Weddings & Engagements
PaaWee Rivera and Sera Lee married in Santa Fe on August 20, 2021. The late afternoon ceremony on the roof terrace of La Fonda on the Plaza was presided over by Salvation Army Colonels Bobby and Anne Westmoreland.
The groom is the son of the sculptor and former governor of Pojoaque Pueblo George Rivera and stepmother Felicia Rosacker-Rivera. His mother is an artist and contributor to Los Alamos National Laboratory, Kyuhee Lee Bussod, and his stepfather is Gilles Bussod.
The bride’s parents are Salvation Army pastors David and Mikyung Lee of Springfield, N. Virginia.
During the ceremony, the mothers of the bride and groom wore hanboks, traditional Korean dresses that were handcrafted in their home country.
The couple met in 2015 while both serving on the Democratic National Committee in Washington, DC. Their first date was at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial near Washington’s Tidal Basin, fitting for a couple involved in Democratic Party politics.
The groom, a graduate of Dartmouth College, is the Tribal Affairs Director of the White House. The bride, a Georgia State University graduate in Atlanta, is the DNC’s associate director of human resources.
Elliott Martin from Nambé served as best man. He works as an engineer at NASA in Greenbelt, Maryland. He and the groom first met when they were five years old playing youth soccer in Pojoaque. Both graduated from Santa Fe Preparatory School.
The maid of honor was Joy Lee. She is the press secretary for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, spokeswoman for the US House of Representatives.
The groom’s sister, PoQueen Rivera of Albuquerque, served as the bridesmaid; She is the director of government relations for the Department of Indian Affairs in New Mexico. Other bridesmaids included Jenny Kwon from Atlanta, Emily Ng from Seattle, and Clara Jeong from Northern Virginia.
The younger bridesmaid was Paloma Rivera and the flower girl was YsaDora Rivera, both of the groom’s sisters.
Groomsmen were Tony Perez from Washington from Santa Fe, Luke Lee from New York City and Charlie Galbraith and Jeremiah Montgomery Thompson from Washington.
After the ceremony, the Lightning Boy Foundation performed, named after the Tewa name of the groom’s late younger brother, Valentino. One of the dancers was the young bridesmaid Paloma Rivera.
At a later date, the couple plan to travel to visit the groom’s maternal grandmother in Hawaii and Korea to visit the bride’s relatives.
Ethel series trimmers celebrated her 100th birthday at a party hosted by her son Mark and husband Maurice at the end of August.
The 60 attendees included relatives from all over the country. The rest, Mark explained, “are people who are friends and are still alive.”
This included friends from the downtown Presbyterian Church, where the couple has been active for decades, and other members of Ethel’s line dancing group. Besides Ethel and Maurice, the second oldest guests were over 80.
Bill Hearne of Taos sang Western songs for Ethel: “She’s basically a cowboy at heart,” said her son Mark. A gyro bar – a nod to Ethel’s Greek ancestors – was hosted by Yamas Greek Rotisserie on Cerrillos Road.
Ethel was born in New York City on August 24, 1921 and came to Santa Fe over 60 years ago.
During her long career as an architect, she worked for engineering and architecture firms, first in New York and then in New Mexico.
She worked at the National Park Service headquarters in Santa Fe for 18 years until she retired. She drew buildings at the headquarters of Pecos National Monument, as well as Fort Union, Aztec Ruins, Hubbell Trading Post, Lyndon B. Johnson’s youth home, and Big Bend National Park.
Her husband, Maurice Trimmer, now in his 1990s, was a State Capitol correspondent for the UPI news agency and later a press secretary for Governor Jack Campbell. He also worked in the communications departments of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and St. John’s College.
Most of the time in Santa Fe, the couple lived on a quiet street near Fort Marcy Park. In 1963 the Trimmers bought the comfortable house in which they live. They have retained their mid-century modern architecture.
When asked how Santa Fe has changed over the decades here, Ethel Trimmer said the city has become more sophisticated and has more cultural attractions.
The Trimmers attend First Presbyterian Church on Sundays. Ethel and Maurice first saw each other at church on Grant Avenue, where she was serving as a deacon. Their first date was dinner at Pink Adobe, followed by a gospel concert. They were married on July 15, 1961 in the Presbyterian Church of Rev. Bob Boshen. According to Mark, his mother chose the date because Maurice’s birthday is on July 14th and if she had married him a few days earlier she would have been 10 years older than her husband.
Twice a week the Trimmers visit the Fort Marcy Recreation Complex, where they swim laps and he works out in the gym. In the living room there is a row of 25 gold medals from Senior Olympics. After taking a break from swimming due to pandemic restrictions, she wonders if she will be in good shape to compete in races but says if she does she is sure to win many more gold medals as she will be the only one in her age group .
She started swimming in earnest 25 years ago when doctors told her she needed back surgery to cure a painful condition. She refused surgery and healed herself by swimming.
She was also part of a line dance group until the pandemic ended the gatherings. Her colleagues recently hosted a dancing birthday party for her at Tiny’s.
She still plays the treble recorder from memory because macular degeneration makes it difficult to read written notes in a score.
Ethel’s parents were Greek immigrants in New York City. Her mother came from the city of Pontis on the Black Sea, her father from Anatolia. The family has a long history of Protestant faith, as their grandfather was a pastor in northern Turkey and built a church there.
After emigrating to the United States, her father survived a 1918 case of flu, then tuberculosis, but died soon after of medical neglect. Her mother was placed in a sanatorium for several years. Ethel spent much of her childhood in a Brooklyn orphanage where she received a solid education. Her first memory is that she was taken to the orphanage when she was 5 years old.
While she was there, someone brought a horse into the asylum and the children took turns riding on it. She was enthusiastic and later took lessons in a riding stable in Brooklyn that burned down with many horses in it. She moved into a stable in Manhattan and rode in Central Park. Ethel and her classmates took part in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and represented Protestants by wearing orange sashes.
Ethel worked in Manhattan for marine designer Gibbs & Cox for 10 years. She got the job when most of the company’s male employees joined the Wehrmacht during World War II.
While living in town, she enjoyed herself reading Western novels and listening to cowboy music. During the summer vacation she went on pack trips to the American West: Idaho, Montana, Colorado and New Mexico.
During her first summer in New Mexico, she packed the Pecos Wilderness and rode out from Mountain View Ranch in Cowles.
At 100, Ethel clearly remembers details of that trip. Her gray and white horse was called Frosty.
She stayed overnight in a canvas tent that was transported along with the kitchen equipment in a haulage train. The camp cook made bacon and eggs, steak, beans and cooked “lots of trout,” she said.
On a later pack trip to the Pecos in 1953, her tent companion was Ethel Ballen, who later became the co-owner of La Fonda.
The Trimmers’ son, Mark, was born in 1962. He attended Santa Fe High School and graduated with a degree in business administration and an MBA from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. He lives in Albuquerque. There are two grandchildren, Nicholas and Stepho.
Ethel is busy every day. She does the housekeeping, but only cooks a little: Ethel and Maurice prepare their own food. She takes care of her indoor plants and the outdoor garden. The couple are walking in the neighborhood. She says they see “a lot of television”, including old western films.
When asked how she came to live so long, she replied that her mother and brother were both well over 90 years old: “I have the genes for it.”
Kaila Dickey of Taos holds a Masters of Science degree from the University of Alabama.
Krishna Kiran Bandla of Santa Fe recently earned a Masters of Science degree in Project Management from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.
Carmen Moses of Santa Fe was named a recipient of the Benjamin Walworth Arnold Prize Scholarship at the annual induction ceremony at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY on August 25. Moses, a junior creative writing major, is a graduate of the New Mexico School of Art.
MANA del Norte has named its 2021-22 grant recipients, who will each receive $ 1,000:
- Angela Greek at the University of New Mexico.
- Alma Marquez at Northern New Mexico College.
- Joselin Rascon at UNM.
- Lexie Sanchez at Adams State University.
- Julissa Talavera Morales at Santa Fe Community College.
- My terrace at Central New Mexico Community College.
- Ariana Quintana at SFCC.
The purpose of the MANA del Norte Scholarship is to assist Hispanic women from northern New Mexico in continuing or completing their post-secondary education.