Last of her generation, a lifelong resident of Arboles/Pagosa Springs and matriarch, Maria "Maxine" Maximiana Ribera, 94, was granted her angel wings with family by her side on March 16, 2021 in Arvada, CO. Her final days were spent surrounded by family and friends that she had touched in some small way throughout her very memorable life.
Maxine was born July 12, 1926 to Ciria Baca and Miguel Antonio Gomez in Cabresto, NM. She was the twelfth child born of fifteen children and one of only two daughters to live to adulthood. Growing up, she lived in Cabresto during the planting and harvesting season. Then the family would reside in Rosa, NM during the winter months so that the children could attend school. Maxine only had an 8th grade education where she learned to read and write in English. With the help of a family friend, 'Don Tarango', she learned to read and write in Spanish. However, she was proficient in both languages.
On April 9, 1947, she married Juan Mauricio Ribera in Rosa, NM. Together they had twelve children, 6 girls and 6 boys. She was content being a wife, mother, and homemaker. They were the biggest supporters of their children obtaining a good education. Several of her grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends' children loved to spend time at the ranch and have great memories of their times spent with her.
Maxine practiced a deep religious faith; whenever a family or friend departed from her presence, her parting gift was to bless each one. She handmade each of her family members a rosary. She was a member of the Arboles Carmelitas Society since 1984 and served as president, secretary, and treasurer. She was also an election judge for many years until her health did not allow her to.
She began sewing as a youngster becoming an amazing seamstress. Throughout the years, she sewed all her children's clothes, also costumes for her children and grandchildren. She began sewing quilts as a necessity; then later sewed beautifully designed quilts as hobby. She was very artful with various sewing and craft creations. She loved dancing and listening to all genres of music. Her favorite pastimes were word search books and to play Scrabble. In the past 23 months, she played 481 games of Scrabble, her last Scrabble game being on Feb 22, 2021 with her grandson, Keifer. She taught so many people how to play Scrabble earning her the title of 'Scrabble Queen'. However, Maxine's greatest joy in life was her family. She loved spending time with them. Holding babies and playing with young children were her biggest joy as she gave her undivided attention her face radiated with love. She was close to many nieces, nephews, and friends with many affectionately calling her 'Tia', 'Mom' or 'Grama'. Anyone who entered her house left being a loved member of her family.
Maxine was the last remaining aunt of her generation of the Ribera/Rivera family. Until her passing, Maxine and her sister, Isidora, were the last two remaining sisters of the Gomez family.
Maxine was preceded in death by husband Mauricio; infant daughter MaryAnna; son Waldo Gomez; parents Ciria and Miguel Antonio Gomez; grandsons Gabriel Ribera and Roger Perue; son-in-law George Perue; daughter-in-law Maxine Albo; 10 brothers: Malaquias, Cristobal, Claudio, Manuel, Pedro, Miguel, Teodoro, Horacio, a half-sister Cornelia Martinez, 2 infant brothers both named Jose, 2 infant sisters Julianita, Teresita, teen sister Elena; and five great-grandchildren.
Maxine is survived by: sister Isidora Silva, Grand Junction, CO; Children Mauricio (Inez) Ribera, Corvallis, OR; : Maxine (Larry) Sena, Layton, UT; Dan (Susan) Ribera, Glasgow, KY; Patrick Ribera, Bayfield; Ramona Perue, Laramie, WY; Irene Ribera, Westminster, CO; Chris Ribera, Tiffany; Val (Sandy) Ribera, Bloomfield, NM; daughters; Arabella Ribera and Josephine Ribera, Arvada, CO; 28 grandchildren, 62 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
Due to Covid-19, all venues are practicing social distancing and masks must be always worn. A rosary service on March 25, 4:30 p.m. and a funeral service on March 26, 10:00 a.m will be held at St Peter & St Rosa Church in Arboles, CO. Seating is limited so immediate family only in church. An FM broadcast will be available to those in their vehicles to listen to the services. Interment will be at the St Rosa Cemetery immediately following . Extended family and friends are encouraged to line Highway 151 by the church in Arboles and County Road 975 (the road to the cemetery) to honor our matriarch.
Published in The Durango Herald on Mar. 22, 2021.