Julie Gutierrez left an indelible imprint on everyone with whom she came in contact, she also deeply impacted the organizations with whom she chose to share her leadership and philanthropy, including the Albuquerque Community Foundation and Menaul School. After provided years of exemplary service as Chairman of the Board for both organizations, Julie had returned to Menaul School in 2019 to chair a comprehensive campaign that included the building of a new middle school to better serve the unique needs of early adolescent students. Julie continued to serve until her battle with cancer took her away. The Julie Gutierrez Menaul Middle School Memorial Fund has been established as a tribute to her life, her spirit and her passion; donations will be directed toward the development of Julie Gutierrez Middle School, a lasting legacy of her loving commitment to the students of Menaul School.
Juliana “Julie” Cullender Gutierrez, passed away peacefully in the arms of her husband, Alberto, at home surrounded by loved ones on July 3, 2020. Juliana was born in Albuquerque on August 29, 1951 to Raymond and Mary Cullender. She lived a beautiful life as a devoted wife, amazing mother, caring sister, loving aunt and doting grandmother. Those who knew Juliana understood that she was a unique soul with a special spirit. She left an indelible imprint on everyone with whom she came into contact. In her early years Juliana lived in downtown Albuquerque, close to the railroad station, where her father was the yardmaster. She attended St. Mary’s for primary school, where her mother was a secretary. Juliana attended high school at West Mesa, where she graduated in 1969 with honors. After high school, she moved to Lubbock, TX to briefly attend Texas Tech before returning home to complete her undergraduate education at UNM. She obtained a B.A. in English and graduated Suma Cum Laude and Phi Betta Kappa. After getting married and briefly working as an English teacher, Juliana took a position at UNM Medical Center. Always the consummate overachiever with a fierce intellect, uncommon work ethic and natural talent for management, Juliana rose rapidly through the ranks. After earning her MBA, along-side her sister Mary Lou, she ultimately became the VP of Business and Finance at UNM. As accomplished as she was as a professional, Juliana was an even more committed confidant to her nieces and ever-present mother to her children, Jason and Mariya. Juliana also had a special place in her heart and connection to her dogs. She loved her Cavaliers, Maddie and Olive, who will continue to remind us of Julie’s kindness and spunk.
In 2001, after her friend Judy Jones introduced them, Juliana met her true soulmate Alberto Gutierrez. Instantly sure of the forever love that would blossom over the next 19 years, Juliana and Alberto married in 2002. Through this union Juliana also gained another daughter in Carmen Gutierrez. After her retirement from UNM in 2004, Juliana and Alberto worked side-by-side at Geolex for the next sixteen years. Juliana was many things to many people but she was Alberto’s all. After her retirement from UNM Juliana also significantly contributed to many community organizations including, Menaul School, Albuquerque Community Foundation and the Albuquerque Museum Foundation. Naturally, Juliana was elected to Chair each of these boards. In recent years, Juliana assumed her final post as grandmother “GiJu” to four amazing and active grandchildren. As Juliana often said, “love does not divide, it multiplies!”. After marrying Alberto, adventure also became a common theme. She and Alberto travelled extensively, many times accompanied by their children, to every corner of the world. These adventures included summiting Mt. Fuji, a trip to the outback of Australia and many trips to Africa, Europe, Central and South America. Even after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in in 2017, the adventure continued and the journey intensified. Juliana battled this terrible disease with the unparalleled courage and grace that characterized every facet of the diamond of a person that she was. Juliana is survived by her loving husband Alberto, her children Jason Weaks, Mariya Heath and Carmen Gutierrez and her most precious treasures, her grandchildren Dean, Bennett, Juliana Jean and 2-month old Wesley, whom she named just two months before her passing. She will also be deeply missed by her sister, Mary Lou Archuleta who visited her daily and her husband Manny Archuleta, her nieces and grandnieces Kirsten Houliston, Shelly Riccobene, Lori Coors-Polosky, Sydney Cooper, Ashley Cooper, Caroline Polosky and Claire Polosky as well as her adopted children Courtney Weaks, Jason’s wife, and Elliott Heath, Mariya’s husband. Juliana would just want your kindness shown to all and would offer the following advice to those lucky enough to receive it: be kind, always have a sense of humor, work hard, forgive, give those you love a billion kisses and when life gives you lemons make lemonade. A Rosary followed by private Mass for family and close friends will be held on Friday, July 17th 2020 at Immaculate Conception Church in Downtown Albuquerque. The Rosary will be held at 9am followed immediately by the Mass at 10am. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you honor Julie by sending donations to a fund set up at the Albuquerque Community Foundation for the benefit of Menaul School.