Gran Señora, Great Lady in any language Gran Señora pictures a charming, gracious woman, but in Spanish, the words bring to mind the gentle, hospitable resourceful pioneer ladies of the days of the Dons and Doñas of New Mexico.
The Las Vegas Woman's Club and Sorosis are proud to present the granddaughter of the late Don Francisco Lopez, Rumalda Delgado Armijo, as the Gran Señora of San Miguel county. Don Francisco once owned part of the large tract of land that is now the Bell Ranch. He was a member of the territorial council in 1864, when the county seat was moved from San Miguel to Las Vegas. The territorial council compared with our state senate.
Our Gran Señora, now wife of Judge Luis E. Armijo, is a native daughter of Las Vegas. She spent her childhood days happily exploring the rich hillsides, mineral caverns and verdant meadows and woodlands that are the heritage of all children growing up around Vegas.
The correct Spanish spelling of her name is "Roumalda" but Mrs. Armijo prefers the simpler form of "Rumalda". She is the daughter of a former Las Vegas merchant and rancher, Felipe Delgado and his wife Epimenia, both now deceased. The Delgado store was located in the two story buildings on the south side of the Plaza Park. She remembers six brothers and two sisters of the 13 children in the family. Four died very young before her time. If you pick up a certain book in the Carnegie Library, you will read "In memory of Lorenzo Delgado, for many years sheriff of San Miguel county, an efficient public, a worthwhile citizen and faithful friend." But that is a different story, excepting the fact that it presents an idea of the esteem rendered the Gran Señora's family.
Mrs. Armijo was educated at the Town School and at Highlands, the called the Normal. Her husband, the Judge, has fond memories of those Normal days when their teacher, Mr. Hewitt, would take all the students to the assembly hall where they would sing sacred songs. Rumalda remembers with the greatest happiness the Christmas time reunions of her huge family. All the grandpartents, grandchildrens, parents, and children would assemble at the spacious Delgado home, located right back of the Ilfield warehouse on the Boulevard. The youngsters. The youngsters would spend their time romping around the premises and listening to the reminiscing and stories of the older people. For many years these Christmas reunions were the high spots of the year. Says Mrs. Armijo, "I don't see how my mother managed to entertain such a large group every year."
Many of Rumalda's younger days were spent in Gallinas Canyon at the summer home of her brother Lorenzo. The property now belongs to the Armstrong family in Las Vegas, and the Armijos have as ummer home at El Porvenir. Judge and Mrs. Armijo live directly across the street from the County Courthouse on West National. The Judge believes that he is the only judge in New Mexico who walks across the steet to work, and he says, "We enjoy a leisurely two minute walk when we go to church."
Since she was young, the Gran Señora has always liked to travel. From the distant lands she has vistied have come the exquisite, colorful and very valuable goblet collection that is her most intriguing hobby. She has goblets from Germany, Hawaii, Venice, Mexico, Bohemia, France, Spain and Italy. The goblets inclued stained glass, milk glass, teardrops, cranbery cobalt blue (as used in aner research), gold, hand-blown and various others. Mary MacGregor painted a white silhouette of a little boy on a vaseline glass with thumb prints. A splendid French cabinet with a maroon marble top houses these fine treasures. (to be continued)
Rumalda Delgado Armijo, 92, passed away Thursday evening. She was a pioneer of Las Vegas and a member of the prominent Delgado, Lopez and Romero families. Mrs. Armijo was the granddaughter of the late Don Francisco Lopez, who once owned part of the large tract of land that is now commonly known as Bell Ranch in eastern San Miguel County. Her grandfather was a member of the territorial council in 1864 when the county seat was removed from San Miguel to Las Vegas. Her parents, Felipe and Epimenia Lopez Delgado were merchants and ranchers in San Miguel County. The Delgado Store was located in the two story building on the south side of the old town Plaza.
She was educated at the Town School and New Mexico Normal University. She graduated from the Academic Department in 1918 and received her Bachelor of Pedagogy Degree in 1922. She served as a member of the Board of Regents of the University in the early '20s. She taught home economics in the North Public School for 21 years and served as a 4-H Club leader for many years. In addition to participating in many Catholic church organizations, she was a charter member of the El Pasa Tiempo Club, Does Droves 136 and the Drexel Club, which she helped organize in 1919. While attending the university, she was a member of the Delta Sigma Epsilon Society. During the later years of her life she was a member of the Rumoli Club.
In September of 1962 the Las Vegas Women's Club and Sorosis honored her by naming her Gran Señora of Las Vegas. Mrs. Armijo traveled extensively, collecting goblets from around the world. She also collected pitchers and was an expert seamstress, creating designs and patterns in the crochet method. On the occasion of her 90th birthday, her family and close friends honored her as a living treasure. During her lifetime, she sought to preserve the customs and traditions of Old Spain.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Judge Luis E. Armijo; sisters Eugenia Delgado Armijo and Frances Delgado Espinoza; and brothers Fidel Delgado, Adolph Delgado, Francisco P. Delgado, Lorenzo Delgado, Felipe Delgado and Antonio Delgado. Lorenzo Delgado was a prominent leader in Las Vegas and New Mexico politics during the early years of this century. Another brother, Felipe Delgado, was a Spanish baritone whose professional career spanned many years during the early part of this century. He performed in and, about Los Angeles and the western states.
Mrs. Armijo is survived by her son, Roberto L. Armijo; daughters Eugenia M. Maas and Carmen Blattman; daughter-in-law Mary L. Armijo; granddaughter and godchild M. Christina Armijo; sister-in-law Jane Sherril Armijo; nieces Catherine Delgado Espinoza, Marice Delgado Gonzales and Epimenia Delgado Valdez; nephews Pete Delgado and Phillip Delgado; cousins Margarita Sena, Nea Escudero and Paul Taylor; special friend Mary Fulgenzi; grandchildren Luis E. Armijo II, Patricia A. Vigil, Francesca Krusing, Roberto C. Armijo, Anita A. Naranjo, Dolores A. Saulsbury, Thomas C. Armijo, John L. Armijo; Stephen Armijo, Paul D. Armijo, Jeannie A. Blattman, Linda Blattman and Carla Bashore; twenty greatgrandchildren and all of her many friends and former students. Rosary services will be conducted at 7 p.m. Sunday at Our Lady of Sorrows Church Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of Sorrows Chruch. Interment will follow at Mt. Calvary cemetery.