Nash Candelaria was a great man. He died on January 5, 2016. He was born to Ignacio Nuanes Candelaria & Flora Rivera, who were both native Nuevo Mexicanos with deep roots in the state’s Spanish Colonial, and Mexican & Territorial periods. His only sibling, Lillian Flora Candelaria, preceded him in death, in May 2009.
I am privledged to have known Nash since I was 17 years old – he was my second cousin, mentor and friend. My sister Pearl Louise (1962-1999) and I met Nash and his wife Doranne at his residence in Palo Alto, California. He was a great influence on me in my writing, research and quest for knowledge of my family history. Furthermore, he was influential in his patience, kindness, generosity, positive attitude, and open-mindedness. I’ll always treasure his simple, encouraging words to me: “Keep on keeping on.”
His biography on amazon.com reads “Nash Candelaria is a descendant of one of the pioneer families that founded Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1706. He is the author of several important works of Chicano literature including “Not by the Sword,” an American Book Award Winner, and “Memories of the Alhambra,” one of the seminal novels of Chicano literature.” Nash’s contribution to literature, family history research, and social change can’t be emphasized enough – while he was a very modest gentleman about his accomplishments, he is deserving of much praise. I am glad that I was able to honor him in my second book “Por constancia/So that it may be validated: Family History in the Río Abajo.” (Río Grande Books, 2014)