Beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, and friend, Rachael Leigh Lucero-Maldonado, 59, passed away at home, surrounded by her loving family on Monday, October 11, 2021 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Rachael was preceded in death by her father Abelino Lucero; mother Fabiola (Santistevan) Lucero; brother Abelino Lucero III; nephew Elias Lucero; grandparents: Armando and Petrita Santistevan, Abelino and Carlota Lucero; uncles: Albert Lucero, Albino Lucero, Michael Santistevan, Ernest Santistevan, Leo Santistevan; aunt Georgia Dziurynski; and cousin Rene Dziurynski.
She is survived by her husband Chris J. Maldonado; son Lorenzo Maldonado; step-children: Joseph Maldonado, Christina Maldonado, Rachael Rael; brothers: Armando Lucero, Matthew Lucero, Brian Lucero; sisters: Alberta Lucero, Melissa Lucero; nieces: Samantha Lucero, Mercedes Lucero, Oliva Lucero; nephews: Gabriel Healy, Phillip Sanchez, Abelino Lucero, Anthony Lucero, Lucas Lucero, Isaiah Lucero, Alix Lucero, Adrian Lucero; aunts: Marcia Santistevan, Margaret Johnson; uncles: Carlos Lucero, Fred Lucero, Robert Lucero, Don Santistevan, Gil Santistevan, and Lynn Thompson. Also several beloved cousins, and countless cherished friends.
Rachael was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 3, 1962, to Abelino and Fabiola. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and Albuquerque. She attended St. James School in Denver, St. Mary’s Catholic School and Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque, graduating as the Salutatorian for the class of 1980. She attended the University of New Mexico as a Presidential Scholar, and received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a master’s degree in Information Science, and a master’s degree in Policy and Planning.
On June 19, 1993, Rachael married her best friend, Chris. Together, they raised their son, Lorenzo, and were privileged to help raise their nephews Lucas, Alix, Adrian, and niece Mercedes.
Throughout her professional career, she worked in the banking, research, gaming, and hospitality industries, focusing on the Information Technology sectors. She gained experience and sharied her talents with the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute; Enchantment Auto Sales; Los Alamos National Bank; Isleta Resort and Casino; the YMCA of Central New Mexico; and Sandia Resort and Casino. She was also a serial Entrepreneur, starting and running numerous family enterprises, including the Morning Star Café; APH Flowers and Party Planning; Always the Perfect Hostess Catering; and (as a ASEP Certified Wedding Professional) Lucero Family Affairs Wedding Planning. She lived by her motto: "You can’t say I didn’t always try!"
Rachael was an active member of the Toastmasters Club; the Rio Grande High School Alumni Association; and the Albuquerque Women’s Housing Coalition. She enjoyed swimming, playing tennis, soccer, softball, and had just taken up golf with her son and niece. She enjoyed live auctions, and working on various her collections which included medieval pieces, photographs, Coca-Cola memorabilia, crosses, and Halloween costumes and decorations. She loved movies, camping, and socializing with family and friends, but her passion was road tripping. Her travels took her to 28 U.S. states, as well as to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.
She loved her family completely. She made friends with everyone she met and they were treated to her special brand of compassion, enthusiastic approach to life, and constant positive outlook.
We will all miss her bright smile, kind heart, and infectious laugh.
Rachael's Life Celebration will begin with a Visitation on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. at Salazar Mortuary located at 400 Third St. SW, 87105. Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. Mass will be held on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church located at 619 Copper Ave NW, 87102. Rachael will be laid to rest at 2:00 pm at Mount Calvary Cemetery located at 1900 Edith Blvd NE, 87102.
Pallbearers will be Lorenzo Maldonado, Alix Garcia, Lucas Lucero, Adrian Lucero, Isaiah Lucero, and Julian Gallegos.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Mercedes Lucero and Lucas Lucero.
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