paul (Mark); Godchildren: Camila Roybal McCollom, Alexis Wilson & Andrew Martin; Padrino: Isaudro Salazar, numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.  She is also survived by her Inlaws: Eugene & Dolores Schiess.

She was preceded in death by her Grandparents: Alberto & Bernardita Salazar and Procopio & Tonita Roybal; Parents: Pablo & Ruby Roybal, Siblings: Alberto & Donaldo; Madrina: Mary Roybal.

Paula had a wonderful appreciation for life and the world around her.

Her greatest love in life was her family, especially her three granddaughters. She held a very special place in her heart for her entire family and took on the role of family matriarch with the passing of her mother, Ruby. Paula led the effort of full time, in-home care for Ruby for nearly a decade when Ruby could no longer care for herself … this was one of Paula’s greatest life achievements. She was married to the love of her life, Gary, who loyally stood with her for 44 years and never left her side.

Her Catholic faith was deep-rooted, helping her through life’s journey. The fearless strength she demonstrated through her battle with cancer and the grace and peace with which she accepted the path laid before her was extraordinary.

Paula loved unconditionally and truly taught by example until the day she left this world. She would quite often share quotes from her mother Ruby, Tia Mela Romero & Grandma Bernardita Salazar, always reminding her family of the ancestors and loved ones that came before us. Paula passed-on their teachings and way-of-life with whoever was there to listen & learn. She believed strongly in preserving and passing-on tradition.

Paula’s parents instilled in her the value of education. Following in her father’s footsteps, she served on the Pojoaque School Board for many years. During her time on the school board, she would hand-write and address individual, personalized Christmas cards for each school employee, from the janitors to the Superintendent, because she genuinely appreciated their efforts and she wanted them to know that their work was valued and they were appreciated.

Paula believed in giving back to the community. Over the course of her career working for the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service and the 4-H organization, Paula served the people of Santa Fe and Los Alamos counties for over 30 years. She worked for years supporting the American Diabetes Association, the Los Alamos Heart Council, and the Los Alamos Council on Cancer. She and Gary taught an Alzheimer’s Caregiver Class together, sharing their personal experiences caring for Paula’s mother and educating people in caring for their loved ones suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease. 

In 2010, Paula was promoted to a full College Professor in the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences. Throughout her career she received numerous distinguished awards and recognitions, but she would tell you, without hesitation, that her greatest achievement in life was raising her two sons.

Paula made positive, life-long relationships everywhere she went. Her friends were amazing during her battle with cancer, providing so much support and love. She loved her friends very much.

She had many hobbies, but especially loved to sew and quilt, care for her beautiful plants and flowers, and cook … she was a remarkable cook and her homemade bread, cherry pies, and preserves were hard to beat. Paula sewed, quilted, and knitted several thoughtful, beautiful works of art for her grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, even the homeless. She loved to feed and watch her hummingbirds, sometimes having 10 at a time at her feeder. Paula cared for the earth and lived a life of conservation, especially conservation of water.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you instead consider a donation in honor of Paula Roybal Sánchez. Please visit the Rivera Family Funeral Home online obituary to see a list of the organizations that Paula loved.

Services Information: Holy Rosary and Funeral will be held on Friday, July 16, 2021 at 9:00 AM at the Sagrado Corazon de Jesus Church in Nambé, NM. Parish restrictions require that ALL individuals, vaccinated or not, are required to wear a mask in all church facilities at all church events, including Rosaries & Funerals.