Miss New Mexico 1933 Julia Valdez

Julia Valdez was the first Miss New Mexico state queen, although seven years earlier there had been a woman crowned Miss Albuquerque who competed in the Miss America Pageant. No information on the state contest has been uncovered. Julia stands out in the photos for her small stature; she was the shortest of all the contestants by several inches. She was 18 at the time of the Pageant.


1930 Valdez family census form - Trinidad, Colorado
1930 census data, Trinidad, CO
Alfred Valdez, 49 (CO), motorman in the coal mine
Faye 45 (NM), Julia 15 (CO), Lucile 5 (CO). (1920 census has older siblings Bertha, Della, Benjamin and Lloyd.)
Julia was born in Colorado, one of six children of Alfred and Faye Valdez, and moved to New Mexico in the early 1930s.

Julia from the panorama shot - age 18
Atlantic City newspapers: Blue Grass Maid Is Tall. Most of the girls are tall, stately and poised. "Miss Kentucky" may be a shade tallest, "Miss New Mexico," petite and brunette, is the shortest girl by several inches.

Julia was not mentioned in any of the other Atlantic City articles. No articles have been located in New Mexico newspapers about the conditions of the state contests.

It is uncertain when she changed her given name from Julia to Judy; she was known as Julia throughout 1933, but had been using "Judy" for quite some time prior to her death, as her SSDI is in the name of Judy Rhodes (she had not updated her Social Security information with her second married name).

Julia's ad for Wilbur Cushman's School of Stage and Screen - 10/8/1933
Julia appears to have worked at the Albuquerque Wilbur Cushman dance studio when she returned home. In 1940 Julia is married with a daughter, and works as a fountain clerk in the drug store. Her obituary mentions that she worked for the Southern Union Gas company, and retired from the Employment Security Commission for the State of New Mexico. Married for 62 years to Joe Rhodes, with one daughter, Judy died in 2007 at age 92, survived by her daughter and her second husband.  

Social Security Death Index: JUDY RHODES 23 Sep 1914 06 May 2007 (P) 87505 (Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM) (none specified) 520-10-6420 Wyoming

Obituaries: ABQ Journal (Albuquerque Journal), Thursday, May 10. 2007 and The Santa Fe New Mexican - May, 2007
RHODES-PREWITT. Judy Rhodes-Prewitt, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 6, 2007. She was preceded in death by her mother, Faye Valdez; father, Alfred Valdez; brothers: Loyd and Ben; sisters: Betty Simpson and Della Lonteen; her husband of 62 years, Joe Rhodes; grandson, Michael Maloof; and son-in-law, Mike J. Maloof. Judy worked at Southern Union Gas and retired from Employment Security Commission for the State of New Mexico. She was Miss New Mexico in 1933. She touched many people with her charm and remarkable presence. She is survived by husband, Jimmy Prewitt; daughter, Dee Maloof; granddaughters: Judy Maloof, Helen Maloof-Aranda and husband, Pat, Sharon Maloof, Tammy Maloof-Tapia and husband, Gerard; great-grandchildren: Michael Aranda, and Alex Aranda; sister, Lou O'Canna and husband, Abe; step-children: Ron Prewitt, Mary Burton, Don Prewitt; step- grandson, Kevin Chandler; his great-grandson, Aidan Chandler; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. Mass will be celebrated Thursday, May 10, 2007, 10 a.m. at St. Francis Cathedral. Arrangements are under the direction of Berardinelli Family Funeral Services, 1399 Luisa Street, Santa Fe, NM, 87505. (505) 984-8600.

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RHODES, JOSEPH W 13 Feb 1913 02 Jun 1996 83 87110 (Albuquerque, Bernalillo, NM) (none specified) Wyoming 520-10-5880
I found Julia in 2010 through an online search for "Miss New Mexico" and "1933" and her obituary popped up. Luckily, I did not include "Julia" in the search, as she had changed her name to Judy.