Taos resident Julienne (Jules) Sanchez, born Aug. 11, 1950, passed away quietly Aug. 5, 2018 at the Albuquerque home of her sister Lee Ciukowski, also accompanied by her sister Jo Anne Sandquist of Sierra Vista, Arizona, and husband A. Eugene Sanchez of Taos.
“See Gene,” she said with a smile, “I told you age didn’t matter.” Jules is survived by her sisters and husband, mentioned above as well as stepsons, Cory E. Sanchez, James C. Sanchez, and Zack B. Grey; stepson James’s children Samantha, and Jo Jo, wife Veronica; Cory’s children Michael and Jason; nephews Michael, Jeffrey, and Scott Sandquist; grandniece Carolyn Sandquist and grandnephews Joseph, Joshua, David, and Jackson Sandquist. Her longtime friends from out-of-town include James Neyendorf, Susan Smith, Jan Cerva, and Sheryl Shelkun.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Ann Buczek Ciukowski and father, Joseph Ciukowski.
Gene and Jules met in 1990 in Santa Fe where she worked as an assistant to artists Fran and Hal Larsen. She and Gene married in 1998. Subsequently, Jules became executive director of Joe and Mary Sanchez’s Gallery A, where she and Gene, now a retired architect, became the proprietors of one of the community’s oldest continuously operated art galleries after Joe and Mary Sanchez retired. Jules and Gene published the two-volume edition of the Gene Kloss: An American Printmaker, A Rasionee (De Teves Publishing, Taos, 2009), a limited edition of 583 pages with 482 prints.
A Joliet, Illinois native, Jules starred as a high school student in My Fair Lady, Funny Girl, and Bye Bye Birdie, winning a scholarship as a performing artist to Roosevelt University in Chicago and going on to perform in the original Chicago version of Hair, followed by a stint on Broadway in NYC in the show The Me Nobody Knows, a musical that received five Tony nominations.
In Taos Jules was well-known in the art community, including recognition by the state legislature for contributions to the State Capitol. She served as a 2008—2011 mentor in Men Engaged in Nonviolence (MEN). She donated regularly to art and social justice organizations. She was seen regularly at the Salazar Vet accompanied by Olive and Roxie (Pomeranian/Boston-Terrier Mix).
In her last hours was accompanied by her beloved Papillon, Spencer and Molly her black and white cat. Despite bouts of chemo alternate weeks since early February, phone in hand with one of her 100 cookbooks open, Jules made time and meals for family. She drove Gene to Denver in late May to attend a concert of the legendary Luis Miguel for her husband’s 83rd birthday.
On Sunday, Sept. 16 from 2 to 5, the family will celebrate the life of Jules Ciukowski Sanchez at the Kachina Lodge Hopi Dining room. Internment for family and friends will be announced. In Jules’s name donations can be made to K2 Adventures Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona, Youth Hearthline and Stray Hearts in Taos.