Lupe Vásquez Yanez  (b. 1916, d. 2009)
Lupe Yanez Gila County Community Food Bank, where Lupe Yanez
volunteered frequently.
It was Lupe Vásquez Yanez's sense of volunteerism and civic responsibility, as well as the values she learned from her parents, that guided her selfless contribution to the community of Globe. She became one of that town's most outstanding volunteers, improving the lives of others and giving them hope for a better future.

Region: North Central Arizona
Theme: Women and Community Building

Lupe Vásquez Yanez was born in Globe on April 4, 1916, to Juan and María Guereña Vásquez. Her father was a teamster who delivered coal to families and worked as a butcher, while her mother was a young housewife. Her family struggled through the Great Depression, but then Lupe's life took an unfortunate turn. Her father died in 1935 and it became apparent that her family could not afford a high school education for her. Being the oldest daughter in a family of eight children, she had to find work to help her family overcome the devastating economic challenges ahead. She dropped out of school and found work with the Arizona State Employment Office in Globe.

In the early 1950s, when she was a young mother, one of her children couldn't walk. The Gila County Arizona Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults came to her assistance. With the aid of orthopedic shoes and physical therapy, the child regained her health and strength. She soon returned to school and became an active schoolgirl, making friends and continuing her education. In gratitude Lupe began raising funds for Easter Seals. This association continued for numerous years and Lupe's work helped numerous children in Gila County.

In the 1960's, Lupe became a volunteer with Globe's chapter of the Arizona Federation of Democratic Women's Clubs and represented the organization at political conventions and meetings throughout the state. Serving as publicity chairman for the Globe-Miami Democratic Women's Club, she arranged for presentations by local legislators like Sen. August Valentine "Bill" Hardt and Sen. Edward "Bunch" Guerrero. Lupe also devoted countless hours to registering voters.

When the Arizona Heart Association teamed with the Gila County Defense Agency in the fall of 1969 to introduce Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as a new technique to save lives, Lupe worked with the Globe School Board to teach the life-saving skills to Globe high school students. During the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon in the fall of 1975, Lupe represented the Veterans of Foreign Wars Women's Auxiliary of the Louie Higdon Post 1704 and organized a team of Globe high school students to take telephone pledges for "Jerry's Kids."

Lupe also served as Globe's president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), a civil rights organization whose goal was to call attention to socio-economic, educational and political issues of concern to Hispanics. Over many decades, Globe residents saw Lupe Vásquez Yanez seated at a service table passing out flyers and leaflets for local community and school causes, politely asking for donations in her calm and pleasant manner, with a friendly greeting and a smile.

Lupe raised funds for the Easter Seal Society, the American Red Cross, Holy Angels Catholic Church, the Arizona Heart Association, Brownies, Girl Scouts and various school groups. Wearing the cap of the American Legion Women's Auxiliary, she distributed the familiar Memorial Day red poppy flowers to passers-by.

Another important aspect of Lupe Vásquez Yanez's community service work included the Gila County Community Food Bank. She received a plaque for 25-plus years of service and at least 15,000 volunteer hours contributed to the organization.

Getting personally involved with those in need was a major part of Lupe's community service. If families found themselves in situations with no apparent solution, Lupe tried to secure assistance through her many contacts. If children needed glasses, she referred them to the Lions Club. She put others in touch with the Social Security Administration, or special services at schools.

Through her long-time spirit of volunteerism and community service, Lupe Vásquez Yanez improved the lives of others and gave them hope for better lives. She passed away in 2009 at the age of 93.


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