Alamo Navajo woman dies of COVID-19 weeks after son - Albuquerque Journal

Alamo Navajo woman dies of COVID-19 weeks after son

Marie Pino

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Just weeks ago, Marie Pino was mourning the death of her son, Marcus, a high school basketball coach who was one of the early victims of COVID-19 on the Alamo Navajo reservation.

Now her family is mourning her loss. The longtime teacher died of the virus Wednesday.

“I buried my brother, now I’m going to have to bury my mother,” a tearful Natalie Pino told the Journal.

Marie Pino is the second person to die of COVID-19 on the reservation within the past week. Joseluis Gomez, a longtime emergency technician in the community, died last Sunday.

There have been four deaths related to the virus in the community of about 2,000 people in northwest Socorro County that is a remote part of the Navajo Nation.

Marie Pino, 67, had been interviewed by the Journal following her son Marcus Pino’s death on April 16. He was a coach at Alamo Navajo Community School.

She started feeling sick a couple of weeks after her son died, her daughter said. Marie Pino was taken to the emergency room at Socorro General Hospital – a Presbyterian Healthcare system facility – last week when she had trouble breathing. She was transported to Albuquerque.

“We don’t know what happened,” Natalie Pino said. “We kept testing negative. … We don’t know where exactly she got it.”

She doesn’t believe her mother had any other pre-existing medical conditions.

Marie Pino, who grew up in Sheep Springs, had lived in Alamo more than 40 years. She taught elementary grades for most of those years at the same school where her son coached.

“I knew both her and her son very well – I hired her son,” said Socorro County Manager Michael Hawkes, who had served as the CEO of the Alamo Navajo School Board. “She was a fantastic person. She was kind and loving. She raised fantastic children. She gave so much to her community.”

Marie Pino moved to the reservation after she met and married her husband, Ira Pino Sr., at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. She later earned an education degree at the University of New Mexico, her daughter said.

Marcus Pino, top left, poses for a team photo Feb. 14, the night he won the 100th career game as Alamo Navajo head boys basketball coach. (Courtesy Barbara Gordon, Alamo Navajo Athletic Director)

She described her mother as a down-to-earth person, who was devoted to her Christian faith.

“My mom was loving life,” Natalie Pino said. “She raised us all to have a sense of humor. That’s what I will miss the most, her sense of humor … She always knew what to say. When something happened, she would say, ‘I told you so.’ ”

Natalie Pino believes people on the Alamo Navajo reservation “are just now realizing the seriousness of the virus.”

“People still don’t comply with the regulations put into place (by the Navajo Nation),” she said.

Hawkes said he keeps in constant touch with people on the reservation in his role as county manager. The county, the City of Socorro and other organizations are working to make sure the people there have water and other supplies.

“They are going through some tough times right now,” he said.

In addition to Natalie, Marie Pino’s survivors include her husband; sons Ira Pino Jr. and Anderson Pino; and daughters Cheryl and Ivonne Pino. Natalie Pino said funeral services have not been set yet.

A gofundme account has been set up by Alamo EMTs on Joseluis Gomez’s behalf to pay for his funeral expenses and transportation back to Arizona, where he is from originally.

Home » News » New Mexico News » Alamo Navajo woman dies of COVID-19 weeks after son


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
NM expands help with filling court forms
ABQnews Seeker
Court-scribe program helps people understand and ... Court-scribe program helps people understand and complete documents
2
BioPark welcomes first-ever penguin hatchling
ABQnews Seeker
Mom and Dad are keeping healthy ... Mom and Dad are keeping healthy baby penguin warm
3
NMSU team suspends basketball player
ABQnews Seeker
Athletic Director makes school's first issuance ... Athletic Director makes school's first issuance on discipline since shooting
4
He faces 33 years in prison for raping a ...
ABQnews Seeker
A man who is facing up ... A man who is facing up to 33 years in prison after being convicted of raping a child has cut off the GPS monitor ...
5
Some retired educators are, slowly, returning to classrooms.
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico's plan to entice retired ... New Mexico's plan to entice retired educators to come back to the classroom is working — even if only by a little. As of ...
6
Speaker Brian Egolf resigns from PRC nominating panel, ending ...
ABQnews Seeker
Outgoing House Speaker Brian Egolf has ... Outgoing House Speaker Brian Egolf has avoided an ethics hearing by resigning from the state nominating committee he had appointed himself to earlier this ...
7
Father earns life sentence in toddler’s death
ABQnews Seeker
Fatal injuries to a 2-year-old boy ... Fatal injuries to a 2-year-old boy in 2018 resulted in a sentence of life in prison for the child's father, who was convicted by ...
8
Under PNM's new rate case, utility plans to charge ...
ABQnews Seeker
Public Service Co. of New Mexico's ... Public Service Co. of New Mexico's residential customers would pay just 75 cents extra per month if state regulators approve a proposed rate increase ...
9
An APD officer's law enforcement certificate was revoked in ...
ABQnews Seeker
The officer had been fired in ... The officer had been fired in May 2021, and another officer who was involved was fired but has been reinstated