Floy Agnes Naranjo Lee, 95, died peacefully in her sleep Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at her home at Kingston Residence, Santa Fe, NM.
A member of Santa Clara Pueblo, she was the granddaughter of Francisco and Katalina Naranjo, and daughter of Severiano F. Naranjo and Floy Maisie Summit Naranjo, who were teachers at the Albuquerque Indian School where Aggie was born. She was their fourth child and was predeceased by her brothers, Frank Naranjo and Mark Naranjo, and her sisters, Kathryn Elston and Rose Clark. She was also predeceased by her husbands, Clyde P. Stroud, John J. Schmink, and William P. Lee. Aggie is survived by her daughter Patricia Stroud Reifel, son-in-law Robert D. Reifel, grandson Sam W. Reifel, granddaughter Peggy M. Reifel and many Santa Clara cousins, nieces and nephews.
Aggie graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BS in Biology in 1945. In her first “real” job, she worked at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project as a hematology technician. When WWII was over, she entered the University of Chicago for graduate school, where she met and married Clyde Stroud. Their daughter, Patricia, was born there. Clyde soon died of cancer and after a few years, Aggie returned to the U of C to finish her Ph.D. in zoology, which was awarded in 1966.
From 1946 until 1979, she pursued a career in radiation biology and cytogenetics, specializing in cancer research and advancing the science of tissue culture and chromosome analysis. In the 1960’s she pioneered a method of computer analysis of chromosomes, using an electron microscope and a computer as big as a large room.
She worked at the Argonne National Laboratory, first housed at the University of Chicago and then in Lemont, IL; later served as director of the Department of Tissue Culture at the Pasadena Foundation for Medical Research; was a senior scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA; and returned to Los Alamos to be a radiobiologist in the Lab’s Mammalian Biology Group.
She was a founding member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, an early member of the Tissue Culture Association, and a member of the International Society for Cell Biology, among other scientific associations.
Aggie retired to Belen, NM, with her husband John Schmink and became an avid golfer. She was very proud of hitting a hole-in-one even as she lost her eyesight to macular degeneration. She also found time to pursue art and made many beautiful paintings. She and husband Bill Lee moved to Rio Rancho, NM in the 1990’s, where they lived until Aggie moved to Kingston Residence in Santa Fe, NM in 2013.
Aggie’s generous nature and gentle manner endeared her to many everywhere she lived.
The family will offer a celebration of Aggie’s life at her cousin Clara Stone’s former home at 379 Flower Rd., Santa Clara Pueblo on Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 11-3.