Santa Fe Living Treasures ‚Äď Elder Stories
Honored May 2016
We could ask for no better ambassador to Santa Fe than Al Grubesic. He is the embodiment of SF at its best. His enthusiasm for our city is contagious and his qualities as a human being distinguish him as a unique and invaluable asset to our town.
He was born to parents who migrated to the U.S. from Croatia in the early 1900’s. He grew up in the northern New Mexico coal mining town of Dawson where his father worked as a miner.
From those humble beginnings, Al became a successful realtor during the time Santa Fe was growing by leaps and bounds. Beginning as an accountant, he then quickly moved into sales for Alan Stamm who was well known for his family friendly homes and neighborhood developments. Al loves Santa Fe and he loved his job. He was a natural born salesman, a perfect fit for someone who loved meeting people and was genuinely warm and interested in finding the right home and neighborhood for them. Believing in promoting up-and-coming developers and builders he easily worked with the designer-architects, builders and craftsmen, sales staff and developers. He played a part in building Santa Fe and maintaining its integrity and uniqueness. Following his tenure with “Stamm Sales,” he built his own successful real estate company which became “Grubesic and Associates. ” Everyone, his colleagues and new home owners, respected Al highly because of his business ethics, patience, and hard work.
In the mid 1960’s Al was appointed, and then elected to the City Council. It was during that time the council spearheaded the implementation of Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe’s inner loop. His reputation on the Council was always fair and resected by his supporters as well as his opponents. Al cherished the time he worked with the people he represented in his district.
He was an athlete in high school and college. Sports has always been important to Al and he has shared that passion by sponsoring little league baseball teams and mentoring young coaches. The Grubesic Sales” van could be seen taking the young athletes to and from their games. One of his favorite lines is “If you’re going to help children in whatever way, you get so much back.” In 1985 the Santa Fe New Mexican Sports Department awarded him Sportsperson of the Year.
Al is the ultimate devoted family man; he is the loving and supportive husband, father and grandfather everyone should have. He engaged his family in neighborhood activities such as setting up Christmas farilitos. He included them and exposed them to his involvement in Santa Fe. He brought them to open houses, and to the city council. Al has created family traditions such as Croatian meals during the holidays. He instilled in his children the responsibility for self and their role in upholding family values. His grown children are successful and responsible citizens of the Santa Fe community today.
Exerpts from his letters of nomination further illustrate how fortunate we are to have Al Grubesic as a new Living Treasure.
“He has always served the Santa Fe community with honor, distinction, and compassion and has endeavored to make our city a better place to live.”
“Al has a big heart and wants people to be happy.”
“He exemplifies the virtues of a dedicated father, a hard-working citizen, and a proud ambassador to the city he saw grow in leaps and bounds. The people of SF have enriched his life and he is incredibly appreciative of their friendship.He has generously given of himself to ensure that Santa Fe remains unique and friendly, to both the new comer and the long established resident.”
“Some people of Al’s vintage spend their days looking in the rearview mirror. Not Al. Each day dawns with new experiences, new acquaintances and a chance to share all the things he loves about Santa Fe.”
Story by Nancy Dahl
Photo © 2016 by Genevieve Russell