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Theresa Rios Sandoval passed away at her Albuquerque home surrounded by her immediate family on April 11, 2017 after a courageous battle with breast cancer. Theresa will be remembered for her wit, her love and loyalty to her family and friends, and her spirit.

Theresa was born in Rincon, NM, near Hatch, in southern New Mexico. Her wit, courage and occasional sharp tongue may have been inherited from the piquant chile for which Hatch is famous. The family moved to Albuquerque where she graduated as a proud Bulldog from Albuquerque High School. She met her lifelong love, Dan, at Presbyterian Hospital where they both worked and they married on June 16, 1962 and soon they were blessed with their three sons, Steven, Diego and Carlos. She was a full-time mother and housewife, but when the boys left the nest, her interests blossomed into art, photography, gardening and her passion for politics.

A staunch Democrat, she worked for many candidates over the years as a door knocker, mail stuffer, literature dropper, phone banking - she did it all, developing a reputation as a hard and dependable worker. She became involved at the Precinct, Ward, County and State levels of the party and worked closely with her good friend Bill Hoch, when he was the Bernalillo County Chairman. She was elected to the State Central Committee and served for many years. She also worked in Santa Fe during the legislative session for many years at the Secretary of State Office, the State Treasures Office and the State Auditor's Office. She shined as secretary for her close friend, Senator Bernadette Sanchez until both retired.

Theresa and Dan loved to travel and visited many parts of the country from Seattle to Washington D.C; from Chicago to New Orleans; with many stops in-between visiting friends and family in California, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, and especially New York. Theresa was a sports-minded husband's dream wife when her interests encompassed baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf, and football. They had Lobo season football tickets for many years and loved tailgating, where her renowned cooking skills came out. She loved her Denver Broncos - they were the best. Their passion for football took them on trips to see their Lobos play in Reno, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Las Cruces and El Paso. She loved going to the US Open at Forest Hills, rooting for her favorite tennis stars.

Theresa was preceded in death by her father, Feliciano Rios; and her mother, Consuelo Serna Rios. She will be greatly missed by her husband, Dan; sons, Steven and his partner, Greg, Diego, and Carlos and his wife, Patricia; grandchildren, Michelle, Alison," baby" Carlos, Ashley and Amanda; and her great-grandchildren, "the apple of her eye" Nicholas, and Natalya; sister, Cecilia Gomez and her husband, Raymond; brothers, Jesse Rios and his wife, Sherry, and Charlie Rios; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Celebration of her Life will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2017, 2:00 p.m., at FRENCH - University.