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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Frances Quintana grew up in El Rancho, NM, and her family’s farm at Los Alamos was requisitioned when the Manhattan Project took over the site. Quintana became one of the many Hispanos who were bused up to work at Los Alamos.

At Los Alamos, her first job was baby-sitting Julie Hawkins, the daughter of Frances and David Hawkins. She maintained a close relationship with the family, and with Julie through today. Frances also worked as a maid for Kitty and J. Robert Oppenheimer and Elsie and Edwin McMillan

Besides working as a baby-sitter, Quintana held a number of jobs at Los Alamos, both during and after World War II. She held a position in the Technical Area for thirty-five years until she retired. Some of these jobs also required her to have high security clearance, such as being a confidential mail-sorter and serving as an administrative assistant to lawyers.

Quintana also had good working and personal relationships with famous figures at Los Alamos like Edith Warner and Dorothy McKibbin. In her interview on the Voices of the Manhattan Project website, she recalled cooking dinners and preparing for fiestas with McKibbin.


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