Francisco Ornelas Cuellar was born on April 2, 1921 in Zapata, Texas. On September 18, 2013, he passed away in Edinburg, Texas. Francisco was the son of Pablo Ornelas and Martina Cuellar de Ornelas. He married Romelia Benavides on July 4, 1953 and remained married for over 60 years. He raised 5 children with tender love and affection.
Francisco served with the United States Army Air Force in the Pacific Front during World War II and was called to serve in the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War. He was in active service from September 18, 1942 to February 9, 1946. He served with the United States Air Force Reserve from 1946 to 1968. He served with the Department of Agriculture Screwworm Eradication Program in Mexico in 1949 and 1950. He received his license as a private pilot on July 15, 1947.
Mr. Ornelas attended Laredo Junior College in 1953 and obtained a diploma in Business Administration. He attended Texas A & I University in Kingsville, Texas from 1953 to 1956 obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Social Studies. He continued his graduate education at Texas A & I University in Kingsville obtaining his Master of Science degree in Elementary Administration with a minor in History in 1969. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish from Pan American University in 1976.
Mr. Ornelas taught in the public school system in the Rio Grande Valley for 33 years having taught at Vernon Jr. High School in Harlingen, Texas for 15 years. From 1988 to 1996, he taught Spanish at the University of Texas-Pan American in the Modern Language and Literature Department.
Francisco had a passion for his family and life. He loved to play chess and helped establish a chess club at Vernon, Jr. High School in Harlingen. He spent countless hours playing ChessMaster on the computer and would always tell everyone when he would beat the computer. His other passion was his ranch, El Cristalito, in Nva. Ciudad Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He was very involved in ranching doing everything from building fences, herding cattle and hunting. He loved being outdoors with nature.
Francisco was predeceased by his parents Pablo and Martina, his brothers, Renato, Armando and Roel Ornelas.
He is survived by his brother, Pablo Ornelas, Jr., and his sisters, Lilia Ornelas and Raquel O. Lopez. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Jose Benavides Gonzalez and wife, Bertha B. Benavides and their children Juan Manuel Benavides, Beatriz B. Galvan, Luis Orlando Bena-vides. He is survived by his wife, Romelia B. Ornelas, and his five children, Xavier Ornelas and wife, Cynthia Ornelas, Edna Taylor and husband, Edgar Taylor, Jr., Myrna Ornelas and husband, Michael Reyes, Alma Ella Ornelas and husband, Craig Laurents, and Albert Ornelas and wife, Iris Ornelas. He is also survived by eight grandchildren Edgar Francis Taylor, Ana Lisa Ornelas, John Joseph Taylor, Mario Francisco Ornelas, Jacqueline Ornelas, Andrea Ornelas, Sophia Ornelas and Daniella Ornelas.
A visitation will be from 6:00 pm to 8:00pm with a rosary at 7PM Thursday, September 19, 2013 at Kreidler Funeral Home in McAllen Texas. Officiating the funeral mass will be Mons. Juan Nicolau starting Friday 20, 2013 11:30am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in McAllen. Interment to follow at Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission. kreidlerfuneralhome.com
Kreidler Funeral Home, Inc. 314 N. 10th St.McAllen, TX 78501 956-686-0234 Fax 956-682-8529.
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Published in Valley Morning Star on Sept. 19, 2013