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Chico State

Fond Farewell: Retired Custodian Martha Ann Armocido

Yellow and red roses bloom in the foreground with academic buildings in the background.
(Jason Halley / University Photographer)

Trinity Hall is seen beyond the George Petersen Rose Garden on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Chico, Calif. (Jason Halley/University Photographer/CSU, Chico)

Our hearts are heavy to share the news that retired custodian Martha Ann (Emery) Armocido, who served Facilities Management and Services for 11 years, passed away on September 14. She was 89.

Born June 18, 1933, in Princeton, Armocido was hired as a custodian at Chico State in 1988. She had applied at the urging of her daughter, Peggy—hired on staff at the University the year before—who touted the good pay, benefits, and gentler workload than her mother’s job at the Sunsweet Growers factory.

Atta Girl's note for retired custodian Martha Armocido

Armocido started as custodian on the first floor of the Physical Science Building, then moved to the second floor of Kendall Hall, and finally to the first floor of the Performing Arts Center.

Though Armocido’s schedule kept her at the University after hours, she was appreciated by staff and faculty alike. Year after year they praised her for clean classrooms and shining floors, while co-workers remember her warm and friendly personality and dedication to her work.

Retired custodian Barbara Fichter and Armocido connected instantly.

“I met Martha as a coworker when I started as a custodian at Chico State in 1994,” Fichter said. “We became friends and remained good friends even after retirement and until she passed.”

A mother to four children, Armocido and her husband raised their family in Yuba City, where she lived for 25 years working on a tomato harvester, doing seasonal work in a cannery, working retail at Montgomery Ward and 7-Eleven, and working sanitation at Sunsweet Growers before being hired at Chico State. Armocido eventually moved to Chico where she lived for the rest of her life.

Custodian Martha Armocido

“My mom was a people person and lived life to the fullest,” said Peggy. “She participated in all our activities growing up, drove for field trips, attended all the boys’ games, and was even a Girl Scout leader. She loved to explore different cultures, and traveled the Western US, to Mexico, and Canada (though she wouldn’t get on a plane!).”

Retirement didn’t slow Armocido down, as her hobbies and love for family kept her plenty busy. Along with being an avid “sports grandma,” she loved to read, put together jigsaw puzzles, and grow cacti and succulents in her garden.

Peggy made sure that she and her mom made the most out of their time together, especially while serving as one of her caregivers for the last seven years.

“I have fond memories of our weekend drives to get her a hazelnut latte, and trips to the Princeton area where she was born and grew up,” she said. “Before they took the Princeton ferry out of the water, she and I took her last of many rides.”

Armocido is survived by her sons, Chuck and Mike, daughter Peggy, three grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her son, Steven.

A celebration of life will be held on March 11, 2023, at noon at the Chico Women’s Club, 592 East Third Street in Chico.

The University flag will be lowered Thursday, December 8, in her memory.