Lucy Marie Marquez Ruybal passed away peacefully at her home of natural causes on October 2, 2020. Lucy is preceded in death by her husband Phil, granddaughter Maria, and daughter-in-law Cindy.
Lucy is survived by 9 children: Robert (Karen), Donald, Michael (Steve), John (Lisa), Ronald (Maria Elena), Richard (Donna), Bruce, Patrick, and Alice. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, her sister Gerry Banks, and her foster son Arthur (Irene).
Lucy was born on April 18, 1923, in Los Sauces, Colorado to José Florencio Marquez and Amalia Córdova.
Lucy was baptized as María de la Luz (“Of the Light”) Antonia Márquez on April 21, 1923. Lucy was part of the Greatest Generation who grew up and survived the Great Depression and World War II.
Growing up, Lucy was close to her older brother, Gabriel (Guy), who was killed in WWII. Lucy’s son, John, John’s son Dominque, and Dominque’s son Cameron all share Gabriel as their middle name.
After attending high school, Lucy worked various jobs to help her parents. She worked at the National Youth Agency where she made shirts to be given to families that needed assistance and worked as a school aide. Additionally, she worked as a bullet inspector at the ordinance plant at the Denver Federal Center and as an assistant for a family doctor.
In 1945 Lucy met her husband Cilimon (Phil) Eduardo Ruybal through her aunt, Julia Córdova, and Julia’s husband, Reggie Martínez, who was Phil’s best friend. Phil was home on leave from the army during the summer of 1945. Phil asked Julia if she had any friends who could go on a blind date with him and Julia asked Lucy who agreed. They clicked and went on subsequent dates taking the Denver downtown streetcar on dates to watch movies and go to dances. They also enjoyed picnics in the mountains with their friends.
Lucy and Phil were married in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Denver, Colorado on January 5, 1946.
Besides being a loving mother, Lucy was very active in her community. She served on school boards, on schools’ PTA committees, was school room “mother” for several of her sons, and a den mother for the Cub Scouts. Lucy was a devout Catholic and actively participated in the Altar and Rosary church groups at All Saints Catholic church.
Lucy was actively involved in politics all of her adult life. She did volunteer work for all the Democratic Presidents after Franklin Roosevelt, including working for the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson Presidential campaigns. She received personal letters from both of them thanking her for her dedication and volunteer work. Lucy attended the 1960 Colorado Democratic National Convention as a delegate and she proudly remembered shaking then-Senator John F. Kennedy’s hand. Lucy was an active committee woman for her local precinct, often times emphasizing women’s rights when she lived in their College View, Bear Valley, and Littleton homes.
Lucy and Phil wanted to share their home with the less fortunate and became involved in foster care. The first foster kids came from Catholic Charities. As a true reflection of their giving and loving nature, Lucy and Phil adopted their son Mike (Steve) and a few months later their daughter Alice. Over more than 20 years, Lucy and Phil were foster parents to 28 children. One of the foster kids, Arthur, “adopted” the family and Lucy and Phil took him in as a son and he is considered a family member.
After buying their first home in the College View neighborhood in the early 1950's, Lucy and Phil then moved the family to Bear Valley in 1964 and to Fort Lupton in 1973. Their 20-acre farm in Ft. Lupton included horses, cows, a pig, and chickens. At Lucy’s suggestion. their son, John, converted the farm’s garage into a small apartment for Lucy’s mother Amalia to live in for a few months and to allow Lucy to see her mom every day. The happiest time of Lucy and Phil’s lives were when they lived on that farm.
Lucy worked in the cafeteria at Ft. Lupton High School with two of her friends from St. Williams Catholic Church. Lucy and Phil also cared for foster children from the Weld County Social Services while they lived in Ft. Lupton.
The family moved to Littleton, Colorado, in August 1978.
Lucy also ironed shirts for several business men to help earn the family extra money. She did this for years in both the College View and Bear Valley homes.
In the summers, the family often went on weekend camping trips in the Rocky Mountains. While their family was young and growing up, they took automobile vacation trips every year. After Phil retired, Lucy and he did much travelling in their motor home visiting relatives and friends and touring the USA. Often, they would take several grandchildren with them.
In the summer months, they spent their time in the mountains where Phil would fish while Lucy relaxed and enjoyed the fresh mountain air and scenic mountain views while reading books, which was one of her passions. Quite often they would take several of their grandchildren with them on their weekend outings and camping trips.
Lucy was an avid lover of books and a fervent reader. Her passion for reading and increasing her knowledge often meant she beat everyone in the family in Scrabble, especially the college-educated ones.
After the passing of most of her brothers and sisters, Lucy became a “second” mother to her nieces and nephews who visited her regularly. Indeed, Lucy and Phil’s home was known to many friends and family members as the “place to be” when they would visit Colorado.
Upon walking into her house, she always warmly welcomed her grandchildren with, "Hi hijita / hijito, come on in!" All of her hijitas and hijitos made a point to stop by Lucy's home as often as they could, not only for the tasty food but to share with their grandma what was going on in their lives and to get the news about the extended family. Countless hours of conversation between Lucy and family members occurred in her living room and kitchen.
Lucy was always known for her made-from-scratch home cooking and baking. Her sons’ friends were always eating dinner with the family, especially when Lucy cooked home-made Mexican food and tortillas. Lucy and Phil’s home was open to all.
Lucy loved to bake and cook, such as fresh home-made tortillas, cinnamon rolls, pies, Christmas cookies, bread, and her house always smelled of delicious home-cooked food. Lucy always made more than enough, so there were always leftovers. Lucy never complained about cooking and baking. Lucy loved preparing holiday meals. She made the best green chile in Colorado, which brought family members to visit her from all around the country. Their first request was to ask Lucy to prepare her green chile along with a pot full of pinto beans.
After Lucy and Phil purchased their Littleton home, many family dinners, picnics, and barbeques were held in the home. When the Marquez family started having family reunions in 1985, all the Marquez relatives and families would end up at Lucy and Phil’s Littleton home each evening to relax and visit. This occurred for all of the Marquez Reunions. One of Lucy’s nieces wrote a fun song called “Let’s All Go to Lucy’s.”
Lucy stood her ground when it came to race relations. She was a strong and verbal supporter for the under-dog, the poor, and people of color. Lucy and Phil experienced racial bias most of their lives, but fought back and persevered.
Lucy and Phil were married for 64 years.
Lucy will always be remembered for her caring spirit and for having the most generous heart. She will be deeply missed by all her family.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Mullen Home for Little Sisters of the Poor.
Please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG7gglULsUY&feature=youtu.be to view a video of the song Elizabeth Newman wrote and is singing about Lucy.