JOE ERNEST VILLARREAL , born December 15, 1931, passed away on March 24, 2013. Preceded in death by his parents Clotilde & Jose Villarreal. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elia Cisneros Villarreal, son Joe Villarreal and daughter Donna Ann Villarreal, sister Paula Cabrera, and many loving nieces and nephews. A 1951 graduate of Reagan High School and a 1959 graduate of University of Texas, Austin, Joe is also a veteran of the US Navy, he served in the Korean War.
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Joe was a distance runner on the University of Texas track team and the holder of the SWC mile record at 4:10:05. During his running career, he won over 100 championships. He competed for a position on the track team at the 1956 U S Olympic trials. In 1959, he assisted the country of Venezuela at the Pan American Games in Chicago. From 1964 to 1968 he was under contract with the Mexican Olympic Committee and the US State Department to assist Mexico with its Olympic team, and assist with the planning and hosting of the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico City.
Joe served as the Director of Model City for The City of Houston and as The Regional Administrator of Region 11 for the Texas Department of Human Resources.
In 1983 Joe founded Vilco, Inc., an oil field pipe service company.
Joe served on the Executive Board of United Way and served as the president of the Sembradores de Amistad Scholarship Foundation.
The family extends their thanks to his many compassionate caregivers.
His quiet demeanor and sense of humor will be missed by family and all who knew him.
The family will receive friends at Klein Funeral Home-Champions on Tuesday from 6-8pm with a vigil service at 7pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church on Wednesday at 10:30am followed by interment at Klein Memorial Park-SH249.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Mar. 25, 2013