Pauline Mondragon, well known in the Taos area, has led an interesting life. Several years ago, a cancer diagnosis slowed her down, but never to the point of …
Pauline Mondragon, well known in the Taos area, has led an interesting life. Several years ago, a cancer diagnosis slowed her down, but never to the point of abandoning her desire to help others. The members of the Holy Cross Hospital (Medical Center) Auxiliary greatly missed Pauline’s presence for three years, but when able, she returned to help an organization near and dear to her heart.
“I started working at the hospital in 1999 when I retired,” said Pauline Mondragon during a recent interview.
About the Auxiliary
Mondragon spent much of her life assisting others through work on boards and other volunteer situations. When she learned about serving on the Holy Cross Hospital Auxiliary, she felt she could help many, not just a few, in this endeavor. “In the past, I was a Patient Advocate in the Emergency Room. When I became ill, I couldn’t work there anymore because I was taking chemotherapy. My heart was in it, but the situation kept me from doing this work. Today, I work at the Gift Shop. I show people items such as flowers, baby gifts and cards, and if necessary, help customers decide what to purchase. What I love is that the profits of anything that we do benefit the hospital,” stated Pauline Mondragon.
Mondragon served as Auxiliary President for two years. She said that three areas of the hospital benefit from Hospital Auxiliary assistance: Day Surgery, the Gift Shop and Patient Advocacy in the Emergency Room. Some examples of the philanthropy of the organization members are as follows: beds; linen and bedspreads; treatment chairs; and large checks ($10,000, etc.)
Besides helping the hospital and the patients, Mondragon derives personal satisfaction from her work. “I talk to people all the time at the hospital. Many of those with whom I talk are not ill- they are concerned friends and relatives. I’m still on medication, but it’s good to be back. I missed it so much” discussed Mondragon. Pauline enjoys recruiting members for the organization. Anyone wishing to help this group either with volunteer or financial gifts may call Auxiliary President for Jan Enright at the Holy Cross Hospital Emergency Room (575) 758-8883 and leave a message. The Auxiliary sponsors fundraisers at Christmas and other special occasions during the year.
More Volunteer Involvement
Much of Mondragon’s community work involves St Francis of Assisi parish and the greater church community. She joined the Guadalupanas since the organization’s inception in 1981. In addition, Mondragon served as a Mayordoma (along with Leroy) for 15 years and the dual role of CCD Director/Children’s Choir Head for 18 years.
On a secular level, Pauline Mondragon demonstrated her diverse interests through the types of boards on which she served. For four years, the Casa de Corazon benefitted from her help. She served on the board of the Juvenile Drug Program for two years. Some of the work in her own community of residence included board membership at the Llano Quemado Community Center for six years.
The May 1961 Taos High graduate Pauline Mondragon married December 30, 1961. She worked part time for Mayor/Justice of the Peace Felimon Sanchez for four years. She remained home after the birth of the second daughter for several years. Once her youngest child started school, Pauline decided to return to the work force. In 1975, during Orlando Ortiz’s tenure, Mondragon began working as a secretary at the high school for six months, and at the middle school for nine years.
For 16 years, Mondragon worked as a bookkeeper for the Taos Municipal Schools Administration Department. She retired in 1999 after 25 years’ service for the school system. Her post- retirement employment occurred at Kit Carson Electric for ten years.
Virgilio and Adelina Garcia from Arroyo Seco raised five children of which Pauline remains the fourth. The Garcia siblings, in birth order, include the late Gus (Dolores) Garcia; the late Clara (the late Cipriano) Casados; Joe (Lillie) Garcia; Pauline (Leroy) Mondragon; and Ray (Barbara) Garcia.
Pauline married her high school sweetheart Leroy (“Butter”) Mondragon who she met during her senior year. From this union, the couple raised three daughters. Joella (Ra) Patterson resides in Belen. Ana (Joe) Burt lives in Englewood, a suburb of Denver. Teddie (Bryant) Randle resides in Littleton, outside of Denver. The couple greatly enjoys their granddaughters Stephanie Peralta and Jackie Peralta and great grandson Lorenzo Gianni Marzullo.
Final Words Regarding Volunteer Service
Pauline Mondragon doesn’t just encourage others to volunteer; she walks the talk and lives her life in the way she encourages others. When she speaks to people about volunteer matters, she cites the positive feelings after a job well done a fine way to spend one’s time and actively performing necessary tasks to help others. “People and organizations need help. We should all be kind and remain available for those who need assistance. I’m happy with my past participation and plan to continue my current work with the Auxiliary. I’m proud of what we do for the community and its patients. I encourage others to do the same,” concluded Pauline Mondragon.
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