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2021 Board Members

Pat Merville, Edgewood, NM


Pat Merville

Karen Alexander, Clovis, NM

Vice President

Social Media / Website

Karen Alexander

Joyce P. Paulsen, Albuquerque, NM

Treasurer                         [email protected] / 505.980.8787

I have lived in Albuquerque most of my life. I am married to Bob Paulsen who is an engineer at Sandia National Labs. 

I have two children. My oldest Army SFC Matthew McClintock was killed in Afghanistan 1-5-16. He was married to Alexandra and they have a son Declan who is now 4 years old. My youngest son is Kevin Williams. He is married to Jan or JJ as we know her. They both have their doctorates as physical therapists. 

I play sports competitively - softball and pickleball and travel to tournaments. I love being active and exercise to be healthy as I can.

Becky Christmas,Wagon Mound, NM

Secretary                      [email protected]

 Recording Secretary



Past National President, American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

Becky Christmas became a Gold Star Mother on November 29, 2004, when her oldest son, CPT Todd Christmas, was killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash, close to Ft. Hood, Texas. Todd was an aide to General Ben Allen, who was also killed in the crash. Todd had returned earlier in 2004 from a one year deployment to Iraq.

Becky and her husband are the parents of three sons, Todd, Matt and Will. Todd was married to Erica Smith Christmas, whom he had met at Texas A&M. Becky and her husband are both native New Mexicans and raised their three sons on their family ranch near Wagon Mound, New Mexico. Becky and Brad’s families have had someone serve in the military in every generation since the Revolutionary War.

Becky was introduced to American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. by a Blue Star Mother from New Mexico. She joined in 2006 and was quickly asked to serve as Parliamentarian of the organization. She served for eight years on the National Executive Board and served as the National President of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. for 2018-2019, ending her one year term on June 30, 2019.

Becky was grateful to find this 90 year old organization of other mothers who had lost a child while serving in the military. She knew she wanted to help serve and in a way continue to serve as her son, Todd served. Grief held within will be destructive, so the mission of supporting Veterans, the Families of the Fallen and active Military has been a positive relationship for her. The honor of serving on the National Executive Board has been wonderful. Her motto for the year as President was, “Mothers On A Mission-A Powerful Force”.

Becky is a watercolor artist and like to ski, ride horseback and participate in the Bataan Memorial Walk/Run and other Veteran oriented Walk/Runs.

Kay Coleman, Albuquerque, NM     

Corresponding Secretary

Social Media / Website


[email protected]                   505.489.9054 

Kay is married to Amy SGT Matthew Coleman (RET).

Marine Sgt Stephen Carpenter made Kay a Gold Star Mom on July 31, 2006.

Gabriel Montoya made her a Blue Star Mom in 2007.

Her daughter, Maeve Montoya, is working on her Masters in History.  

Kay and her husband are local business owners. She still finds time to enjoy her hobbies to include scrapbooking, cooking, quilting and grand kiddos.

Jo Ann Zembiec, Albuquerque, NM


[email protected]                  505.856.1353

Jo Ann was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Kona, Hawaii. She graduated with a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and pursued an elementary education certificate from NMSU. She married her husband, Don, of nearly 52 years and moved around the country as he pursued his career. They eventually returned to NM and Jo Ann taught third grade at Acoma Elementary until she retired in 2000.

Jo Ann is an active member of the American Gold Star Mothers, Albuquerque Chapter, a member of the United Veterans Council, a master gardener of 16 years, and a docent at the Natural History Museum.

She is also a member of the Friends of NM Fisher House.

She loves gardening and volunteering for many Veterans’ causes.

Emily Buch-Hague, Elephant Butte, NM



Past Presidents

2020     Pat Merville

2019     Pat Merville

2018     Kay Coleman

2017     Kay Coleman

2016     Becky Christmas

2015     Becky Christmas

2014     Kay Coleman

2013     Kay Coleman

2012     Pat Merville


2010     Pat Merville