Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Gloria Sawtell

Gloria Sawtell


Honored December, 1991

Gloria C. Sawtell

Gloria Sawtell, one of Santa Fe’s most active volunteers, first came to Santa Fe with her family in 1928. She was only three years old. “My parents loved Santa Fe,” said the native of Omaha, Nebraska. “We visited for a month every summer, until world War II.”

Following her graduation from Stanford University and marriage, Gloria intended to share her love of Santa Fe with her husband, Bill. The couple came to Santa Fe on their wedding trip, spending their honeymoon at Bishop’s Lodge.

Finally, after years of volunteer service in Omaha, where she worked with special-needs children in Junior League efforts, and later became director of the Omaha Volunteer Bureau, Gloria moved permanently to Santa Fe in 1972 with her husband, Bill. She joined the League of Women Voters, serving as president for two years, then began the Volunteer Involvement Service. She served on the board of the Opera Guild, then became a founding board member of the Santa Fe Community Foundation, working in this capacity for over a decade. She has also been a program chairman for Leadership Santa Fe, a nine-month training session for those who wish to become involved with Santa Fe civic activities sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, as well as a volunteer at the Museum of New Mexico.