Obituary: Verna Amy Trujillo Sept. 2, 1964 – June 2, 2023

Verna Amy Trujillo passed away June 2, 2023 after her long battle with diabetes surrounded by family members who had been caring for her. 

Verna was born and raised in the Española Valley where, for the last 20 years, she made a home with the love of her life and fiancée, Manny Martinez.  She was the Accessibility Resource Coordinator at Northern New Mexico College where she worked supporting student services for nearly two decades. Verna earned her Bachelor of Science and master’s degree in psychology from the College of Santa Fe, spending all her career helping students of all ages. Prior to her career at Northern she worked for the State of New Mexico, Hands Across Cultures and the New Mexico Head Start Program.

She was a celebrated singer and she and Manny dedicated much of their time singing for Holy Mass at their church, Santa Cruz de la Cañada and for special occasions.

Verna was an enthusiastic and dedicated ambassador of community service.  She was a volunteer and member of the board of Sostenga, Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS), Española Valley Arts Festival, Fiestas of Santa Cruz Parish (20 years Coordination of the Court), New Mexico Hispano Music Association (Youth & Child Competition), Fiestas de Española and CCD Instructor at Santa Cruz de la Cañada where she practiced her faith and devotion to the Catholic Church.

Verna was a survivor and a woman of faith.  After losing her leg to complications resulting from her diabetes, she fought for her mobility and was successful in learning to walk again with a prosthetic.  Several years ago, she underwent a complicated kidney transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona when she received the gift of life from an anonymous kidney donor.  Following recovery, she refused to go on disability despite eligibility and worked to support her family until the end.  She was an inspiration to so many people.

Her family was her passion, especially her granddaughters.  Verna was preceded in death by her sister, Edna Serna, and her granddaughter Vivian Barber.  Verna is survived by her fiancé Manny Martinez, her parents Ralph & Cora Ortega, her sister, Liddie Martinez (Rick), 2 sons, Jeremy Lopez (Trini Rae) and Jared Ortega (Amanda), step kids Sofia (James), Claudia (John), Rebecca and Isaiah, and granddaughters Roxy, Elia Rose, Rosa, Natalya, Sessili and Cherish.  Verna had 2 Godsons Frankie Serna (Rafa Escamilla) and Ian Martinez (Alexandria), one Goddaughter Lucy Herrera, a nephew Ricky Serna (Monique), and a niece Margarita Serna (Eddie Herrera) along with great-nephew Ethan and Aden, and great-nieces Lexi, Cassandra, Angel, and Zoey. Verna is also survived by her fiancé’s extended family who loved and shared her life.  She will be greatly missed by all who knew her including a beloved cousin, Phyllis Gallegos, two aunts Margarita Ortega and Lia Gallegos and too many cousins, colleagues, and friends to name. 

A celebration of her life is scheduled through DeVargas Funeral Home beginning with a
Private Viewing for family from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 16 at DeVargas Funeral Home in Española.

A Public Viewing will take place at 5 p.m. Friday, June 16 at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz followed at 6 p.m. by Holy Rosary.

The Burial Mass will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 17 at Holy Cross Church with interment following at Holy Cross Cemetery in El Llano.

A meal will be served following burial at Northern New Mexico College Cafeteria and Rotunda.

Pall Bearers: Frankie Serna, Ricky Serna, Ian Martinez, Rafa Escamilla, Francisco Ortega and Isaiah Martinez.

The family of Verna Trujillo has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the beautiful Española Valley.   (505) 747-7477