Sunday, July 17, 2011

Memorial Service Wednesday afternoon

To Nacho's dear friends, families, colleagues and students,

I am blessed to be supported with so much love from such an amazing group of people! I am enjoying reading every single thought, hope, prayer and poem you are posting! Please.... keep them coming!

We will be having a short memorial service in honor of Nacho on Wednesday, July 20th at Cone Chapel at Willamette University here in Salem. Time and details forthcoming, but it will be in the afternoon most likely with a short reception to follow.

I will be in touch shortly with more details.

Again, thank you for your overwhelming love and support during this time.

With love,


  1. Thank you for posting this information, Michelle. I'm going to try to fly out for this. Nacho made such an impact on my life -- as a mentor, friend, and human being -- that I hope to come. My deepest condolences to your and your family. I've posted a little not on my website at in memory of Nacho. Peace be with you....

  2. Gretchen Flesher MoonJuly 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    This is a deep, painful, profound loss to your family, and to the Willamette community, and to the many other lives Nacho has touched.

    Nacho has taught so many of us so much about patience, generosity, care, thoughtfulness, gentleness. I've been fortunate in the last few years to have many occasions to work with Nacho and never left a meeting with him when I didn't feel that he'd somehow persuaded--or inspired--me to be a better person just by his presence.

    I cannot imagine your pain and grief.

  3. "We the mortals touch the metals,
    the wind, the ocean shores, the stones,
    knowing they will go on, inert or burning,
    and I was discovering, naming all the these things:it was my destiny to love and say goodbye." - Pablo Neruda
    Adios Nacho we will miss you at all the CAUSA Oregon Actions at the Oregon State Capitol. Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

  4. I will be with you and your family in spirit...always.

  5. I am learning this news in New Zealand, and the earth seems to have wobbled and gravity shifted with Nacho's passing. I wish I could be there for the memorial this week; I will be in spirit. My heart goes out to you, Michelle, and your children and family. May you gain some comfort from all these testimonials of those touched by Nacho.

  6. When tragedies such as this occur, I am always at a loss to adequately express not only my deepest feelings of sadness but also my feelings of gratitude for a life that touched so many. Nacho, you will be missed and mourned, but also celebrated as we reflect on the incredible impact you had on so many lives. You had the incredible gift of not only being an intelligent human being, but also a wonderful teacher, mentor, and life coach. Your willingness to go the extra mile with your students made a difference in our education and in our life choices. May your memory live on through those whom you loved.

  7. Although we have never officially met, I know you and your kids from the Willamette events over the years. Nacho and I served on a few committees together. He was friendly and genuine. In his presence I always felt valued and that he was truly listening. I am sorry for your loss and have been thinking about you ever since I heard the news. Please know that the Willamette community is here for you and your family during this difficult time. Sincerely, Lisa Holliday

  8. Bosnian students and professors that were lucky to have him as a professor and a friend, are with you. Be strong and proud, there are very few people that have had such impact on people's lives and thoughts...
    I feel honored and privileged to have known your Nacho...

  9. Michelle, your entire family at Willamette Humane holds you, Phoenix, and Tara in our hearts and we send our hugs of comfort to you. Many of us will be at the service on Wednesday.

    I can pick up Mocha this evening if that works for you. I'll call first of course. Susan Carey

  10. Michelle: I never know quite what to say in these circumstances. I cannot imagine the myriad of emotions you are experiencing, but I want you to know how very sorry I am. To have shared 19 years must seem like such a short time...what wonderful pieces of him you have in Phoenix and Terra. You keep them close and know that I'll support you in any way that I can. Please let me know what I can do to help...with kids, with work, with food...I don't care...anything. Much love, Terri Jackson

  11. Michelle, I am sorry for the lost. After reading the blogs I am proud to call this extraordinary man MY COUSIN. His talents were great and the people he touched were numerous.

    "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."" ~Erma Bombeck

    Nacho used everything God gave him. He was a very spiritual person and will be missed.
    Jackie Cochran (Alaska)

  12. My sincerest condolences to his friends + family.

  13. I am stunned at this news...even though I was not in his department, and we only knew each other in passing, Nacho always treated me with warmth and kindness. I looked up to him as an example of how to carry oneself with dignity, and how to radiate warmth to those around me.
    My sincere condolences are with you in this difficult time. Nacho will be dearly missed.

  14. What an immense loss to the Willamette community, and to Nacho's family. I always admired Nacho for his gentle humor, his kindness and optimism. He was a significant voice for calm dignity and respect on our campus, and he will be sorely missed.

    My deepest sympathy to Michelle, Phoenix, and Tara, and others who were closest to him.

  15. Nacho is a force of nature. I remember interviewing for the job at Willamette, not getting it, then later meeting Nacho and thinking, "Well, no wonder they didn't hire me!" His intellect, energy, enthusiasm and compassion will always be part of us and it is up to us to carry his memory forward through our deeds. I will be a better activist and scholar because of him. I will be a better family member and teacher because of him. I will endeavor to be to others the friend he was to me. I will never forget his smile.

  16. BEANNACHT (Blessing)

    On the day when the weight deadens on your shoulders and you stumble, may the clay dance to balance you.

    And when your eyes freeze behind the grey window and the ghost of loss gets in to you, may a flock of colours indigo,
    red, green and azure blue come to awaken in you a meadow of delight.

    When the canvas frays in the currach of thought and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you, may there come across the
    waters a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.

    May the nourishment of the earth be yours, may the clarity of light be yours, may the fluency of the ocean be yours, may
    the protection of the ancestors be yours.

    And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life. ~John O'Donohue~

    Nacho embodied joy, peace, and warmth, especially during difficult times when those qualities were most needed. His ability to give to others was so profound and unique. Nacho will always be that "slow wind" in our lives.

  17. Upon hearing the news of Nacho’s passing, my mind drifted to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s sentiment that “Nothing is dead: men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some new and strange disguise.”

    Even as he will be so sorely missed, I feel certain that Nacho is forever among us. A spirit that gracious, thoughtful, and wise—and who has touched so many people—must live on. I look forward to glimpsing Nacho again in even the smallest gestures of compassion and moments of stillness that remind us, as he always did, of our humanity and the need to spread love in this world.

    Thanks, Nacho, for being such an important example to us all.

  18. Michelle, I wish I had words that would bring comfort to you and the kids. Like everyone else, I love Nacho -- he made me feel at home from the moment I walked on campus. He was a source of comfort when I lost my dad. The way he said your name always made me smile -- you could hear the love in his voice. If there is ANYTHING I can do for you, Terra, or Phoenix, please don't hesitate to ask. That offer is not just for now, but in the future as well. I know everything has changed, but I know that you are a strong woman and will be able to continue being an advocate and rock for your kids. I love you, friend.

  19. Stefan Rajković (Bosnia and Herzegovina)July 18, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    I was with him only for a month, but that month was enough time to see what kind of man professor Cordova was. He was nothing that a great person, great professor, wonderful father(as I was able to see). I will always remember him, especially because of those classes I had with him. He made those long classes interesting and fun in a way only he can make, and he was funny thou. But the best thing I loved about him is that, he smiled a lot and he showed to everyone that he was a happy person, always there for those who needed him. Best wishes for his family and friends, Nacho I love you and here is a smiley for our smiley :).

  20. Lejla Kusturica DivjakJuly 18, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    I am so sad that we have lost such a wonderful man. I will always remember his kind face and friendly and warm-hearted manners. His positive energy was so overwhelming and he was such a pleasant company. After knowing him for only a couple of days, I felt as if I had known him for years. Dear Nacho, thank you for everything you have done for us. Students and teachers from Bosnia and Herzegovina 2009 YLP team will never forget you!

  21. I am so sorry for your loss. I was devastated to hear the news about Nacho's passing. Nacho was my first advisor at Willamette University. Even after I declared my major and changed advisors his door was always open to his former advisees. He was an inspirational professor, mentor, and friend. I feel very privileged to have had such a mentor in college. My thoughts and prayers are with Nacho's family and friends. He will be greatly missed.

  22. Michelle, I know you don't know most, if any, of us in the iphoneography community personally, but I wanted to make sure that you knew we are here for you. We have been stunned by this tragedy and the online galleries that Nacho posted to have been paying tribute to not just his work but his BEING. He made it a point to reach out to everyone and take the time to reflect upon their work, thereby touching each and every one of us deeply. Please let us know if there is ever anything you need. I believe you know how to find us...

  23. I deeply regret thid accident that took the life of my brother. All I have now are all the wonderful memories that we shared through our life. Nacho, Ilove you! I pray to God for the strengh during this time. Tu Hermano,

  24. nacho was an incredible man. and i am so sorry to hear of this tragedy. i had the pleasure of spending many years having him as my professor. he was my favorite professor on campus and every time he came into the room, he was like a breath of fresh air. i seriously hated school, but going to his class, was never an issue for me. i loved going to his class, and learning from him. he made learning fun and interesting and he really cared about every single person he encountered. he actually made us feel important and loved. he was an instant mood lifter and was just a ray of sunshine! again i am so terribly sorry of your lost, but he really touched so many lives and was such an amazing man. he was a mentor to me and i really looked up to him and took comfort in his words of wisdom and advice. he was never too busy to take the time to talk to his students. it wasn't about just the letter grade for him either, he looked at us for more than just a student he HAD to grade, he invested his time and energies into us as human beings with worlds and lives outside of school.

    god took a wonderful man from us, but he is watching over all of us now just as he did when he was with us.

    rip nacho....i am so honored to have known you and been one of your students!


  25. Michelle, Phoenix and Tara,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please find comfort with those who love you; your family and friends. I knew Nacho as a dad to Phoenix, he was very proud of you, Phoenix. Your "Salem Heights Family" are here for you.
    Brenda Holoubek

  26. Dear Michelle, Phoenix and Terra, Alex and Nathaniel and Carmen,
    My name is Ken and I am as aspirant to the order of interbeing. Living in Corvallis we have started our own sangha in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, Nacho's practice. I have travelled to River Sangha for the past few years and have so enjoyed Nacho's presence, attention, sense of humor, and inclusive love he manifested at all times I've been with him. The playful sparkle in his eye, and his modest manner. I wanted to share with you what a very kind and gentle man Nacho has been, and we remembered him tonight in Corvallis at Five Stones Sangha. We kept a candle burning for the light he has shared and various members spoke so highly of their encounters with Nacho as he visited us and shared his experiences. We wish you well, you've been blessed by his presence in your lives and that will truly be his continuation. We all carry a spark of him. 4 or 5 of us will be joining River Sangha this Wednesday to continue to celebrate his beautiful way.
    With loving hearts for Nacho and each of you as you come to terms with this tragic loss,
    Ken Oefelein

  27. Although I didn't get the chance to know Nacho on a very personal level I am deeply saddened by his loss. I go to the sangha regularly and came to know him through what he offered us there and through small chats on my way out the door.

    I remember once, during sangha, when he was leading and finished telling us the plan for what we were going to do that evening he asked, "Cool beans?" When these playful words were met with our Buddhist solemnness he added, "When I say cool beans you say hot rice!" This loosened us up and drew smiles and chuckles. I appreciated this willingness to become a little silly in order to put others at ease and create an enjoyable atmosphere. His personality was a teaching as well as the words he offered. I will definitely miss him.
    Alex Cieminski

  28. I am one of the myriad of artists who was fortunate enough to have words from Nacho about my work. I can't stop thinking about the magnitude of one extroirdinary man's reach to a global community. I'm also a mother. I cannot stop thinking of you and your lovely lovely children at this time. Good dedicated family men are all too rare. One thing I do know is that standing next to such a man, a teacher, is a phenomenal woman. My heart goes out to you and your family. His light shines far and wide.

  29. Michelle,
    From across the miles we, Yvonne's friends are sending strength and love to you and your family. What an overwhelming out pouring of memories and cherished words of how Nacho touched the lives of his students, faculty and community. May your sorrow be blanketed knowing he is in loving care and his memory now a keepsake to so many. -Claudia

  30. Dear Michelle, Phoenix and Terra, Nathaniel and Carmen,
    The beauty of a life well lived never dies.......
    It will continue to embrace you forever and inspire us.
    May you find comfort and support in all your loving memories.
    Thinking of you with the Love and Kindness that
    Nacho inspired on everybody he met.


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  32. Dear Michelle, Phoenix and Terra,
    I only knew Nacho from the brief encounters we had at school functions with our boys and in the waiting area during martial art lessons. What comes to mind is when he picked up Terra and started singing to her when she was tired of waiting, a proud Papa taking pictures at a school performance or field trip, the smile he brought to Phoenix's face when he walked into the room, his gentle and attentive manner he had with all those he interacted with. As you celebrate his life today, may you find strength, comfort,and peace in the love he obviously had for each of you and in the love of your family and friends around you. Know that we are lifting each of you up in our thoughts and prayers today and in the days to come.

    Pam and Andrew Bendt

  33. Michelle,
    I just found out today about Nacho. I am so sorry to hear the tragic news! I can't imagine what you are going through! I know we haven't been in touch in years, but I am still here in Pennsylvania, if you want to talk. I truly am so sorry for your loss! I send you my heart felt condolences and surely hope time will ease your pain! Take care!
    Jackie (Cosgrove) Thomas

  34. Dear Michelle,
    We were so stunned and saddened to learn about Nacho's accident. Please know that we are sending you virtual hugs and you and the children are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Sonya and Marc Kunkel

  35. Michelle,
    It is unbeleivable how dramatically Nacho's absense affects so many people. My entire heart goes out to you. I am so sorry. If you ever want to talk to people who are going through it, I/we are here for you.

  36. Michelle,
    I was deeply shocked to hear of the news. Please know that our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

    Sandy (Hin) Minor

  37. Ann M. NicgorskiJuly 23, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    It was especially good to see you and the children today. Watching them play, I was reminded of a wonderful moment about two years ago with Nacho when my then painfully shy and awkward daughter was first selling Girl Scout cookies. We passed by his office door and he indicated an interest in 2 boxes for his wife, but my daughter was so shy that she hid under the nearest table. Anyone else would find this behavior exasperating, but Nacho simply smiled and crawled under the table as well, and there the sale was negotiated. He met her, as he met everyone, wherever they were in their own journey, with genuine, heartfelt attention. He will be so missed....

    We'll look forward to seeing you all again and will meanwhile hold you in our prayers. Please let us know if we can be helpful in any way.