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Funeraria Del Angel Harding-Orr & McDani
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El Paso, TX 79902
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Erasmo Andrade

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Erasmo Wilivaldo Andrade Erasmo Wilivaldo Andrade passed away peacefully at home with his family on Friday, March 30, 2012, following a very short but gallant battle with cancer. He was born to Wilivaldo and María Nieto Andrade at the family ranch near Bruni, TX, on May 12, 1931. Erasmo grew up in San Antonio, graduated from Fox Tech Vocational School, and then joined the U.S. Navy. Serving during the Korean War, he travelled throughout the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean, visiting many countries. After an honorable discharge as a Machinist Mate III, he graduated from St. Mary's University in San Antonio with a bachelor's degree in International Relations. He subsequently earned his Juris Doctorate from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston. As a young professional, Erasmo taught English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) to military officers at Lackland Air Force Base. He subsequently spent three years in Turkey and Iran teaching ESL for the U.S. Department of Defense. On returning to the U.S., he began working as a union organizer for migrant workers, garbage collectors, and other disenfranchised groups. Erasmo's early activism on behalf of social justice was notable in San Antonio and South Texas. As a staff member of Bishop Robert E. Lucey's Committee on the Spanish Speaking, one of his major achievements was the organization of the Valley Farmworkers Assistance Committee and the coordination of the 1966 Farmworkers March from Rio Grande City to Austin on behalf of safe work conditions and a state minimum wage of $1.25. He played an active role in the battle for voter rights in the Winter Garden area and was the first director of federal projects for the Crystal City Independent School District. Funding from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health helped him to create the Zavala County Mental Health Outreach Program, in cooperation with the Department of Psychology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. In 1973, the family moved to Austin so that Erasmo could join the staff of the Texas Legislature's Joint Committee on Prison Reform, led by State Senator Chet Brooks and State Representative Mickey Leland. The Austin Independent School District subsequently hired him as director of a community education program for five years funded by the Charles Steward Mott Foundation. He returned to the classroom and taught economics, government and history at Lanier and Austin High Schools. Two of his accomplishments included developing student conflict peer mediation teams at both campuses, and assisting Lanier students to advocate for renaming a downtown street to honor César Chávez, leader of the United Farmworkers. Erasmo and the family relocated to El Paso in 1993, where he taught social studies courses at Riverside High School until 2002. Erasmo always demonstrated his deep commitment to community service. In Austin, he actively volunteered with numerous social service organizations, as board member of Development & Assistance in Rehabilitation, Austin Resource Center for Independent Living, and Texas Partners of the Americas, in addition to being President of the Austin Child Guidance Center Board and a member of the Austin-Travis County Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center Advisory Committee on Aging. He was one of the three co-chairs who led the Tri-Ethnic Desegregation Community Committee of the Austin school district. His family belonged to the Cristo Rey Catholic Church, where he served as Usher, as well as on the Parish Council and Finance Committee, for many years. Erasmo believed that his most important contribution in Austin was providing leadership to the Move It! Campaign for relocation of the airport to the city's outskirts. In El Paso, Mayor Ray Caballero appointed Erasmo to the City's Civil Service Commission, and at the time of his death, he was a member of the Appraisal Review Board of the El Paso County Appraisal Board, as well as the Project Bravo Board of Directors and the Advisory Committee of the Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging. He belonged to the Peace & Justice, Tarahumara Sierra and Annulment Ministries at St. Pius X Catholic Church and was coordinator of Eucharistic Ministers for the Spanish Masses. He also served as a volunteer with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, AARP, Mission Hills Association, and Las Américas Immigrant Advocacy Center, as well as numerous other community organizations. He belonged to the Paso del Norte Chapter 58 of the American Legion. Active in Democratic politics, he was elected precinct chair in Austin for many years; served as a member of the Travis County Democratic Party Executive Committee; and was honored to be a member of Governor Ann Richards' Inaugural Committee. In El Paso, Erasmo served as a precinct chair and election judge until his death; coordinated the local campaign for John Kerry in 2004; and participated in the 2008 Texas Democratic Convention as an Obama delegate. A member of the Texas State Teachers Association and the National Education Association, Erasmo attended several state and national conventions as an Austin and El Paso delegate. Through Partners of the Americas, he organized several projects to bring Peruvian young people to El Paso. Erasmo was proud of all his high school students, especially those from Riverside, always encouraging them to continue their education with high aspirations for their future and our community. Erasmo was preceded in death by his brother, José Andrade. He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Sally; dedicated children Marisa Andrade and Carlos Andrade; adored grandchildren Lucas, Isabel, Emma and Joaquín; admired and loved sisters: Lupe Sánchez, Toledo, OH; María Domínguez, Huntington, WV; and in San Antonio, Paula Cervantes, Eva Franks, Oralia Morán, Velia Pérez, Alicia Wolfshol and Helen Guzmán; and cherished family from Sterling City, Alan Jenkins, Ronnie, Amanda and Katrina Krejci, as well as many caring nieces and nephews. Pall bearers include: grandson Lucas Andrade; brother-in-law Ronnie Krejci; nephews Dr. Francisco Cervantes, Alan Jenkins, Peter Owen and Herb Sánchez. Honorary pall bearers include his brother-in-law, Dr. Fernando Domínguez, Huntington, WV; Rev. Arturo Fernández, Salem, Oregon; John McCrory, Marfa; Cruz Quintela, Fort Stockton; and from El Paso, Fernando Bermúdez, Ricardo Bolaños, Eduardo Castareña, Sebastian Martínez, and Martín Ramos. Our family extends deep appreciation to Dr. Inés E. Sánchez and Dr. Luis Guerra de la Fuente por su cuidado cariñoso and to Hospice of El Paso staff, especially Mary Lou Nelson, R.N., for her gentle support. We are also grateful to the many friends who graciously supported us during this difficult period. Visitation will be Monday, April 2, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Funeraria del Angel Harding-Orr-McDaniel Funeral Home, 320 Montana, with the Rosary at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 3, at 12:00 p.m., at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1050 North Clark, with Msgr. Arturo Bañuelas. A private burial will take place at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Erasmo requested memorial contributions to Las Américas Immigrant Advocacy Center at 1500 E. Yandell, El Paso 79902, or to Hospice of El Paso at 1440 Miracle Way, El Paso 79925. Correspondence may be sent to the family in care of Funeraria del Angel Harding-Orr-McDaniel Funeral Home, 320 Montana, El Paso, TX 79902, or visitors may leave messages in the www.FunerariaDelAngelHarding.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Apr. 2, 2012
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