Elsie Kimbrell known to all her former students as “Miss Kimbrell” passed away on Sunday, September 18, 2022 in Roswell, NM at the age of 100. She was born in Hondo, NM at the home of her maternal grandmother on July 31, 1922 to George Kimbrell and Guadalupe “Lupe” Romero. She was the oldest of four children and was raised in Picacho, NM. She attended and graduated high school from the small school in Hondo.
Elsie became a lifelong educator and after graduating from high school she left to attend Eastern New Mexico College in Portales, NM. She graduated with her teaching degree and began her 42-year teaching career touching countless students’ lives in Lincoln County and more specifically in the Hondo Valley. Her first experience at the age of 19 was teaching students of all grades in a one room schoolhouse in Rabenton, NM. Soon thereafter she returned to Picacho where she began teaching elementary students many of whom were descendants of the original settlers of the area. After the numerous small schools up and down the valley were consolidated into the Hondo Valley Public Schools District, she continued teaching elementary students and taught many hundreds of first graders before she retired in 1984. Elsie is remembered for expecting much of her students and her desire to see them succeed. Her devotion to her students was unparalleled and her impact on their lives continues to be felt by them. She inspired many of the children to become teachers and she was held in high regard by her numerous colleagues. During her career and after she was involved in a teaching sorority and was awarded The Golden Sister pin for Alpha Delta Kappa, an Honorary Organization for Women Educators.
In addition to her career as an educator she also was an instructor of religious education and led many of the children in the valley to learn more about their catholic faith. She taught catechism for many years and contributed her time to many church-related activities in the valley. She was an active member of the St. Jude Society.
Her church involvement continued after she retired and moved to Roswell in 1984. She was a member of St. Peter Parish and volunteered for the Good Samaritan organization that provides food to the needy. Her faith and desire to help others were always the driving forces in Elsie’s life.
She loved people and if she discovered a group, she would join it. She learned to paint at the adult center. Many of her paintings were of the places she remembered while growing up in Picacho. She traveled around the country to visit her sister Elizabeth and her military family including Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Idaho. One of her greatest adventures was a trip to Mexico City with a group of seniors.
Elsie was predeceased by her parents, her sister Elizabeth and brothers William and John and her daughter Ramona and granddaughter Shelly. While Elsie never married, she was blessed to bring two young children from northern New Mexico into her life: Ramona and her sister Delia.
She is survived by her daughter Delia Perez (Robert) and granddaughters Christina, Celina and Shannon. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. She was very close throughout her life to her niece Denise Pacheco who spent many summers with her in Picacho.
A rosary for Elsie will be recited at 9:30 AM followed by a funeral mass at 10:00 AM, with both taking place on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at St Peter’s Catholic Church. Internment will proceed at South Park Cemetery following the Mass.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Roswell, NM, 809 E. 19 th Street, Roswell, NM 88201.