Crestview Funeral Home
1462 North Zaragoza Rd
El Paso, TX 79936
(915) 856-1400
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Mario Benancio Maldonado, 64, passed away on Sunday July 27th, in Las Vegas. He was surrounded by his loving brothers and sisters, Art Maldonado (Linda), and Daniel Maldonado (Yolie), Mary Ayoub, Cecilia Chapman (Mark), Sue Hoffer (Barry), Angela Maldonado, and Rosi Maldonado (Mike Canales). He has joined his parents Benancio (Papa Benny), and Raquel (Mama Quel), in Heaven. Mario was an amazing inspiration to his beloved Godson Estevan Canales. All his nieces and nephews, Andrea Huereque, Liz Ayoub, David Ayoub, Christina Ayoub, Danny Maldonado, Evan Maldonado, Robert Ortega, Phillip Ortega, Emily Hostack, Isaac Hostack, Estevan Canales, Sebastian Canales, and Abegail Canales, are left to treasure his memory. Mario graduated from Ysleta High School and UTEP. He retired from Socorro School District in 2006, where he was a dedicated theater and arts director. He was awarded the Teacher of The Year Award at Montwood High School in 1991 and 1992. He also taught at Americas High School, Socorro High School, Bel Air High School and Anthony High School. He moved to Las Vegas after his retirement to be close to the city's music and performances. He taught in Las Vegas schools for 8 years. Just after graduating from UTEP, in 1973, Mario was hired as Director of Design for the first performance of Viva El Paso. He and Mama Quel designed, sewed and created all the costumes. In 2001, he won the Actor of The Year Award for his performance as Julius Ceasar in Shakespeare on the Rocks. He was the guest director and designer for Music Theater Branch at Fort Bliss. He was a long time board member, director and tech director for Los Pobres Bilingual Theater. His Philosophy was that theater allows a child to grow emotionally and intellectually through commitment. Mario's advice to his nieces and nephews was to travel the world. He loved to travel and his only regret was not visiting China. He traveled across the country taking his students for theater competitions. He would frequently tell stories about his "misfits" and mentoring them and transforming them into actors. Serving as pallbearers will be Estevan Canales, Phillip Ortega, Evan Maldonado, Sebastian Canales and Mike Sanchez. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 9:00 pm on Friday, August 8, 2014 with Rosary at 7:00 at Crestview Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at Crestview Chapel. Rite of Committal will follow at Evergreen East Cemetery. Celebration of his life to follow at Dan and Yolies' home. Services under the direction of Crestview Funeral Home 1462 N. Zaragoza 856-1400.
Published in El Paso Times from Aug. 6 to Aug. 13, 2014
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