her Life


My name is Raquel Santistevan. Eloise was my bestie, my best friend and very much my sister! If you knew Eloise then you more than likely knew me and vice-versa. She was my confidante and I feel like a part of me is gone with her. She told me once that we had been friends for so long that she couldn’t remember which one of us was actually the bad influence. When Jerry Albert, her son, asked me to do the eulogy I felt so honored, yet scared that I would not be strong enough to keep my composure. So with all my strength, I stand here before all of you today, family and friends, with the greatest sadness in my heart. On Monday, May 29th Eloise Armijo, at the young age of 53 was taken from all of us in a split second. It is hard to understand why such a senseless, careless act by one person can take the life of another? However, this is a question without an answer and we should not dwell on why or how we lost our beautiful Eloise. Today we celebrate her life and remember all the remarkable things she accomplished in her lifetime and how truly wonderful she was.

Eloise Armijo was born in Albuquerque to Jennie Griego and Juan Armijo on May 9th, 1963. Eloise was the baby girl of their family. She was very close to her brothers, Raymond and Fabian. She always attributed her toughness and fearless attitude to growing up with only brothers. Fabian said that he was tough on her and that is probably why she chose to be a cop. She remained very close to them and their families and always looked forward to spending holidays with them. She once posted a message on FB to Jeanette and I about our brothers dying and how she couldn’t image this world without hers. Now they must live in a world without her. Eloise also has 3 younger siblings that she was very proud of: Matthew, Nadine and Mikayla. Eloise lost her father last year and it broke her heart. She missed him so much. I am confident that they have been reunited. Jennie, Eloise's mother, you were everything to Eloise And more than just mother and daughter, you were best friends. I remember the days you both spent shopping at thrift stores for antiques and going to the casino. Eloise had been helping her mom with projects around her house. There isn’t anything in this world they wouldn’t do for each other. I know their bond will never be broken. My mom told me that there is no greater pain than losing your child, that there is no pill, no cure, nothing can take away the pain. I am so sorry Jennie.

In 1988, Eloise married Jerry Griego Senior and together they had Jerry Albert Griego Jr. on May 21, 1990. Even though they divorced 5 years later, Eloise remained close to Jerry and her in-laws. Her love for her son Jerry Albert was huge, she was so proud of the kind, young man he had grown to be. Eloise and I used to spend hours talking about our kids and our hopes and dreams for them.

Eloise joined the Air National Guard shortly after high school and then the Albuquerque Police Dept. She worked as an APD officer from 1986 to 1996 during which time she made detective. She also studied Radiology at the Community College of the Air force. She was a radiographer from 1986 to 1996 in the NM Air Natl. Guard and was activated into active duty during Desert Storm and stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base. During her career in law enforcement she worked for the Valencia County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy sheriff and also with the APS Police Department as an Internal Affairs Investigator and school resource officer. Her career in law enforcement was challenging and she had to overcome many obstacles during those years. But she did it with great courage, dedication and grace. Eloise retired at a young age in 2004.

Eloise’s was also married to Joe Duran and she spoke often about how grateful she was for the time she was blessed with his children and grandchildren in her life. Eloise was an elegant and a very stylish person and she could rock a sexy dress like no other. She turned heads everywhere we went. She always looked so beautiful. What was amazing is she was beautiful inside too. She could find beauty in any situation. She was so independent yet could be vulnerable and troubled. She made me want to be a better person. We loved to shop, especially at the second hand stores and she always found that one unique item that had her name written all over it. Eloise touched so many people’s lives in her own special way. If you knew Eloise you wanted her on your side, in your corner. She once told me, “I will take a bullet for you, Raquel,” to which I quickly responded back, “I would take a bullet for you too EL”. She paused for a moment and then looked at me and said, “No you wouldn’t, but I know you would write a very stern letter defending me”. We were so different yet so much alike. She spoke of her love often for those she loved, her god daughter Reanna, her Aunt Vergie, her favorite cousin Helen Griego, they were so close , her nephew Fabian and little Monk and Blue and little Michael Armijo, her great nephew. Also her longtime friend Melinda Walker and newly found friend Raquel Chavez who both were with her when we lost her. Her biker family, whom she loved being with. The list is too long for me to mention everyone but I can’t forget to mention her little dog Happy. Eloise adopted Happy to save her, but Happy ended up saving Eloise. I will never forget when Eloise got Happy, she was my roommate and I had one rule, no animals. So Eloise rescued Happy and successfully hide her from me for two weeks in our house. My grandson finally spilled the beans and she quickly promised me she would find someone to take her. I soon realized how much of a difference Happy made in Eloise’s daily life, she took such delicate care of the puppy. So Happy became a part of our family.

Well, rules are made to be broken. And together we broke a lot of rules. Over the last 8 years Eloise and I have been inseparable. You rarely saw us alone. There wasn’t a day or night we didn’t talk, text or see each other. I don't know what I will do without her. I knew her best, her secrets, her regrets and her dreams and she knew mine. We always said to the grave. We made our bucket list and lived life to its fullest. We experienced so much together: joy, tears, laughter, heartaches, advice, our opinions and at times we agreed to disagree. But nothing could break our bond. Only Eloise and I could turn a 3 hour trip into a 9 hour trip and not even notice because we had so much fun! We laughed so hard she used to say we had tears running down our legs. We went everywhere together, I will never forget when we took off to NY on a whim and on a dime. What an amazing crazy adventure that was. We did things we thought we could never do alone but together we were not afraid. Riding our Harleys was one of those things. We rode our bikes together for the way it made us feel, free, confident and alive. No regrets sister. Our last trip was recent, we went to Portland, Oregon. I went for training and she paid her way to get away and relax. I was sick the entire trip and working, Eloise didn’t complain once that we didn’t do any sightseeing, she just took great care of me and gave me encouragement each day to go back. I will forever cherish every one of her smiles and memory of her and I together.

So Eloise, on behalf of your family and friends, we salute you for your passion and commitment to serving our country. We thank you for your generosity, patience and for your ever forgiving heart. We admire you for your spirituality, faith and deep devotion to your family and especially your great love for your son Jerry Albert. And most of all we love you for your uncritical, unconditional love and acceptance for others.

Goodbye my sweet friend, until we meet again.

I love you, I love you, I love you!!