by Johnny Zokovitch
Executive Director, Pax Christi USA
I learned over the holiday break that Nickie Valdez, former member of the Pax Christi USA National Council and of the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team as well as locally involved with Pax Christi San Antonio, passed away on Christmas Day. I met Nickie and her partner Deb Myers during my early years on the staff of Pax Christi USA and was always grateful for my interactions with her. She carried wisdom with her as few others I have known, but offered that wisdom with a healthy dose of humor and laughter that rang true and clear whenever she was amused.
The wonderful article in the San Antonio Express-News called her a “tireless advocate for justice and social equality” and I found particularly moving this quote about Nickie from Deb (both pictured at right):
“Her whole call was to help people recognize that they were created in the image and likeness of God, and God loved them just as they are created,” said Deb Myers, Valdez’s wife and partner of 35 years. “She believed that to the core. She was very tenacious in that work and lived it.”
If you have a chance to read the article, I highly recommend it. (It is behind a paywall so you’ll have to sign up for a 99 cent subscription for 4 weeks but can cancel it immediately. It’ll be a dollar well-spent!) You can also read a short obituary online at this link.
Isaac Chandler, Pax Christi USA National Council Chair who served with Nickie on the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team, sent in this short tribute: “Nickie Valdez was the doyenne of the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team. Short in stature, she towered over us with her fiery activist spirit, sense of justice and fairness, and nonviolent mindset. When Nickie spoke, ‘we listened’. Never one to raise her voice in anger, but she spoke passionately and purposefully when she had something to say. Her words and actions spoke to the dignity of many marginalized communities including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrant, and women’s issues. Her wisdom and spirit will be missed.”
On behalf of all of us in Pax Christi USA, we give thanks for Nickie, for her life and witness and leadership, and offer our deepest condolences to Deb and all who loved Nickie. Nickie Valdez – Presente!