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

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

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

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
'Aladdin' cast takes on iconic roles with ease at ...
ABQnews Seeker
Sometimes, you only need one wish. ... Sometimes, you only need one wish. As the national tour of Disney's 'Aladdin,' took the stage at Popejoy Hall on Wednesday for its seven-performance ...
Blake's still serving up the food that makes it ...
ABQnews Seeker
The late Blake Chanslor launched his ... The late Blake Chanslor launched his eponymous restaurant way back in 1952.
Filmed in ABQ, 'Flamin' Hot' tells the story of ...
ABQnews Seeker
"Flamin' Hot" begins streaming Friday, June ... "Flamin' Hot" begins streaming Friday, June 9, on Hulu and Disney+.
Local actress lands part in New Mexico-filmed Cheetos movie
ABQnews Seeker
On June 9, "Flamin' Hot," starring ... On June 9, "Flamin' Hot," starring New Mexico native Lora Martinez-Cunningham, is set to stream on both Hulu and Disney+.
Country duo LOCASH making stop at Isleta with Kane ...
ABQnews Seeker
LOCASH recently released the single, "Three ... LOCASH recently released the single, "Three Favorite Colors" which has already become a hit at its concerts.
Pitino is high on UNM newcomers as Lobos start ...
ABQnews Seeker
A wide variety of updates on ... A wide variety of updates on Lobo hoops as UNM players start summer workouts, including Pitino's thoughts on rivalry scheduling and much more.
APS Superintendent Scott Elder to step down at the ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Albuquerque Public Schools board is ... The Albuquerque Public Schools board is parting ways with Superintendent Scott Elder. He was officially given the full position just over two years ago. ...
Local golf: Lobo Herron has memorable run -- and ...
ABQnews Seeker
For Carson Herron, golf's longest day ... For Carson Herron, golf's longest day started when the alarms went off around 5:45 a.m ...
Lobo football adds transfer receiver from Mississippi State
ABQnews Seeker
Mississippi State transfer wide receiver Kaydin ... Mississippi State transfer wide receiver Kaydin Pope, listed at 6-feet, 175 pounds, announced his intention to transfer to New Mexico on Wednesday via social ...