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Nora Rael-Galvez

OBITUARY: Nora Rael-Galvez

d. November 10, 2023

Nora Rael-Galvez was born on January 6, 1927, in Questa, NM and named Nora Estella. Her first name is derived from the Arabic word Noour, meaning “bright light” and describing great beauty and wisdom; and, Estella is Latin for the word star. On November 10, 2023, her light on earth dimmed, but that same day she rose into the sky and became a brilliant star and an ancestor.

Nora was born to José A. Rael and Andrellita Mandonado and was woven from a beautifully complex ancestry. Her parents preceded her in death, along with all of her siblings (Clarence, Eli, Honorio, Corina, and Selimo). Taken too soon, her son David passed in 2005 and her grandson Jonathan in 2022.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Erineo Eric Gálvez, whom she met when she was looking for bolita beans and found them, and love, in him. She lives on in her son, Estevan Rael-Gálvez, who along with his partner, son-in-law, Juan R. Ríos, cared for Nora lovingly for the past several years. She is also survived by daughter-in-law, Michelle Gálvez, and grandchildren William and Hope (partner, Corey), and great grandchildren Emiliano and Aliyana. She leaves behind many beloved nephews, nieces, and generations of students who loved her.

While family was core, education was a thread that also defined her life. She graduated from Questa Elementary in 1941 and Loretto Academy in Santa Fe in 1945. She began attending Highlands University in 1946, but was hired that year, at the age of 21, as an elementary school teacher in Questa. She eventually earned her bachelor’s degree in 1956 from the College of St. Joseph. She loved teaching, which she did for decades in her home villages, instilling basic skills, core values, and encouraging generations of students to recognize their own potential.

A beautiful light, Nora was elegant, intelligent, and beautiful, and will always be loved and forever missed.
Memorial services will be held in spring of 2024.