Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge

Patty Hoban, former manager of the Maxwell Refuge, died in December

07 Feb 2014 3:43 PM | Anonymous

Patty Hoban, Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) Manager from 2003 to 2008, passed away on December 20, 2013.


Patty was an important part of the early life of the Friends of LVNWR.

She had developed a relationship with Randall Davey Audubon in Santa Fe, enlisting with their help, Educator Eileen Everett, to teach the "Through the Eyes of the Bird" program for local elementary school classes at Maxwell NWR.


Kristin Byrd Kuyuk, LVNWR Outdoor Recreation Planner from 2002-2005, took members of the Friends to observe the school program at Maxwell. This visit inspired and motivated us with guidance from Kristin to apply for our own grant, partner with NM Audubon for grant support and start a similar elementary school program at LVNWR with Eileen Everett as educator from 2005 through spring of 2012.  


Kuyuk writes, "I would always look forward to my visits to Maxwell NWR.  Not only did it mean a nice drive where I might get to see some great wildlife - but also it meant a nice visit with my friend, then refuge manager, Patty Hoban.  Patty was a quiet type, much like myself, but her love for the land and wildlife - particularly the birds -energized her. She was a wealth of knowledge, which she willingly shared. At the time, visitation at Maxwell was minimal, yet she created a special place for children and adults alike to get up close and personal with wildlife.... skulls, scat, and pelts... magnifying glasses, binoculars and spotting scopes.... coloring pages and posters... all available in a small room with expansive views.  On my first visit, she walked me across the street to show me the observation area, and then took me for a drive along the earthen dam to look at waterfowl -- as we would come to do every time that I visited in the years to follow."


To the Friends, Patty was a respected "jack-of-all-trades". With a small staff during a time of plentiful rainfall, she did field work, irrigation and maintenance on top of administrative tasks, biological surveys and educational programs. We remember Patty for her bird feeders at Maxwell Refuge, her talks at LVNWR, and her gift of wildlife photography. She gifted us with a file of her photos; some of them were used in the design of our Friend's merchandise.


Photo: Friends of Las Vegas NWR visits with Patty at Maxwell NWR in May of 2008

L to R: Seated: Sonya Berg, Lou Myers, Sarah Reiss, Emily Olson

Standing: Jan Arrott, Patty Hoban, Jo Rita Jordan, Steve Reichert, Glenn Yokum, Linda Kelly




Friends of Las Vegas (New Mexico) National Wildlife Refuge

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