Leonora Curtin (Paloheimo)

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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Leonora Francis Curtin (1903 Dec 23, Colorado Springs - 1999 Nov 24, New Mexico), known as Babsie, was born to Leonora Muse and Thomas Curtin.

Her father died October 30th 1911, causing she and her mother to move in with Mrs. Fenyes at the Fenyes Mansion until an adjacent house was built just for Babsie and her mother.

The two women later moved to the southwest, where Babsie followed after her mother's interests in language and culture. She moved to Washington D.C. for a career in linguistics at the Smithsonian Institute; her research focus was the myriad native dialects of the Pueblo Indians.

Born1903 Dec 7Born, Colorado.
1911Father died.
1931Babsie and Leonora established El Rancho de las Golondrinas (link) in La Cienega, New Mexico.
A family friend called Babsie one evening in 1946 to invite her to a New York City dinner party. There Babsie met Yrjo Alfred Paloheimo and the two married later that year.

After a honeymoon in Mr. Paloheimo's homeland in Finland, Mr. and Mrs. Paloheimo moved into the Fenyes Mansion and adopted four Finnish orphans: George, Nina, Eric and Eva.

1946Met, Yrjo Alfred Paloheimo at dinner party.
1946Married, Yrjo Alfred Paloheimo.
Babsie lived out her life focused on her studies and projects.

She was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of New Mexico and Suomi College (in Michigan). Babsie also received the highest civil recognition possible from the governments of both Finland and Spain. She continued her mother and grandmother's strong ties to Santa Fe.

She was a founder of the Spanish Market and El Rancho de Las Golondrinas. A letter to her mother mentioned, "I still can hear + love the quality of Miss Leonoras [sic] singing voice. The deep ones." (FCP Archive B96 F22) Leonora "Babsie" Paloheimo died on November 24th, 1999 in New Mexico.

1949 - 1951Paloheimo and Babsie adopted Nina (1946) George (1947) Eric (1948) and Eva (1949).
1999 Nov 24Died, Santa Fe, NM.