Maria Margarita Aragon Cruz, 75, of Fairview, died Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at the CarePartners Solace Center.
A native of Albuquerque, NM, she was a daughter of the late John and Laura Aragon. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Elaine Aragon.
Margarita, (also known as Margaret by family and friends), graduated with honors from St. Mary’s High School in Albuquerque. She was born with a hole in her heart and was one of the first five people in the United States to have open-heart surgery and was not expected to live past the age of 25, or to be able to have children. She went on to live to the age of 75 and had three children.
During her life, she owned an art gallery in Palo Alto, CA and worked at Stanford in the Neurology Department. She was a fierce defender of human rights and was the president of MANA and a member of NOW. She tirelessly crusaded for the rights of migrant farm workers and helped with managing refugees during the Cuban Refugee Crisis in the 1980’s. Despite being born, with what some said, was a life-threatening heart issue, she lived a long, purposeful and heart-felt life.
Margaret is survived by her husband, Joseph Cruz; two daughters, Lisa Gallegos Mouhibian (Arman) of Los Angeles, CA and Christina Gallegos Merrill (Doug) of Fairview; one step-daughter, Krystal Cruz of Fairview; one son, Richard Robert Gallegos of San Diego, CA; one sister, Elizabeth Aragon Culp of Lumberton, TX; one brother, Joseph Charles Aragon of Los Lunas, NM; five grandchildren, Justin Thornton, Henry Gaisford, Adam Gaisford, Lily Merrill and Lorraine Munoz, as well as one great-granddaughter on the way, Emma Joyce Gaisford.
A Life Celebration Service will be held at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian in the fall.
For those who desire, memorial contributions may be made in Margaret’s name to CarePartners Solace Center, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813.