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Mrs. Maria Cruz Padilla, 90, our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend has been called by heaven's angels and entered into the glory of her eternal life on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. At her bedside were her son Joe and her devoted caregivers with whom she shared many memories at her beloved ranch in Bayview, Texas.

Cruz, a native and lifetime resident of Brownsville and the surrounding area, was the daughter of Encarnacion and Flora Vasquez Ybarra, a pioneer family with deep roots in South Texas.

After graduating from Brownsville High School in 1942, she met and married the love of her life, Alfonso Padilla and together they raised their three children: Alfonso Jr., Eva, and Joe. Sadly, her husband's life ended in tragedy in 1970, leaving Cruz alone to continue raising their three children in spite of what other uncertainties life would bring her way.

Cruz was determined to raise and educate her children. After the loss of her husband, Cruz always made sure that issues of trust and guidance were always available from her.

In 2006, Cruz moved to Bayview, Texas, and enjoyed the "Country Charm" and particularly anxiously awaited her yearly harvest of Ruby Red Grapefruits that she sold from her golf cart beginning in November and continuing until all the fruit was sold or given away. Cruz loved her home, her neighbors, and all the members of her community church. Cruz was deeply loved and will be profoundly missed by all those fortunate to have known her but we are certain that her legacy will continue in those that survive her.

Cruz was predeceased by her parents: Encarnacion and Flora Ybarra; her siblings: Lorenzo Ybarra Sr., Jose Ybarra, Pablo Ybarra, Juan Ybarra, Janie Vasquez, Concepcion "Conchita" Canales, Aurora Buentello, and Rey Ybarra; and a grandson, Eddie Garza.

In addition to her three children, Cruz is survived by her sister, Rosa "Rosita" Leyva; two granddaughters: Ana Christina Padilla from San Antonio, Texas, and Lauren Alexandra Padilla from Mexico City, D.F., Mexico; four grandsons: Sergio and Javier Padilla and Alfonso and Armando Garza; three great-granddaughters, numerous nieces, nephews, and other extended family members.

Visitation was held yesterday, Saturday, Oct. 20, in the East Chapel at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home. Visitation will resume at 10 a.m. and continue through 9 p.m. today Sunday, Oct. 21, with the recitation of the holy rosary at 7 p.m. Sunday evening. The Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 555 West St. Francis St. Committal services will follow at Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Honored to be serving as Cruz's pallbearers are: Joe Padilla, Guadalupe "Don Lupe" Morales, Frank Evans, Manny Buentello Jr., Rey Ybarra II, Jesus Gutierrez, and Jorge Limas.

The Padilla family would like to extend their thanks to Dr. Luis Reynoso and his staff for the care they provided during the last weeks of her life; Greater Valley Hospice, and Raquel Ybarra, Delma Salinas, Elva Muñoz, Angela Ferreri, Evelyn Vasquez, Kathleen Redfern, and Sylvia Rangel.

Our most sincere and heartfelt appreciation goes to Consuelo Guerra, Antonia and Guadalupe "Don Lupe" Morales, who were her personal caregivers at her ranch; our friends in Bayview and Pastor Hamilton with Cornerstone Church, for their thoughts, visits, and prayers throughout her illness.

You may view the obituary, sign the guestbook, and send your condolences online to the Padilla family at www.darlingmouser.com.

I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one; I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when day is gone. I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, of happy times, and laughing times, and bright and sunny days. I'd like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun, of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Darling-Mouser Funeral Home, 945 Palm Blvd, Brownsville, Texas 78520; (956) 546-7111.
Published in Brownsville Herald on Oct. 21, 2012
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