‘Legendary’ NM nurse Dorotea Montoya dies at 86

Dorotea Montoya

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Dorotea Montoya, a pioneering pediatric nurse practitioner who was the mother of Española Moving Arts’ co-founder and political candidate Roger Montoya, has died at age 86.

Known to her friends as “Dottie,” Dorotea Roybal was born Oct. 29, 1933, near Peñasco. She was one of 13 children of Demetria and Maximiliano Roybal.

After graduating from Peñasco High School, Roybal studied nursing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and in Albuquerque.

She met her husband, José Amado Montoya, while working as a nurse in Colorado.

The couple had six children and lived outside of Denver before moving to New Mexico.

After being hired as a school nurse at Española Valley High School, Dorotea Montoya opened a clinic in 1983 aimed at curbing teen pregnancy.

“Through her wellness center, she provided a safe and nurturing environment for counseling that included abstinence training, sex education and comprehensive family planning services; treatment for teens with STDs; HIV/AIDS education; and a myriad of psychological, social and emotional health modalities,” her son Daniel Montoya said in a statement.

Among the numerous honors Dorotea Montoya received was the prestigious Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood of the Rio Grande in 1994. She was also honored as a “legendary” nurse by the state of New Mexico in 2004 and was given the 2017 school-based health care legacy award by the New Mexico Alliance for School-Based Health Care.

“Her real gift was understanding the vulnerability and potential of young people,” Roger Montoya said in an interview.

Roger Montoya was one of 10 CNN Heroes of the Year in 2019 and is running in New Mexico House District 40 to fill a vacancy created when Rep. Joseph Sanchez, D-Alcade, decided to run for office in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.

Along with his partner, Salvador Ruiz-Esquivel, Roger Montoya a decade ago founded Moving Arts Española, which offers youngsters free dance, music, gymnastics and other classes, as well as complimentary meals.

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