Year End Report

Now near the end of 2022, the nonprofit organization for Historic Fairview Cemetery has been active for two years and nine months. Here’s a look at the accomplishments achieved this year. We appreciate all the time and effort put in by members of the Board and volunteers throughout the community.

2022 Highlights and Cemetery Events

January 6: New Mexico Statehood Day

KRQE-TV did a story about the founders of New Mexico buried in Historic Fairview Cemetery. This was also the day local tree companies began donating mulch to the cemetery for landscaping improvements.

March 10: Albuquerque Business First Philanthropy Awards

The Board of Historic Fairview Cemetery was recognized as a “Best Board” in this annual award event by Albuquerque Business First. Here’s the speech HFC President Gail Rubin gave at the event.

Board of Historic Fairview Cemetery 2022

The Board of Historic Fairview Cemetery in early 2022.

At the beginning of the year, the Board of the Historic Fairview Cemetery nonprofit organization consisted of:

  • President: Gail Rubin
  • Vice President: Patricia Milner
  • Secretary: Sara Sather
  • Treasurer: Janet Saiers
  • Board Members: Chris Nolan, Lisa Roberts, Ed Sather, Pam Steibler-Wendt, and Claude Valles

By the end of 2022, for various reasons, several Board members resigned to pursue other activities. We welcome new Board members and officers, especially those with experience in nonprofit organization grant writing and researching history. If you are interested in becoming involved as a Board member or officer, please contact Gail Rubin at 505-265-7215.

May 30: Memorial Day Tours

A short Memorial Day ceremony was followed by self-guided tours to visit speakers located throughout the cemetery who covered these topics:

  • Davis Begay with the New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League on the Japanese experience in the Southwest at the turn of the century, and two people buried at HFC, Kiku Honda and Seichi Ikemoto.
  • Will Steinsiek on Reverend Thomas Harwood, Methodist minister, and his wife Emily.
  • Paul Duncan on the Simms family: Albert G. Simms, Ruth Hannah McCormick Simms, and her son John Medill McCormick.
  • Staff from the Menaul Historical Library of the Southwest on the Menaul family.
  • Teri Reynoso with the Special Collections Branch of the Public Library of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County on Crawford Savage. He was publisher of The Herald of the Well Country, a publication for health seekers, those suffering from tuberculosis.
  • Roland Penttila on Lyman Putney, constructor of the first building in New Town ABQ in 1882.
  • Jack Fox on New Mexico Rough Riders in the Spanish American War and Chaplain Ted Howden, who survived the Bataan Death March and died in the Davao Penal Colony in WWII.

June 13: Monument Preservation Workshop

Historic Fairview Cemetery hosted a free workshop with noted gravestone and monuments conservator Jonathan Appell. As part of his “48 State Tour” to restore historic cemeteries, Jon taught about effective gravestone cleaning techniques, and how to repair and re-set markers.

July 30: Barnes & Noble Community Day

The Coronado Center Barnes & Noble provided an information table at the store and a portion of the day’s proceeds were donated to HFC. The event raised more than $3,000!

August 11: Cemetery Stories

The Cemetery Stories storytelling event brought nearly 100 community members to Fairview Cemetery at dusk. They experienced the history of the cemetery and heard a collection of short stories presented by folks from around New Mexico. The event was held in cooperation with the New Mexico Humanities Council.

September 13: Cemetery Road Named Albert Exter Loop

Albert Exter Loop road sign

Albert Exter Loop road sign

During 2021, road signs were installed throughout the cemetery to help people to better navigate the grounds. In 2022, Remembrance Road was renamed Albert Exter Loop, in honor of an Albuquerque funeral director. He buried many people in Historic Fairview Cemetery and made great contributions to the development of the city. Exter pioneered the first air ambulance service in the state in 1929. Learn more about Albert Exter here.

October 11: Bernalillo County Commission Supports Restoration Project

In late 2021, John Garcia, past Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services (NMDVS) and current District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, visited the cemetery. He was dismayed at the condition of the veteran burial areas American Legion #1 (burials from 1926-1941) and American Legion #2 (1941-1988).

He began making contacts to get these final resting places for veterans improved. Thanks to his initiative, the Bernalillo County Commission voted to provide $300,000 in funding to renovate these burial areas and bring them up to “VA shrine standards.” A Memorandum Of Agreement between Bernalillo County, the NMDVS and Historic Fairview Cemetery was signed before the vote.

The NMDVS, which manages veterans’ cemeteries throughout the state, will facilitate the renovation project. The funds will be used to re-set veteran headstones in precise alignment, build a low wall around both areas, xeriscape, replace the flagpole in American Legion #2 and restore the Monument to the Unknown Dead in American Legion #1.

Watch the KRQE-TV News story from Veterans Day.

October 30: Victorian Picnic and History Scavenger Hunt

Victorian Picnic

Victorian Picnic participants

Historic Fairview Cemetery held a Victorian-style picnic on Visit a Cemetery Day (the last Sunday in October). People brought their own picnic foods and drinks, folding chairs, tables and decor, and wore their Victorian Steampunk finery! Activities included a scavenger hunt to discover the history of Albuquerque and learn about some of the notable people buried in the cemetery.

November 11: Veterans Day Observances

A short Veterans Day observance was held at the cemetery, followed by a self-guided tour of notable veterans buried throughout the cemetery. Bernalillo County Commissioners Adriann Barboa and Debbie O’Malley, Edward Mendez with the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services, and others spoke.

Here’s a video of the observances:

First Saturday Cleanups

Volunteers came out to help clean the cemetery on the first Saturday of every month (except July – it was the holiday weekend). Our efforts to minimize weeds and encourage natural grasses and wildflowers by mulching are starting to pay off. Visitors are commenting that the grounds are looking better than they have in years.

A big thank you to the individuals and groups who come and help. We especially thank Dominic and Renie Carmona, volunteers who come from Los Lunas to clear weeds with their weed whackers. They also have a tractor they bring to move major amounts of mulch. Their regular visits have made a huge difference in the overall appearance of Historic Fairview Cemetery.

PNM Day of Service

Employees of PNM clean the cemetery at their Day of Service.

Much appreciation to these organizations for their help throughout 2022:

  • The New Mexico Department of Veterans Services
  • City of Albuquerque Solid Waste Department for extra help in May and November
  • The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Lew Wallace Chapter
  • The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) – Memorial Day and Veterans Day flag placement
  • The American Legion – Memorial Day and Veterans Day flag placement
  • Local Boy Scout troops – Memorial Day and Veterans Day flag placement
  • The local DeMolay youth groups who come work on the Masonic section
  • The Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle club

And a big thank you to PNM for their Day of Service on October 20 and Congregation Albert for its Mitzvah Day activities at HFC on December 4.

If you would like some mulch for your home landscaping, please come by during daylight hours and help yourself from the two huge piles in the center of the cemetery. We have plenty to share!

Other Developments

After 18 years of involvement helping people find their relatives’ burial plots and researching local history, Susan Schwartz resigned as Historian of Historic Fairview Cemetery. She moved to Florida a few years ago and has gotten involved with cemeteries there. She has made her stories about notable cemetery residents available at her blog, We thank Susan for her dedication over the years.

Walking history tours were held at the cemetery through Albuquerque Oasis on May 10 and 16, and October 4. During the year, repairs to block wall breaches were made along the north wall and east wall along Columbia Drive SE. Board members Lisa Roberts and Pam Steibler-Wendt created T-shirts for HFC that promote the cemetery and were part of the participation fee for the Victorian Picnic.

Publicity over the course of 2022 included:

  • A display in the Erna Fergusson Branch Library lobby display case
  • KKOB radio program with Terry Travis did an interview regarding the Victorian Picnic
  • Several stories on KRQE-TV
  • Several placements in the Albuquerque Journal
  • A cover story in Cemetery and Cremation Magazine (July issue)
  • Click here for the KOB-TV Pay It 4ward award coverage


Here’s a breakdown of funds raised in 2022:

  • $300,000 Bernalillo County contract with HFC and NM Dept of Veterans Services to repair American Legion areas (funding handled through NMDVS)
  • $2,500 City of ABQ from Councilor Ike Benton’s constituent fund for tombstone repair
  • $500 Historical Society of NM to be used for tombstone repair
  • $252 NM Humanities Council from 2022 Cemetery Stories event
  • $3,013 Barnes & Noble Community Fundraiser
  • $400 Pay It 4Ward, Channel 4 KOB Television, donated from Gail Rubin who was nominated by DAR Regent Helen Beatty
  • $1,816 (donations from individuals and Network for Good)

Total 2022 Income (as of December 14, 2022): $9,211.65

Total 2022 Expenses (as of December 14, 2022): $3,779.33

If you can, please make a tax-deductible contribution by the end of 2022! Thank you for your support of Historic Fairview Cemetery. Donate online through our secure PayPal account here.

The Board will plan activities for 2023 at our January meeting. More maintenance and landscaping, history-sharing events and activities, and interpretive signage are part of our plans.