Maria (Mary) Elena Garza Villarreal left to be with the Lord on September 8, 2017 with family at her side. Mary was born in Robstown, Texas on November 29, 1944 to parents Gilberto and Pauline Peña Garza (deceased). 

She is survived by her husband Juan Francisco Villarreal formerly of Robstown, daughter Corina (Brian) Blackford, grandsons Benjamin and Daniel Blackford of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania; brothers José Simitrio (Noehmi, deceased) Garza of San Antonio, Liovardo (Kathy) Garza of Corpus Christi, and Ray (Malena) Garza of Kingsville. Mary and her husband Juan celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in July 2017.

Mary was a graduate of Robstown High School class of 1964, attended Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) and received her B.S. degree in Education from the University of Houston in 1977 and was a Certified Bilingual Education Teacher. In her early education teacher career she was a teacher’s aide at the Wesley Community Center in Robstown. She taught at Sammons Elementary School in the Aldine Independent School District in Houston for 33 years and made great contributions in the field of Bilingual Education. While at Sammons Elementary she was selected Teacher of the Year several years and assisted in developing the Bilingual Education Curriculum. In addition, she actively participated in numerous University and Education Teacher district and state-wide conferences and training programs sharing her expertise of Bilingual Education Curricula.

Mary’s personality was very loving, fun and feisty. She loved to travel and together with her husband and family friends enjoyed travels in Mexico, England, Italy, Portugal, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Canada, Nova Scotia, France and Spain. Her greatest joy was being a grandmother and loved country music but also enjoyed listening to the music of Michael Buble. 

She will be remembered for her contributions to the many young minds she impacted while an elementary teacher, her insights and development of bilingual education, her dedication and devotion to her students and her love and enjoyment of her family. Her smiles and joy she brought to her family are eternal and heartwarming to all of us who will greatly miss her and will never be forgotten. 

Two memorial services will be held: (1) Friday, September 22, 2017 at 2 p.m. at Klein Funeral Home, 1400 West Main Street, Tomball, Texas 77375 [(281)-251-7233] and (2) Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 2 p.m. at Iglesia Cristiana Bet-El, 600 North Flores Street, Robstown, Texas 78380 [(361)-387-7975].

In lieu of flowers, the family desires memorial donations to Iglesia Cristiana Bet-El, 600 North Flores Street, Robstown, Texas 78380 or the charity of your choice.