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Paula HALVORSEN Obituary
Paula Mercedes Gonzalez Halvorsen, entered into eternal rest on July 12, 2011 after a sudden, yet courageous battle with cancer. Mercedes, "Aunt Meche" as she is fondly known, was born on June 29, 1924 in Galveston, Texas. She received her sacraments at St. Peter's Church and attended the Ursuline Academy as a child. At the age of 9, after the untimely death of her mother, Mercedes was raised in Mexico until the age of 24. She married Louis Bernal Halvorsen in 1950 in Mexico City, and soon after, returned to Texas to begin her new life. Mercedes is preceeded in death by her husband of 54 years, Louis; her parents, Catalina Rodriguez Gonzalez and Francisco Gonzalez, of Guanajuato, Mexico; her aunt and uncle, Carmen Rodriguez Carmona and Agapito Carmona, who raised her as a daughter during her adult life; brothers, Luis Rodriguez Gonzales and Jorge Francisco Rodriguez Gonzalez; son-in-law, David Lee Wise, and grand-son, Kyle Justin Halvorsen.
Never one to complain or sit idle, Mercedes ran a tight ship at home, while still managing time for charitible causes. Through out the 1960's and '70's, Mercedes and Louis were instrumental in establishing the El Dorado sub-division's first diocesan church, St. Philip of Jesus by co-organizing fund-raising festivals, christened "Fiestas Patrias". Mercedes was a pillar of leadership when it came to running the church kitchen, sharing the secrets to fine Mexican dishes with her fellow Altar Society members, mixing in lots of laughter and humor for good measure. Her committment to St. Philip of Jesus continued until her sudden illness this year. She instilled charity by donating to the Houston Fire Department's Dennis W. Holder Scholarship Fund and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. An orginal "dog whisperer", Mercedes donated generously to the SPCA and will be terribly missed by her little companions, Tiny, Coco and Woody.
Mercedes is survived by her children: Louis Halvorsen, and wife, Cheryl; Martha Catalina Halvorsen, Patricia Ann Halvorsen-Wise, Jorge Franciso Halvorsen, Maria del Carmen Halvorsen Comis and husband Dennis; Marie Alexandra Halvorsen Hickey and husband Patrick; Laura Halvorsen Bray and husband Michael; Augustine Antonio Halvorsen; Juan Adan Halvorsen and wife Olivia; 15 grand children, and 5 great-grand children, her sister in law, Olga Gonzalez of Mexico City, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Mercedes will be remembered for her quiet courage and gracious nature during these final months. Mercedes expressed appreciation for the care received at Park Manor Rehabilitation in Missouri City, American Hospice and the nursing staff at St. Luke's Hospital-Medical Center and Sugarland. The family extends infinite thanks to the many, many family members and friends who offered love, prayers and support during this trying time. The family asks that donations be made to the Houston Fire Fighter's Dennis W. Holder Scholarship Fund in memory of Mercedes and Louis B. Halvorsen. Everlasting be her memory.


Published in Houston Chronicle on July 14, 2011
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