Sky Scene 07

Mercie (Marquez) Marquez Ulibarri

July 18, 1960 ~ November 4, 2019 (age 59)


Mercie Marquez Ulibarri vino a la luz (came to the light) on July 18, 1960, in Durango,
Colorado. She went home on Monday, November 4, 2019.
Mercie was born to Jose Eduvijen (Ed) Marquez and Maria Angelica (Angie) Quintana
Marquez. She was daughter number two of the seven girls. She was one of the last babies
to go home to Rosa, NM before the Navajo Dam Project covered their home and they
moved to Arboles. She grew up in the house her father moved from Rosa. She attended
the first kindergarten class in Ignacio and graduated with honors in 1978. She was very
active in HS activities. She was Head Girl of Student Council, as well as holding local,
district and state offices in FHA (Future Homemakers of America). Through her
activities she was able to travel extensively.
She received the calling to teach at a very young age and her sisters and cousins hated
playing with her because she always had to be the teacher. Every summer from the age of
12 she worked at the Southern Ute Headstart as a ''teacher''. When she went off to
college she decided that she should probably be a lawyer. After 3 years of school, she
realized that was not her life and dropped out for a couple of years. She went back to
Ignacio and was a teacher's aide for 2 years, as well as working various other part time
jobs. She was awarded a grant from Fort Lewis to finish her education in Bilingual
She graduated with her B.A. in December, 1986. She substituted that spring and looked
for a full-time teaching position all summer. One of her greatest disappointments was not
being hired in Ignacio. The principal thought that being a home town girl was a deficit to
his staff, rather than an asset. The week before school started, she applied at Central
Primary School in Bloomfield, NM. The principal interviewed her in Spanish and called
her the next morning to come to work. She never looked back and worked at Central for
25 years. She truly enjoyed teaching and taught mostly 2nd grade. She did multiage K-2,
1-3, and team teaching with her buddy, Phyllis McAdams. She always worked with the
Hispanic children that needed help learning English. Her Dual Language program was
always one of her favorites. Watching children learn both English and Spanish made her
so proud and it always amazed her that children have such a capacity to learn if we only
we let them. She was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2004 for her work in Bilingual
Mercie was married to Leo E. Ulibarri on July 1 st, 1989 in Arboles, CO. She met him in
High School at a Search retreat. His mother was cooking for the weekend and told them
they were cousins (she forgot to mention about 9th cousins!) They would see each other
occasionally at family functions. While Mercie was working in Ignacio, Leo's best friend
moved into the apartment next to her. They would visit, talk and have a few beers
together. When Mercie moved to Durango she had her mother's little Chevette that had a
tendency to leave her stranded. She always said Leo was her knight in shining armor as
he rescued her several times. She couldn't pay him, but she was a good cook. The old
age - "The way to a man's heart .... " It worked for her
From this union came the pride and joy of her life. Her beautiful daughters, Diana and
Kayla, there was a time in her life that she thought she would never have children and
she used to pray that if God gave her one that He would give her two because she didn't
want to raise a single child. Her sisters were so important in her life and she wanted
Diana to have a sibling. Di was born in May, 1991. In February of 1992, Mercie
suspected she might be pregnant again. A little nerve racking but she had prayed for two!
She went in for her ultrasound in March and when the technician said about July 14th, she
almost fell off the table. Well, best laid plans ... Kayla was born June 17th• As she watched
her children grow into young women she was always reminded of what her mother used
to say. ' Enjoy them when they are little, because they grow up so fast".
Mercie always felt she had both heavenly angels and human angels in her life. She was
richly blessed with good friends and family. Her greatest role models were: her Grama
Louise who always loved her and helped teach her to read. Phyllis Lucero, her boss at
Headstart, who worked two jobs, raised ten children, went to college and was an
incredible woman that understood the importance of an education. Her godmother, Betty
Jo Quintana, who was always there when she needed a ride to work, a shoulder to cry on
or a kick in the pants. It was Betty Jo who signed her up for the grant at Ft. Lewis and
made the appointment telling her she had no excuse to not finish her schooling. Her
friend and 20-year assistant, Veronica Hair. Mercie always said that Roni made her look
like a better teacher than she really was.
Then there are her six incredible sisters. LouJean, Eleanor, Edna, June, Geraldine and
Angelica She learned to be a mother, a friend, a cook, a confidante, and most important,
a Christian woman with her sisters. They shared all the emotions possible growing up
together. There were lots of times they didn't like each other much, but there was always
love. Mercie was the memory of the family. Her sisters called her "Radar" because she
was always taking everything in. She was always telling the girls what happened and
when it happened. She knew almost everyone in the family.
She lived a good life and always felt that God's plan for her was SQ much better than her
plan for her life. Because reading was such an important part of her life, she asks that
instead of flowers, books made be donated in her memory to the Ignacio Public library or
Central Primary's school library.

To send flowers to Mercie's family, please visit our floral section.


November 8, 2019

6:00 PM
St. Peters St. Rosa Church
Arboles, CO 81121

Funeral Mass
November 9, 2019

11:00 AM
St. Peters St. Rosa Church
Arboles, CO 81121

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