Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Eisenberg_RoslynRoslyn Eisenberg

Honored October, 2012

Roslyn Eisenberg

She has a rich and layered history of community involvement and activity, a strong belief in personal responsibility and the right of personal choice.  In her life, Roslyn Eisenberg has lived  a life of integrity, caring and purpose.  Her positive influence is immeasurable- through her years of teaching and owning the legendary Villagra bookstore in the heart of downtown Santa Fe.

The Texas transplant's early days in Santa Fe were wide and varied.
She was a girl scout leader and served on the international Girl Scout staff at "Our Cabana" the Girl Scout/Guide center in Mexico.  According to former scouts, "Scouting was more than camping in the mountains and fun trips.   She helped teach girls how to be well-rounded, creative, responsible citizens and to give young women the skills and practice to go forward in life with pride, integrity and self-confidence. Roz did this by demonstrating these principles in her own life."

Roz was the the only woman teacher who was not a nun when she taught at the Loretta Academy and St. Francis Cathedral. She was an Analytical Statistician at the Los Alamos National Lab and as a research assistant for the Board of Education Finance.  Then she became a teacher for the deaf. Throughout her 27 year teaching career at the School for the Deaf,  she was involved in ongoing education about issues that were part of her teaching responsibility.  She provided  interpretative work for the deaf for the courts and local lawyers, and at events at UNM, believing that everyone, no matter what their personal challenges, should have equal access to community rights and services.

While still teaching  she bought and co-owned the Villagra book store in Sena Plaza--and worked there after school. She strongly supported  regional writers and publishers. Through her book fairs and book signings, readers had an opportunity to meet local writers. Tony Hillerman then a journalist, had a signing of his first book, The Blessing Way at Villagra.  She promoted the work of good friends like Laura Gilpin.

Roz worked with many of the well known southwestern women anthropologists--Bertha Dutton and Marjorie Lambert.  She helped Florence Ellis set up an anthropological museum at Ghost Ranch and catalogued all the books in the museum. She worked with Charlie Steen and Elliot Porter when president of the Archeological Society of Santa Fe.

Roz is a font of knowledge for the different cultures she loves.  She has a wonderful collection of Native American art and knows the artists who made them.

Living this rich, diverse, and busy life Roz  never forgets to call on the elderly, to ask what they may need and offer her help. To many she is a loving family member.

How Roz has chosen to live her life has shown those around her it can be done with integrity, responsibility, and love.  It is a living legacy of its own.



Story by Nancy Dahl

Photo © 2012 by Genevieve Russell