María “Concha” Concepción Ortiz y Pino de Kleven
County : Torrance
Category : Government/Legal
María Concepción Ortiz y Pino de Kleven, or “Concha” as she was called, was a legend in her day. She grew up on the family ranch in Galisteo, received a good education beginning with the Sisters of Loretto, became involved with politics and was elected legislative majority whip in the state legislature, knew and served many Presidents, and taught and managed the family properties.
She had a stately air about her that at once conveyed her pride in who she was, her intelligence, and her self-confidence. Her demeanor also signaled a constant curiosity in the people she met. Her lasting legacy will be in her constant promotion by word, deed, and example of who she was, which was a member of a multi-generational New Mexican Hispanic family. She was a person who knew who her ancestors were and would, at some point, travel to Cádiz, Spain to witness the placement of a marker that included the name of her great-grandfather who represented New Mexico in Spain in 1812.
Concha worked on many boards, including commissions for Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Ford. She constantly supported and promoted Hispanic arts and humanities in New Mexico and worked behind the scenes to help advance Hispanic New Mexicans. These people ranged from writers to politicians to museum directors to professors. She encouraged youth to maintain their ambitions and, in fact, loved to learn from them about their
families. More times than not, she could recall tales involving their parents or grandparents.
Concha was a person who touched many lives, both directly and indirectly.
Kathryn M. Cordova, Concha! Concha Ortiz y Pino: Matriarch of a 300 Year-Old New Mexico Legacy,
(Santa Fe; La Herencia, 2004)
Georgia K. Ulibarri-Ortiz, “Cinco Hispanas notables del Suroeste, (MA Thesis, New Mexico Highlands Universtiy, 2005).
Concha Ortiz y Pino de Kleven Papers, 1930-1991. The Center for Southwest Research, Zimmerman Library, UNM.