Estela Vela Cantu
LYFORD, TX.-Estela Vela Cantu, 90, entered into rest on Friday, March 29, 2013 at her residence in Harlingen, TX.
She was the youngest child of Emilio Vela Sr. and Salome Chapa Vela, born on July 25, 1922 in Port Lavaca, Texas. Estela is a descendent of an old pioneer family from the Laguna Seca ranch in northern Hidalgo County. She graduated from Port Lavaca High School at the age of 15 and entered the University of Texas
-Austin. She enjoyed her university years in Austin and was active in several organizations. In 1941 and 1942, Estela was selected as a University Bluebonnet Belle. She graduated with a degree in Education in 1942 and taught 1st grade in Cuero, Austin and Port Lavaca.
She married Rudolph ``Pito' Cantu in 1946, and she and her husband owned and operated Topaz Jewelry in Lyford from August 1949 to October 1981. A sixty year resident of Lyford, Estela was a founding member of Prince of Peace Catholic Church. At Prince of Peace, Estela served on the parish board for six years and served as secretary and treasurer of the Altar Society. All her children attended Lyford schools and during their school days, she was active in school functions involving them. She belonged to the KJZT St. Anne's Society # 123 and served as cheer committee chair for more than twenty-five years.
Estela's passions were reading and gardening. Her home was filled with many books on many subjects. Her example fostered a curiosity for learning and a love of reading in her children. Due to her love of gardening, her backyard bloomed with plants and colorful flowers all year long. Her children recall the peaceful backyard environment she created with her plants. Whenever possible, Estela traveled to faraway destinations. Some of her most memorable trips were to Frances, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Finland, Australia, Hawaii and many places in Mexico.
Estela's children are grateful to their mother for guiding them, sacrificing for them, giving them her passion for learning and championing them in their dreams and aspirations. They request, in lieu of flowers, donations to be made to Prince of Peace Catholic Church P.O. Box 460 Lyford, TX 78569 or a
Estela was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Rudolph ``Pito' Cantu and two sons Ernest Noe Cantu and Robert Laurence Cantu.
She is survived by five daughters, Charlotte Elizabeth (Steve) Martin of San Antonio, TX, Margaret Louise (Colin) Smith of Dallas, TX, Annette (Hector) Ramirez of Harlingen, TX, Teresa Ann (Gary) Hagstrom of Houston, TX, Salome Marie (Eric) Blakeslee of Boca Raton, FL and two sons, George Edward (Lynne) Cantu and Joseph James (Martha) Cantu as well as fourteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers are her grandchildren: Dean Dylan Hendrix, David Dario Hendrix, Luke Allen Cantu, Briana Lynne Cantu, Eric Thomas Hagstrom, Lindsay Hagstrom Heard, Brian Robert Hagstrom and Paul Joseph Cantu. Honorary pallbearers are her grandchildren: Elizabeth Ann Cantu, Brad Alan Hagstrom, Andrea Valerie Cantu, Marissa Faith Cantu, Sienna Lauren Blakeslee and Clay Eric Blakeslee.
Visitation 6:00pm and rosary 7:00pm will be held on Tuesday, April 2nd, at Duddlesten Funeral Home 604 W. Hidalgo Ave, Raymondville, TX (956) 689-2151.
Funeral mass will be celebrated by Fr. David H. Garcia, nephew of the deceased, on Wednesday, April 3rd at 11:00am at Prince of Peace Catholic Church 8412 Park Ave, Lyford, TX., followed by interment in the Lyford Guadalupe Cemetery.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Duddlesten Funeral Home.
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