Native American of the Cuiyui Ticutta band of the Northern Paiute Tribe, Loretta grew up on the Pyramid Lake reservation. As both her parents worked, she spent much of her early life living with her grandmother, where she learned the skill of ‘beading.’ Schooling was both at Nixon and Pyramid Lake, with high school in Fernley. Loretta was the first native Miss Nevada Day Princess during the 1952 Nevada Day activities in Carson City. It was then that she met actors Ronald Reagan [later U.S. President] and Montgomery Clift. Although she grew up with many native customs, she chose not to continue them with her own children while living in Carson City. She considers her children the greatest achievement in her life.
Loretta Fajardo Ceroke was interviewed on February 6, 2020 by the Nevada Women’s History Project through a grant from the Estelle J. Kelsey Foundation.