Lydia Verdugo Quijada, 67, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. She was born on May 18,1953 to Mary R. and Baltazar A. Verdugo.
Lydia is preceded in death by her mother and father, Mary R. and Baltazar A. Verdugo, and her older brother.
She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Ramon; her children, Sam and Nacio (Amy); her sisters, Mary, Jessie Ann (John), and Germain (Robert); and her brother, Baltazar. Along with these loved ones she leaves behind many nieces, nephews and friends who all meant a great deal to her.
She was raised in Hayden with her brother and three sisters. Upon graduating from Hayden High School, Lydia attended college and earned a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona. On April 24, 1976 she married the love of her life, Ramon Quijada. They later had two sons, Samuel and Ignacio, to complete their family. Lydia began her teaching career as a Second Grade teacher at Avondale Elementary School. Following that she worked at Little Lambs teaching preschool children. Prior to retiring in 2014, Lydia taught First Grade at Ashton Ranch Elementary School for 11 years. Upon learning of her passing, her principal, Donna, describes her as an ‘angel on earth.“ ’She was a caring teacher with a big heart! She has a place in mine now.”
Lydia was a dedicated wife and mother first and foremost. She treasured her husband and
children, embracing every moment with them. She never spent more than a few hours away
from her family and was always in touch by phone. Her love and sense of responsibility for
them knew no bounds.
Lydia had a great love for her pets, as well as those belonging to her son, Nacio and his wife, Amy. Sam loved to laugh when his mom came home and greeted his dog with a “tickle-tickle” as she rubbed his belly. Lydia spent many hours playing games and laughing with her family! Ramon said he enjoyed the tradition of making tamales together every year. He would hug and grab her every chance he got! She feigned irritation, he says, but he knows she loved the attention!
Lydia loved to cook and bake tried and true family recipes but also loved to venture into new ones. She taught herself how to crochet and enjoyed sewing. She rarely missed a chance to take her boys to root for the Phoenix Suns! Lydia was spiritual each day of her life; she was a devout Catholic and her faith in God was unwavering.She will be greatly missed by
all who knew and loved her.
A Funeral Mass was held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Road, in Avondale. Visitation and Rosary were also held at Holy Cross Catholic Funeral Home and Cemetery, 9925 W. Thomas Road in Avondale.