Catherine Ann Padilla Archuleta, beloved wife, mother, daughter, aunt and friend passed away on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, surrounded by her loved ones in her TorC home. She was 61. Cathie “Cat” was born on Sept. 29, 1955, in Trinidad, Colo., the daughter of the late Joe Padilla and Jennie Montoya of Truth or Consequences. She grew up in Whittier, Calif., later on traveling to her hometown frequently to visit with extended family during summers and holidays.
She grew up as an “only-child”, cute, precocious and sassy, a friendly soul with a quick return of service for one and all. As a youngster she studied dancing, including ballet, and modeling. On the West Coast she sang and danced on the theatrical stage and never forgot the thrill of live performance.
Her star-studded collection of snapshots included pictures of her and Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw and Ernest Borgnine during the 1977 filming of “Convoy” outside of Albuquerque and a save-the-whale effort with Sally Kellerman who played Major Margaret J “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the TV series M*A*S*H.
Later in New Mexico working as a credential second-unit photographer with her Herald newspaper husband, she captured memorable photos of a Ted Nugent concert at El Paso’s Biggs Air Field and Tiger basketball legend Royce Olney’s games in the iconic “Pit’s” rollicking floor in the Duke City.
Cathie was a multi-talented individual with a wide range of interests, including gardening, landscaping, cooking, interior painting, crafts, photography, art collecting and journal writing. She loved to travel, introducing her husband to the likes of San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and of course the much celebrated Trinidad and its nearby burg, Starkville, where her father resided in retirement.
The family enjoyed trips to Ruidoso, Rio Rancho and other northern and southern New Mexico destinations, White Sands National Monument and air shows at Holloman Air Force Base.
Cathie had a special passion for 50s rock-and-roll, soulful music of the 60s and 70s, progressive and counterculture rock, and classic movies.
Her favorite holiday of the year was Christmas, during which she would spend a month decorating the house with collected and handmade ornaments.
Cathie worked in a wide range of professions, including medical receptionist/bookkeeper, janitorial service contractor, certified nursing assistant, photo-printing technician and manufacturing jobs in Los Angeles (forklift operator) and Albuquerque (Levi Strauss).
Most of all Cathie had a big heart. She was a loving and patient person like no other.
Cathie’s “main guy” was her little Shih Tzu poodle “(Tuff) Tuffy (Tuffers),” one of three pups whom she rescued from Sierra County Animal Shelter and who filled the household with much cuteness and love.
She loved to sing and dance, ride out to Elephant Butte Lake or Engle in her T-top Chevy Camaro, and enjoy life to the fullest. She especially excelled at playing the part of easygoing extrovert opposite Mr. Introvert.
Cathie was preceded in death by her father Joe Padilla and stepfather Perfecto Montoya.
She is survived by her husband of 31 years Tony Archuleta of the family home; mother Jennie Montoya of TorC, sons Joseph Padilla of Las Cruces, Stephen Archuleta (Stephanie) of Santa Fe and Daniel Archuleta (Aaron) of TorC; step-sister Merlinda Arthur (Randy), stepbrothers Michael Montoya and Manuel Montoya, all of Albuquerque; mother-in-law Susan Archuleta of TorC; father-in-law Gene Archuleta of TorC; brothers-in-law Jeff Archuleta (Monica) of TorC and Michael Archuleta of TorC, sister-in-law Christina Bartel (Jeremy) of Denver, Colo.; ex-sister-in-law Chantal Orosco (Matt) of Monticello; nieces and nephews Jade Archuleta of Georgia, Claire Archuleta of Monticello, Christian Archuleta of TorC, and from Denver, Madeleine Bartel, Brandt Bartel, Caroline Bartel and Vivienne Bartel; and special family friends Harold Lee (Gabby) of El Paso, Texas, Esther Lujan of El Paso, and Michael “Mikey” Roth of TorC.
A celebration of Cathie’s wonderful life took place on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, at the family home in TorC with friends, family, neighbors and Tony’s Herald family/co-workers sharing precious memories of Cathie’s far-reaching arc of beauty, poise, humor and take-no-prisoners style of debating.
Arrangements, including interment of cremains, are courtesy of Kirikos Funeral Home, Inc. of Truth or Consequences.
The family of Cathie extends a heartfelt thank-you to all for their amazing condolences and expressions of support, as well as the staff at Ambercare hospice for their excellent care and service.
We love you, Cathie, and your husband especially misses his L.A. Woman beyond measure.
One of Cathie and Tony’s favorite bands is Los Lobos of, where else, East L.A., who sang: “Everything will be fine/And I’ll send for you baby/Just a matter of time.” Until then, we carry on with your loving memory in our hearts and your classy, gracious nature as our style-guide.