Esther Esparza

June 23, 1923 ~ October 26, 2021 (age 98)


Esther LaMadrid-Esparza went to be with her eternal Father on Thursday, October 26, 2021. She was preceded in passing by her husband of 49 years Dr. Thomas Esparza.

Esther LaMadrid was third daughter born to Jose A LaMadrid and Guadalupe Rios. He was a bricklayer, she was a housewife. She passed away when Esther was ten years old. Grandpa, Mom and her three siblings, Irene, Helen and Humberto were left to fend for themselves.

To make ends meet during the Depression, Esther started teaching school for 5 cents a week per child. She only stopped teaching when she couldn't anymore

During WWII, Esther and her sister, Helena worked in Washington, D.C. at the State Department as stenographers. After work in San Francisco at the Dumbarten Oaks United Nations Conference that she returned to Brownsville to live with her family.

After WWII, Esther went to Texas A & I in Kingsville, Texas to get her Bachelor's degree. There, her professors stated openly that Hispanics were not capable of learning as well as white people. Esther graduated Cum Laude.

At A & I , she met her future husband, Tommy Esparza. They married in 1949 at her father's home then moved to Edinburg, Tommy's home town, to both begin working with the Edinburg School District.
She knew exactly who she and her generation were; pioneers for Hispanics. She expected more from society around her and to demand more for her children.

She taught every level of elementary school before there were computers. With no role models she paved her own methods for teaching children.

Later, in her career, Esther took the skills that she learned and turned them into college level classes as a of Education for 15 years including supervising student teachers.
Esther, her husband, and other WWII Veterans and their spouses expected more from the world around them. They formed the Edinburg Teachers Credit Union. She was actively involved in Cub Scouts and had the first all Hispanic group of Scouts. She, with a other Baptist leaders established a Baptist mission; Nueva Vida Baptist Church.

The love of her life was Tommy Esparza Sr. Esther supported him as a muse, sounding board, and typist. A hometown sports hero from Edinburg, Tommy was a pioneer educator there. After a distinguished career in education and his community he was honored with the naming of an elementary school in his honor.

She left elementary schools districts Esther became an Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education at Pan American University preparing students for a career in education.

Mom's collororated with her son Tommy Jr. to publish twenty different books and cassettes, including Nueva Vida con Ingles, Citizenship the 100 Questions, Humpty Dumpty and Friends in the Southwest Rocking Horse Rhymes and Rhyme Time in the Rio Grande (her own poems).

Esther is survived by three children; Tommy Jr.,his wife Geralyn, twins Helena and Carina, son Alejandro Gonzalez and wife Katia and grandson Aiden, Steven and grandchildren Steven and wife Nancy, grandchild Nathaniel & , Vanessa Elise, Brenda Guadalupe & grandchild Aurora & Cameran Renee, daugher Teylene and grandson Jarius.

Though they never specifically said "this is racism" the Esparza parents made sure that their children knew that the education they were getting made them unique among their peers. Tommy and Esther made sure their children knew not to forget where they were from.

Tommy Jr. graduated in 1974 from Texas A & M and 1977 from the Uni. of Texas School of Law.
Steven earned a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma in 1978
Teylene earned her Bachelors of Education from Pan American University and Masters from Texas A and I University

The family would like to thank those who cared for mom in the last years of her life; including Javier Maldonado, Home health aide, the Staff of the Bridges including Lourdes and Melissa and the support staff, Martha Scurlock Stewart from ETFCU, the Patel family owners Executive Inn of Edinburg, Drs. Palacios and Rafols, the drivers from Medex.

Having the distinguished honor to serve as pallbearers will be: Steven Nathaniel Esparza, Jatius Quinlan Esparza, Alejandro Lee Gonzalez, Thomas Esparza, Jr. Patricio Villasana and Scott Rogers. Honorary pallbarers: Steven Esparza, Mario Duarte and Rudy Ortiz Jr.

Viewing will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2021 from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM with a prayer service to be held at 6:00 PM at Ceballos -Diaz Funeral Home, 322 East Kuhn Street in Edinburg. Christian services will be held on Friday, November 5, 2021 at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Church, 201 East Samano Street in Edinburg. Burial will follow
to Valley Memorial Gardens, 3605 North Taylor Road in McAllen. Reception to follow at Ceballos -Diaz Funeral Home. Funeral services have been entrusted to Johnny Garcia, Manager/Funeral Director and staff of Ceballos-Diaz Funeral Home in Edinburg.

Click here to view a webcast of the service on 11/4/2021 at 05:00 PM, Central Standard Time.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Esther Esparza, please visit our floral store.


November 4, 2021

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ceballos-Diaz Funeral Home
322 East Kuhn
Edinburg, TX 78541

Funeral Mass
November 5, 2021

11:00 AM
First Baptist Church
201 E. Samano Street
Edinburgt, TX 78539


Valley Memorial Gardens
3605 N Taylor Rd
Mission, TX

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