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SDSU-IV honors Necocheas for service

November 03, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus celebrated and honored a Calexico family and the spirit of the city as it named the library special collections room for Fernando and Margarita de Necochea.

"For my parents, it's just thrilling," said the couple's son Fernando de Necochea during the room's dedication Friday.

It was an especially meaningful honor because of the family's high estimation of the university.

"This university means not just educational opportunity but employment and economic opportunity for Calexico," son Fernando de Necochea said.

One of the couple's other sons, Ruben "Gordy" de Necochea, said it was appropriate that a room for special collections be named for special people.

Margarita and Fernando de Necochea have been longtime Calexico residents and both graduated from Calexico High School.

Margarita worked in the Calexico High library from 1969 to 1995. As a trustee of the Camarena Public Library, she has successfully advocated for many improvements and projects, including the preservation of the Carnegie Library of Calexico and other city landmarks. She has also served on the dean's advisory council of SDSU-IV since 1981.


Before his retirement, Fernando was an accountant serving both Imperial and Mexicali Valley clients. He served as president of the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and the Lion's Club and as California's Commissioner of Deeds. He actively contributed to border interchange and binational affairs and served as a delegate to many conferences, including the Inter-parliamentary conferences of the United States Congress and the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, in Mexico City and Washington, D.C.

"Love and respect is what makes a child know he can do it," said Margarita, who was in attendance with her husband.

"After 26 years as a librarian at the high school, I never threw anyone out of the library without love and respect," she said with a smile.

Married for 61 years, Fernando and Margarita recently celebrated their 85th and 80th birthdays, respectively. They raised seven children and now have 17 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren spread out across the United States.

SDSU-IV Dean Khosrow Fatemi described Margarita's membership on the dean's advisory board as beneficial.

"Her dedication to education has been unwavering and unending," he said.

Before a crowd of friends, family and city officials, speakers reminisced about the family's history of involvement in the community. The speakers made clear that this family exemplifies the spirit of Calexico.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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