Luis Felipe Perez, 63, passed away at his home with his loving family by his side on May 13, 2012.
Mr. Perez was born in Alice, TX on January 11, 1949 to Cruz and Amparo Perez where, at the early age of 13, he held numerous jobs as a shoe shiner, cotton picker, and newspaper delivery boy.
He always credited hard work as the foundation of his success and would continue this belief into his adult life, becoming a highly regarded citizen and a leader in his community.
In 1966, Luis graduated from Alice High School at the age of sixteen and in 1967 joined the military during his country's time of war. He served proudly as a United States Marine, serving three tours in Vietnam and was the recipient of a Bronze Star with Valor, three Purple Hearts and was a highly decorated soldier.
On January 23, 1971, Luis Perez married the love of his life, Peggy, at St. Joseph's Church in his hometown of Alice and spent the next forty-one years by her side.
In 1986, Luis moved his family to Harlingen, TX and quickly emerged himself in the local community.
Beginning as a salesman and ending as an agent with State Farm, his career in the insurance business lasted 40 years. He leaves a legacy of continued success as a legendary award winning salesman and agent. In 1996, Luis founded the Friendly Insurance Agency, a company both his sons run today.
Among his many accomplishments in the insurance community, Mr. Perez also helped found the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and was instrumental in the development of Harlingen's Veteran Affairs Hospital.
He continued to serve his country and community after his military service had long ended as he founded the United Veterans Organization in 2001. The organization's initial purpose was to help local veterans travel to and get the care they needed at San Antonio's Veteran Affairs hospital, but eventually, the UVO would extend its scope and help a number of veterans discover the benefits they qualified for and work with them to receive these benefits.
The Perez family would like for those that loved him to remember him for all the lives he touched and the lives he changed. He will be missed.
He is survived by: His wife Peggy Perez, brother Cruz Perez Jr., sister Grace Hinojosa, daughter Erica Caballero (David), two sons Luis (Phill) F. Perez Jr.(Nicole) and Cesar Perez, as well as ten beautiful grandchildren; and his loyal canine companions.
The family would like to give a special thanks to Dr. James Castillo and Odyssey Hospice for their care and compassion throughout its time of need. Also, to Sal Mendoza and State Farm staff for their continued support.
Visitation will be held from 1-9pm at Trinity Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, with a prayer service commencing at 7pm.
Mr. Perez's funeral service will be held at Trinity Funeral Chapel of the Holy Spirit Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 9am with Pastor Escamilla officiating.
Interment will follow at Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission, Texas with full military honors under the auspices of Brownsville American Legion # 43 and the US Marine Corp.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Trinity at Harrison Funeral Home 1002 E. Harrison, Harlingen, Texas 78550 (956) 364-2444.
Sign the guestbook at: http://legacy.com/valleystar/obituaries.asp.
Published in Valley Morning Star on May 16, 2012