ESTELA M. GUERRA
McALLEN — Estela M. Guerra, 87, died July 29, 1999, at her home after a brief illness. Estela was born Aug. 15, 1911, to Ruperto Margo and Sofia Clarke Margo in Rio Grande City, at a time when Rio Grande was considered a cultural center of the Valley. She was the eldest of five children.
She attended the Catholic elementary school in Rio Grande City and then attended high school at St. Mary’s Academy in Austin. Upon graduation, she enrolled at Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio, Texas. After two years, she transferred to the University of Texas at Austin where she graduated with degrees in languages and music. She returned to Rio Grande City and taught there for three years until she married Fidencio M. Guerra Sr. of McAllen in 1941.
In the early years of World War II, Estela accompanied her husband who had been appointed on special assignment with the U.S. embassies in Bogota, Colombia, and Madrid, Spain. While abroad, Estela occupied her time rearing her first two children and taking special courses inlLanguage, history and the arts at the universities of these capital cities. Upon their return to the Texas, she spent these years raising her seven children.
In 1957, she resumed her teaching career in Edinburg where she taught Spanish for ten years at Edinburg High School. In 1967, she transferred to McAllen High School and taught Spanish until her retirement in 1977. In 1971, Estela was the recipient of the prestigious American Association of Spanish and Portuguese Servantes Award. This recognition is presented to an outstanding teacher of the Alamo-Valley Chapter, which includes San Antonio.
Upon her retirement, Estela remained active in her community with memberships in organizations including Our Lady of Sorrows Altar Society, the Pan American Round Table, McAllen Music Club and the Retired Teachers Association, to name a few.
Estela enjoyed spending time with her family, traveling, reading, baking and tending to her rose garden.
She was preceded in death by her parents and three brothers, Roberto, Alfonso and Rufino Margo. Her oldest daughter, Diana Maria Guerra Levesque, also precedes her.
She is survived by her loving husband, Judge Fidencio M. Guerra Sr., and her remaining six children, Robert from McAllen, Carlos from Phoenix, Fidencio Jr. from McAllen, Brenda Guerra Brooke from Austin, Judy Guerra Arnold from McAllen and Dr. Daniel Guerra from McAllen. A sister, Marian Frances Margo, CDP, also survives her. There are nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The funeral mass will be at 9 a.m. today, Saturday, July 31, 1999 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in McAllen. A burial service will follow the Mass at Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Taylor Road in McAllen.
Services were entrusted to the care of Kreidler Funeral Home in McAllen.
LOIS I. RITTER
MISSION — Lois I. Ritter died Feb. 22, 1999. She was born to Lewis and Mary Thompson in Lemmon, S.D., on July 19, 1912. She lived in South Dakota, most recently Webster, S.D., and retired to the Mission-McAllen area in 1985. She married Joseph E. Ritter on Oct. 7, 1933. She was a housewife and a mother.
She was a member of the First United Methodist Church. Prior to retiring full time in the Valley, she was active in her church, the children’s schools and the Webster Garden Club. Her greatest joy was in her children and her work with children.
Survivors include her husband, Joseph E. Ritter; daughter, Rita Hall (Ray) of Las Vegas, Nev.; three sons, Robert Ritter (Susan) of Plano, Texas, Ronald Ritter (Ellen) of San Antoio, Texas, and Scott Ritter (Connie) of Chugiak, Alaska; grandchildren, Stacy Ritter Hughes (Kevin), Robert Ritter Jr., Laurie Ritter, Ryan Ritter and Taylor Ritter; a great-grandchild, Kody Hughes; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her only brother, Harold Thompson; and a great-granddaughter, Kallie Hughes.
Memorial service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 1999, at Virgil Wilson Mortuary in Mission.
Virgil Wilson Mortuary in Mission is in charge of arrangements.
HENRY LEWIS FRY
ELSA — Henry Lewis Fry, 83, passed away Tuesday, March 2, 1999, at his residence. He was born on Jan. 21, 1916, in Gallatin, Tennessee, to Osburn Fry and Shirley Harper Fry. He moved to the Valley in 1926 and farmed in the Delta area for many years. Mr. Fry was a past member of the Edcouch-Elsa School Board, and had been a volunteer with the Elsa Fire Dept. He was a member of Elks Lodge No. 2057 in Weslaco and a longtime member of the Church of Christ.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jessie Fulcher Fry in January, 1984.
He is survived by his wife, Jewel Partain Fry; daughters, Wanette (Bill) Bergman of Abilene, Texas, Suzanne (Louie) Blount of Brownwood, Texas, and Carolyn (Larry) Taylor of Ozona, Texas; sons, Steve (Peggy) Fry of Overland Park, Kansas, and Chet (Tomi) Fry of College Station; his nephew, Rodney (Lupe) Weaver of Elsa; 11 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Graveside service will be 3 p.m. today, March 5, 1999, at Weslaco City Cemetery, with Minister Joe Valenzuela of the Bridge Avenue Church of Christi officiating. Honorary pallbearers will be Chris Bergman, Lewis Bergman, Jay Evans, Derek Blount, Lance Keller, Clayton Taylor, James Taylor, Travis Fry, Trent Fry, Kelly Fry and Chad Fry.
Friends who wish may make memorial contributions to the Sandi Jo Funk Hospice at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of McCaleb Funeral Home in Weslaco.
ORMA LE THOMPSON
MISSION — Orma Le Thompson, 77, died on her father’s birthday, March 1, 1999, at Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen.
Orma had lived in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and in Wichita Falls, Texas, and in the Rio Grande Valley. She was a school teacher, a Christian educator for over 15 years in the latter part of her life and a member of the First Christian Church in Edinburg.
Survivors include her husband, Ervin L. (Tommy) Thompson of Mission; a son, Larry L. Thompson of St. Joseph, Missouri; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Sandra L. Majick.
Memorial service will be 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 7, 1999, at the First Christian Church in Edinburg. Rev. Duane Moss will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Christian Church of Edinburg.
Virgil Wilson Mortuary in Mission is in charge of arrangements.
ELOISA DE LEON MARTINEZ
McALLEN — Eloisa De Leon Martinez, 77, passed away Tuesday, March 2, 1999, in Moses Lake, Washington, after a brief illness. Born in Bishop, Texas, she had lived in the Rio Grande Valley since the early 1940s, when she married the late Domingo Martinez. The beloved and devoted mother and grandmother will be dearly missed.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Domingo Martinez Sr., in 1989; her parents, Eligio De Leon and Bernardina Pruneda De Leon; two brothers; and one sister.
Survivors include seven sons, Gregorio (Rosa Maria) Martinez of Stanfield, Oregon, Ted (Carolina) Martinez of Toppenish, Wash., Jorge "Santos’’ (Juanita) Martinez of Channelview, Texas, Arturo (Imelda) Martinez of La Joya, Texas, Domingo Martinez Jr., of Houston, Vicente (Lola) Martinez of Channelview, and Oziel Martinez of Houston; six daughters, Elvira "Lolo’’ Ozuna of Raymondville, Elisa (Rogelio) Garza of Rio Grande City, Eluteria "Tea’’ (Gregorio) Martinez of Alamo, Elia Ana Martinez of Mission, Betty Capetillo of Elsa and Arminda Martinez of Warrden, Wash.; 32 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Francisca Vela and Camila Martinez; and four brothers, Inez, Eligio, Pablo and Leonel De Leon.
Visitation will be 2 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 1999, with a 7 p.m. rosary at Virgil Wilson Memorial Chapel. Burial will be Monday, March 8, 1999, at Repueblo de Oriente, N.L., Mexico.
RAY F. BUBLITZ
PHARR — Ray F. Bublitz, age 85, passed away March 3, 1999, at McAllen Medical Center in McAllen. He was preceded in death by David Bublitz in 1971. He is survived by his wife, Virginia Bublitz of Pharr; two sons, Gary Bublitz of Germany and Steven Bublitz of Boise, Idaho; and one grandson, Nuray Bublitz of Boise, Idaho.
Memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 1999, in the Main Hall of Pharr South RV Park in Pharr. There will be no burial; his wishes were to be cremated.
Skinner-Silva Funeral Home of Pharr is in charge of arrangements.
CALVIN H. SMITH
McALLEN — Calvin H. Smith, 71, died Wednesday, March 3, 1999, in Houston, Texas. Mr. Smith was born in Chapman Ranch, Texas, and had been a Valley resident for 60 years. He was a refiner in the oil and gas production industry and was a member of the National Petroleum Refiners Association.
Mr. Smith was a past city commissioner in Edcouch, Texas; a director of the Elsa State Bank; a past member of the Edcouch-Elsa School Board; and was active in many school activities. He was a member of the Edcouch-Elsa Rotary Club and belonged to the First Baptist Church in Edcouch.
He is survived by his wife, Rosemary Smith of McAllen; son, Darrell R. (Barrie) Smith of McAllen, Texas; four daughters, Lois A.(Richard) Shull of Donna, Texas, Shally (Steve) Brady of Magnolia, Texas, and Karen (Michael) Penbrook and Eloise Ramsay, both of San Antonio, Texas; two sisters, Ermalee (Al) Zilles of Green Bay, WI., and Lorraine Morris of Victoria, Texas; sister-in-law, Laverne Smith of Crawford, Texas; two grandsons and five granddaughters. Preceding Calvin in death was his daughter, Pamela Kay Smith, and his brother, Leslie E. Smith.
Visitation will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, March 5, 1999, at Kreidler Funeral Home on North 10th Street, with the family present to receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 6, 1999, at Kreidler Funeral Home, with burial following at Roselawn Cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be Richard Shull, Steve Brady, Michael Penbrook, Cooper Smith, Ryan Sullivan and Douglas Davis. Honorary pallbearers will be the Board of Directors of Elsa State Bank, Overland Express Band members, Chester Moore and Rafael Garcia.
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice.
Services were entrusted to the care of Kreidler Funeral Home, Inc. in McAllen.
MARGIE (ALLNUTT) VEST
WESLACO — Margie (Allnutt) Vest, 98 years and six months, a resident of Siesta Village, Weslaco, Texas, departed this life on Tuesday, March 2, 1999.
She is survived by one son, and three daughters, John Vest, Frances McDowell and Virginia Stevens-Seeds of Weslaco, and Wanda Keller who lives in Illinois. She was born in Sloan, Woodbury County, Iowa, on Oct. 3, 1900, the youngest of six children of John and Sarah (Blair) Wedmore.
At the age of 9 years, her siblings had all married and left so her parents moved to the plains of Western Colorado and took up a homestead, where she lived a happy, carefree life and spent long days practicing piano. Shortly after the move, her father bought their first automobile but never learned to drive so she became the family chauffeur.
By the time she was 19 years of age, she had obtained her Colorado Teachers Certificate and married Roy Vest, a homesteader/farmer/rancher. They lived on the farm through World War I, the Great Depression, the dustbowl days of the "Dirty Thirties’’ and the birth of four children. The dust storms forced them to leave the land so they moved to Kansas then on to Missouri, where they adapted to the change and raised and educated their children.
During World War II, her son had entered the military service and, wanting to help in the war effort, she went to work for Boeing Aircraft Company, helping in the manufacture of B-29 Bombers. After the war ended, she transferred to Cessna Aircraft Comapany, working in the manufacture of Cessna 210 Aircraft, and remained with them until retirement when she moved to Weslaco and really loved living here.
Visitation will be at 11 a.m. today, March 5, 1999. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday, March 6, 1999, at Hawkins Funeral Home in Weslaco. Burial will follow at Highland Meorial Park in Weslaco.
Hawkins Funeral Home in Weslaco is in charge of arrangements.
SERAPIA B. MUNIZ
WESLACO — Serapia Muniz, 82, passed away on Thursday, March 4, 1999, at Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco. She was born on Nov. 27, 1916, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and had resided in Weslaco since 1944.
She is survived by her husband, Alberto Muniz of Weslaco; her four sons, Fidel (Maria) Muniz of Weslaco, Felix (Teresa) Muniz of Weslaco, Reynaldo (Mary) Muniz of League City, Texas, and Jesse (Nora) Muniz of Uvalde; her two daughters, Maria Elena Muniz and Mary Guadalupe Muniz, both of Weslaco; 18 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her two daughters, Bonifacia Muniz and Concepcion Muniz.
Rosary will be at 7 p.m. today, March 5, 1999. Funeral Mass will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 1999, at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Weslaco. Officiating will be Father Bill Zapalac and Father Francisco Castillo. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Park in Weslaco.
Pallbearers will be Fidel Muniz, Felix Muniz, Reynaldo Muniz, Jesus Muniz, Alex Muniz, Albert Muniz and John Daniel Muniz. Honorary pallbearers will be Reynaldo Robles, Joaquin Robles, Ramiro Roblez, Christopher Muniz and Reynaldo Muniz, Jr.
Hawkins Funeral Home in Weslaco is in charge of arrangements
JOSE MANUEL AYALA
MISSION — Jose Manuel Ayala, age 39, died March 3, 1999, at Rio Grande Regional. He was preceded in death by his father, Manuel Ayala; and a sister, Minerva Ayala.
Survivors include his wife, Anna Ayala of Mission; his mother, Melba Ayala of Mission; sons, Jorge Luis Ayala of Garland, Jose Angel Gonzalez of La Joya, and Robert and Vidal Nunez of Round Lake Beach, Ill.; sisters, Ana Patricia Ayala and Alma (Frank) Hernandez, both of Mission.
Also, numerous uncles, aunts, cousins and one niece.
Pallbearers will be Eddie Compean, Johnny Rodriguez, Albert Compean, Ruben Rodriguez, Rey Solis and Arturo Ayala.
Viewing will be from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today, March 5, 1999. Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. at Bread of Life Church, with Amancio Chapa officiating. Burial will follow at San Jose Cemetery.
Funeral services are with Rivera Funeral Home of Mission.
MARIA GUADALUPE REYES
DONNA — Maria Guadalupe Reyes, 77, passed on to be with her Lord on March 3, 1999, at San Juan Nursing Home.
Memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 9, 1999, at Donna Memorial Funeral Home Chapel. She was born on March 20, 1921, in Donna, Texas, to Cecilio and Hilaria Ortega.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Estanislado Reyes, in 1991, a brother, Porfirio Ortega, in 1996, and a son, Domingo Reyes, in 1942.
She is survived by a half sister, Otila Hernandez of Donna; daughters, Josie Treviño and Adelina Vicencio, both of Donna, Maria Clemente of Weslaco and Minerva Vasquez of California; sons, Martin and Leonel Reyes, both of McAllen, Julio and Guadalupe Reyes, both of California, Domingo Reyes of Dallas, Jose Reyes of La Mesa, Texas, and Santiago Reyes of Minnesota.; 40 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.
Funeral services are with Donna Memorial Funeral Home.
MARY LOU HILL
WESLACO — Mary Lou Hill, 69, passed away Wednesday, March 3, 1999, at Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco, following a brief illness. Mrs. Hill was born on April 13, 1929, in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Mrs. Hill was preceded in death by her father, Albert Arnold; two brothers, Lawrence Arnold and Kenneth Arnold.
She is survived by her mother, Clara Mac Arnold of Weslaco; one son, Mark, and his wife, Cynthia Hill, of Nacogdoches, Texas; one daughter, Betty Ann Knight and her husband, Jason, of Alvin, Texas; one sister, Marjorie Crawford of Corpus Christi; and one granddaughter, Makayla D. Hill.
Visitation will be 2-5 p.m. today, March 5, 1999, at McCaleb Funeral Home. Graveside services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 6, 1999, at Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Taylor Road in Mission. Pastor Floyd Parker of The House of Prayer will officiate. Arrangements are by McCaleb Funeral Home in Weslaco.
LUCY ANN HEROD
MISSION — Lucy Ann Herod, 91, died in Mission Hospital.
Mrs. Herod had lived in Mission for 11 years. She was born in Ottumwa, Iowa and was a housewife.
Survivors include two sons, Glen Herod, Jr. of Cheyenne, Wy. And John Herod of California; three daughters, Jean Hewes of Cheyenne, Wy., Wanetta (Edgar) Smith of Harlingen, Donna (Roy) Martinez of Mission; one brother, Jess Lester of Colorado; five sisters, Annabelle Young of California, Ida Dabey, Charlotte Heckethorn, Ione Campbell and Edith Campbell, all of Iowa; nine grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, May 3, 1999, at Virgil Wilson Mortuary in Mission. Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 4, 1999 at Virgil Wilson Chapel. Bill Hicks of Central Christian Church in McAllen will be officiating. Interment will follow at Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery in McAllen.
Pallbearers will be Lewis John Smith, David Glen Brown, Steve McConkey, Ricardo Ochoa, J.J. Peña and Bill Gault.
Mrs. Herod is formerly from Donna, where she was a long time member of the First Baptist Church. She has lived in the Mission area for the last 20 years and attended Central Christian Church in McAllen. One of Mrs. Herod’s greatest joys was the friends and acquaintances she made during her visits to Amigos del Valle in Mission.
Virgil Wilson Mortuary of Mission is in charge of funeral arrangements.
ADA MAE ZIMMERMAN
PHARR — Ada Mae Zimmerman, 84, died on Friday, April 30, 1999, at McAllen Medical Center.
Mrs. Zimmerman was born in Rogers, Ark. On January 16, 1915 and had lived in Pharr for 63 years. She was a bookkeeper.
Survivors include two sons, Bill (Faye) Zimmerman of Los Banos, Calif., Ralph (Carol Jon) Zimmerman of Mission; one daughter, Dorothy (Fred) Theis of Mission; one sister, Maxine Zimmerman of La Feria; one brother, Edwin Weathers of Temple, Texas; nine grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband Alfred Zimmerman on March 1, 1998; her parents, W. A. and Anna Weathers; and four brothers, Cleo, Wayne Glen and Charles Zimmerman.
Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Monday, May 3, 1999, at Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Rev. Thom Elliot and Rev. Winn Alley will be officiating. Burial will follow at Valley Memorial Gardens in McAllen.
Mrs. Zimmerman moved to Pharr in 1936 and was employed as a bookkeeper for the Square Deal Laundry in McAllen. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
Virgil Wilson Mortuary of Mission is in charge of funeral arrangements.
MERCEDES — Frances Pearce, 83, passed away on Thursday, April 29, 1999, at Retama Manor Nursing Home in Weslaco.
Mrs. Pearce was born in Deadwood, Texas, to James and Nola Watkins. She had been a resident of the area since 1963. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Mercedes and a member of United Methodist Womens Circle of Mercedes.
She is survived by her granddaughter, Dorianne Marie Allen of Stanford, Calif.; a sister, Marie and her husband Charles Greenwood of Mercedes; a nephew, James A. and his wife Sherry Greenwood of Weslaco; niece, Linda Marie Greenwood of Houston, Texas; grandnephew, Wade Greenwood of San Francisco, Calif.; and grandnieces, Kelly and Amanda Greenwood of Weslaco.
She was preceded in death by her husband Fred Pearce; a son, Cecil and his wife Janet; a granddaughter, Teresa.
Visitation will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, Sunday, May 2, 1999, at McCaleb Funeral Home in Weslaco at which time the family will receive friends. Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, 1999, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Texarkana, Texas.
Those friends wishing to, may make memorial contributions to the First United Methodist Church of Mercedes, Memorial Fund 200 16th Street, Mercedes, Texas, 78596.
Funeral arrangements are pending with McCaleb Funeral Home in Weslaco.