Patrick C. Lujan of Santa Fe, NM, passed away on February 28, 2023.
Pat was born in Embudo, NM, on September 17, 1940, to Alfredo Lujan from Nambe, and Bernarda (Martinez) Lujan from Chimayo, and spent his entire life in Santa Fe, NM. Pat is the second of five brothers. He attended Guadalupe Elementary school and graduated from St. Michael’s High School.
Pat is remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend to many.
Pat is survived by his devoted wife, Karana, with whom he has shared over 20 years. He is also survived by his loving daughters, Lori Lujan and Carol Lujan; stepdaughters Sara Gutierrez (Rick) and Samaranthe Luna (John); grandchildren Desiree (David) Brown and Olivia (Dustin) Brown, Isaiah Lujan-LaRue, and Kieran and Max Luna. Pat is also survived by his brothers: Fred Lujan (Ruby), Edward Lujan (Marcy), Richard Lujan (Dori), David Lujan and many nieces and nephews.
As a boy, Pat spent a lot of time in the summers with extended family in Chimayo. He enjoyed working with his cousins with the pigs and chickens. Pat told the story of playing with the baby pigs with a cousin, placing the little pigs into the top of a small acequia full of running water and then running down the hill to retrieve the squealing little pigs after they tumbled down to the bottom.
Pat always worked. He sold newspapers and shined shoes on the Santa Fe Plaza at various times at a young age.
Pat worked with his father on different construction jobs, interior house painting or carpentry jobs. Pat spoke of learning from his father and his mother to work hard and apply himself. He knew that his parents worked very hard to provide for their family. There was inherent respect in the family for Pat’s parents and grandparents; for his aunts and uncles.
Pat told the story that one evening he had plans to go to a school teen party. He was working with his dad on a project and Pat was ready to wrap it up for the day. His Dad said, “no we need to finish this tonight.” Pat never said a word about the party and continued working. His Dad knew there was something, so he asked Pat if he had plans for the evening. Pat told his dad about the party, but Pat did not complain about not going. Pat knew it was his job to help his dad. Pat’s Dad said, "Well we can finish this tomorrow you go to your dance."
Pat learned from his parents that he could speak up in any situation when something was wrong and that nobody was better than anybody else. Pat took that forward in his life very strongly, defending or speaking up for anyone he felt was being treated unfairly. Pat was self-confident and did not suffer bullies well.
Pat told the story of a day on the plaza when a busload of boy scouts arrived from out of the state. The local shoeshine boys were on the plaza as well, including Pat. The boys on the bus were throwing pennies and nickels out the windows of the bus and the Santa Fe shoeshine boys were diving for the coins. Pat told the shoeshine boys to stop diving for the money, because the boy scouts on the bus were mocking them, laughing at them, and had no respect for the shoeshine boys. Pat talked with the scout leader objecting to the scouts’ behavior. This is at age 12 maybe.
Pat was awarded a scholarship to attend St Michaels High School in Santa Fe. Pat, of course, told the nuns at Guadalupe to “give the scholarship to my friend, Henry Romero” because Pat wanted to go to Santa Fe High with his friends George and Alex. The nuns at Guadalupe said, “Well you should talk with your parents.” Pat told his mom “Guess what, they want to give me a scholarship to St. Mikes but I told them no, I’m going to Santa Fe High.” Of course, Pat’s mom said, “no Patricio you are going to St. Mikes.”
Pat married Marie Madrid in 1961. They raised two daughters, Lori Jane, and Carol Ann.
Pat and Marie owned and operated Country Boarding Kennels, where customers boarded their animals. He would bathe the dogs that no one else could handle and the dogs trusted him. If a dog were sad or not feeling well, Pat would lie down in their kennel with the dog and comfort them, play with them, and make them feel safe.
Pat worked at the same time at Eberline Instruments, which was a manufacturing facility here in Santa Fe. Pat was their logistics manager and responsible for shipping radioactive materials and radiation detection equipment all over the world. His position required that he comply with numerous and varied U.S. government rules and regulations. Pat was a trouble shooter and a problem solver to the max.
Pat bought multiple properties and renovated or rebuilt them to where they were like new. He rented the properties, and then maintained them diligently. Pat took care of his tenants. He maintained the yards and kept the houses in good condition. The tenants knew that if something were needed, Pat would get it done. He had a couple tenants who after moving out many years ago still brought him Christmas gifts each year.
Pat was constantly remodeling and renovating his properties. Building, fixing, sanding, painting. Watching something rough turn into something finished and perfect brought him the most satisfaction. He loved to work with his hands. Pat would be in his garage constantly fixing something, often items he retrieved from the dump: axes, hoes, shovels, toys, and then giving these items away.
Pat’s brothers and friends knew to go back to his garage because that is where he would be, working on something. As they randomly stopped by, they’d talk about each other’s projects and shared stories about some kind of construction. Pat’s personality was contagious, and he definitely shared his knowledge of carpentry. Naturally, they always enjoyed each other’s company and shared a few laughs.
Pat had lifelong friends. Best friends from first grade type of friends. Always doing favors for each other, helping each other, anything that was needed. Viejo...amigo.
Pat was curious, almost nosy about people. But people responded to him because they could tell he was genuinely interested in what was going on and what other people were about.
One more story: Pat needed a pacemaker. He was lying flat on the gurney rolling down the hall to the surgery area. As he was going into the surgery area, he told the medical people wheeling him “Hey you better look at that light fixture up there. It’s going to fall on somebody one of these days.” Sure enough we all looked up and the light fixture was hanging down by its wires. They were amazed that Pat would notice and comment on something like that right at that moment.
Pat was a gentleman. He was funny, loved to laugh. He would help all he could when anyone asked for help. Pat was a quiet confident man. He loved his friends and his family, loved talking with people. A strong man. Inherently kind, beautifully masculine, with unique wisdom and strength. He was separate and stood apart in a world that can be harsh and too quick to judge. His heart was large and good.