In the morning of April 28, 2020 our beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother Maria Inocencia "Chencha" de la Garza entered into eternal rest at the age of 102. Her final days were spent in McAllen, Texas under Allstate Hospice care at the Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home. Maria was born on December 28, 1917 in Hidalgo, Texas, one of twelve children to Bonifacio Rodriguez and Jacoba Gutierrez. She was raised in McAllen during the Roaring Twenties, contributing in many ways to the upbringing of her four younger surviving siblings.
Maria attended public schools in McAllen before entering the work force during the Great Depression out of necessity for the Rodriguez family, including stints at the 1939 Texas Legislature and later at the State Department of the United States during World War II. In Edinburg she worked as an assistant to Judge James C. Looney and with the firm Hall, Rawlings & Hall. Throughout her life Maria was a champion of educational opportunities for herself as well as for her immediate and extended families. She was especially passionate towards women achieving their livelihood during the challenging times of the mid-twentieth century. She relished her time as Girl Scout Den Mother in the 1940's. Her post-secondary education included Durham Business College, Pan American College undergraduate, and Texas A&I post-graduate achievements. Maria earned her teaching certificate while raising her baby-boomer children with Segundo in a farming household. Beginning in the early 1960's, Maria experienced almost 25 years of teaching elementary and special-needs education students, in the PSJA School District and Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District before retiring in the mid-1980's. Her career also included classroom teaching following the children of migrant workers to Ohio as part of the state of Ohio summer programs. On September 24, 1942 in Edinburg, Texas, Maria married Segundo M. R. de la Garza of Edinburg, Texas, prior to leaving to serve in WWII. After Segundo's return from serving in the U.S. Army in the European Theatre, they set out to raise their family on a farm- "the ranch"- in San Carlos, Texas. After Segundo's untimely passing in 1974, Maria relinquished the farm ten years later and spent her early years of retirement managing properties in Edinburg and South Padre Island. In 2000 Maria returned to Austin, where she had enjoyed her residency as a 22 year old 60 years earlier, to begin yet another chapter of her life where she remained until relocating to McAllen. Maria will forever be remembered for her ferocious independence while simultaneously sacrificing herself to care for her family and loved ones. She was a devout Catholic and for a time taught Sunday Catechism instilling the Catholic traditions to our youth.
Maria is survived by her five children: Manuel Alejandro (Gisela) of Denver, Co., Segundo Manuel "Sam", Jr. (Edna) of Edinburg, Jorge Carlos of San Antonio, Drucilla (Steve) of Dripping Springs, Tx. and Roger Anthony of Austin; three grandchildren: Dr. Nicole (Jared Berge) de la Garza, of Denver Co., Sam (Minnie) de la Garza, Marcos (Anissa) de la Garza; four great grandchildren: Derek, Tessa, Arianna and Alina de la Garza and several nieces and nephews. Maria was preceded in death by her husband; Segundo and siblings: Corina Salinas, Amanda Torres, Rigoberto Rodriguez, and Elma Reyna. Maria also had seven siblings whom did not survive infancy.
Maria's visitation will be held today, Thursday, April 30, 2020 at Ceballos Diaz Funeral Home, 322 East Kuhn Street in Edinburg, Texas from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Graveside Interment will be on Friday, May 1, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Valley Memorial Gardens, 3605 North Taylor Road in McAllen. The family extends its thanks to the nurses and staff at Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home and Allstate Hospice for their care and attention given to Maria.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions can be made to St Joseph Church Capital Campaign or the San Antonio & South Texas Chapter the Alzheimer's Association. Please sign the register book at www.Ceballos-Diaz.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Maria Inocencia De La Garza, please visit our floral store.