Dr. Raul Garza Jr.|
SAN BENITO, TX --
Dr. Raul Garza, Jr, 82, passed away in the early morning hours of November 26, 2013. A man known for his compassion and humility, he was a soldier, a husband, a father, an avid Longhorn fan, a pharmacist, a public servant, a beloved member of his community and, most importantly, a physician. He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends and his many patients.
Raul Garza, Jr. was born in San Antonio, Texas on June 11, 1931. He grew up in Falfurrias and Corpus Christi, Texas. He served in the United States Air Force, and then the US Army, eventually reaching the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. In 1953, during the Korean War, he was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions above the call of duty on the battlefield.
Dr. Garza attended the University of Texas at Austin on the GI bill where he earned his degree in pharmacy in 1957. While there, he met his wife of 56 years, Yolanda Lozano Garza.
In 1960, Dr. Garza purchased Rio Grande Pharmacy in Harlingen, Texas, before following his lifelong passion to practice Medicine in 1970. He studied at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara Medical School in Guadalajara, Mexico. After earning his Medical Degree in 1974 and completing his internship and residency, Dr. Garza returned to the Valley to practice Family Medicine in 1975. In 1980, he opened his own practice, The Garza Clinic, in San Benito and practiced for 30 years before retiring.
Dr. Garza was an active member of his community. In 1960, he became one of the first Hispanics to be elected to the Harlingen School Board, proudly serving through 1969 when he left for medical school. Dr. Garza then served on the San Benito School Board from 1980 until 1997. In 1998, the community honored Dr. Garza by opening an elementary school in his name, The Dr. Raul Garza Jr. Elementary School. The School is an on-going testament to his belief in the importance of education.
Dr. Garza's reputation as a kind hearted, humble man was exemplified through his daily interaction with his patients and friends. He focused on providing help to people in need. As a Family Doctor, he was honored to treat multiple generations of families. Dr. Garza provided services regardless of the ability to pay, and often received produce, shrimp, pigs, chickens and other gifts presented by grateful patients. He strongly believed in the dignity of the person. Everyone he met was treated with respect.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Raul Sr. and Guadalupe Garza, and his brother, Rolando Garza.
Left to cherish his memory is his loving wife, Yolanda Lozano Garza; his children: Yvonnilda Muniz (Alfredo), Raul Garza III, Yvette Lopez (Lamberto), Rene Garza, and Remi Garza; two granddaughters, Teresa B. Muniz and Brianna V. Muniz; and one grandson Remi B. Lopez. Also surviving him is his Sister, Marylou Grable (Don), his brothers, Leonel (Jannette) and David Garza (June), his sister-in-law Rosalie Garza, his sister-in-law Teresa Lozano, his brother- and sister-in-law Lt. General Richard and Sylvia Trzaskoma, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews.
The family would like to give special thanks his niece, Denise Austin; Noelda de los Santos; and to his staff: Rosie, Virginia and Verna, for their help in his final days. Thank you to the remainder of his staff visiting and all their years of service. The family also would like to thank Dr. Shenkenberg, Dr. Seudeal, and the staff of at Valley Baptist Medical Center for their dedicated service and to all those who shared their memories of him as a doctor and beloved friend.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on Thursday, December 5, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Thomae-Garza Funeral Home in San Benito.
Visitation will continue on Friday, December 6, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., with a recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of the Universe Catholic Church located on 1425 N. Sam Houston in San Benito, Texas.
The Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at Our Lady Queen of the Universe Catholic Church officiated by Father Isaac Erondu with military honors to conclude services. Cremation will follow in accordance with his wishes.
Serving as pallbearers are: Fred Muniz, Lamberto Lopez, Rodney Garza, Carlos Lozano, Anthony Garza, Oscar Lozano, Richard J. Trzaskoma, Tom Hushen, Richard De Los Santos, and Raul Lozano. Honorary pallbearers are: Cameron Maples, Austin Maples, Frank Williams, Randy Garza, Lonnie Garza, Jr., and Roland Garza, Jr.
Inurnment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia at a later date.
Dr. Garza's family has established a scholarship fund in his memory to benefit the students of San Benito CISD. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to: Dr. Raul Garza Jr. Scholarship Fund, #0068055, First Community Bank, 1151 W. US Highway 77, San Benito, Texas, (956) 361-3661.
You may sign the online guestbook and send words of comfort, flowers, or sympathy cards to the family of Dr. Raul Garza, Jr., M.D. at: www.thomaegarza.com.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the care of Thomae-Garza Funeral Directors, 395 S. Sam Houston, San Benito, Texas, (956) 399-1331.
Published in Valley Morning Star on Dec. 1, 2013