Elia Olivares Leal, age 90, formerly from Alice, Texas passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 1:18 am, with family at her side, at her assisted living facility in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Elia was born in San Diego, Texas on April 12, 1928. Elia grew up where she was born until she left San Diego to attend Our Lady of The Lake Catholic School in San Antonio, Texas. She was the daughter of Manuel and San Juana Olivares. Upon returning to San Diego after her High School graduation, Elia married and focused her time in support of her fathers’ business, working as a bookkeeper and store administrator. Elia’s desire to continue her education compelled her to pursue a Bachelorettes Degree in Education from Texas A&I University. Even before completing her university studies, Elia was hired to teach elementary students at Ben Bolt Elementary School and later was accepted in the same capacity as a high school teacher at William Adams High School in Alice, Texas. These initial steps into education and her subsequent degree lead Elia to continue teaching for nearly 30 years within the Alice Independent School District in both English and Literature. Upon retiring from the school system, Elia was hired at the Alice Public Library as an English instructor for persons that aspired to learn English as a second language. Her teaching skill continued to be valued and used later in life as Elia contributed to her local Catholic Church teaching Franciscan Monks how to both speak and read the English language while living in Hebbronville, Texas for a several years.
Elia leaves her children, Miguel N. Leal from Cedartown, GA, Joel A. and Ida Leal from Hebbronville, Texas, Manuel R. and Sherri Leal from Cleburne, Texas and Lydia R. Salle from Onley, Texas. Elia also leaves one brother, Roberto and Sylvia Olivares from South Padre Island, and one sister, Anna Maria Castillo from San Antonio, Texas in passing. Elia was preceded in death by her siblings Manuel Olivares Jr., Jose Angle Olivares, Elias Olivares, Dolores Olivares and Emma Valdez. Elia’s grandchildren include Sara Marie Aguirre, Matthew Leal, Kristina D. Groves and Micah A. Leal. Elia was so grateful to have known one great-grandchild, Noel Leal.
Elia lived an incredible life. She managed to raise a family as a single mother. She sought a college degree starting at the age of 36. She completed a professional career as an educator and touched the lives of hundreds of students, while serving as a caretaker for her father, mother and sister in the twilight years of their lives. Elia was a voracious reader and very well read on literature and current events. Although she only had the opportunity to travel abroad once, she could speak in great detail of numerous places throughout the world she had read about. Elia was a great mentor and example for all. She was a loving, compassionate and understanding soul. Many people frequently sought her advice and guidance on numerous matters due to her intellect and sound level of reasoning. Elia will be remembered for her tremendous strength as a person and devote Catholic. Elia loved her family beyond words that can be expressed. Elia had a favorite Irish Blessing on her wall that she favored that could not be more appropriate this day:
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand
Visitation will be held Friday, October 19, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Mauro P. Garcia Funeral Home 600 S. Wright St. Alice, Texas with a Rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. that same evening. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church 801 S. Reynolds St. Alice, Texas and burial will follow at the San Diego Cemetery. Mauro P. Garcia Funeral Homes entrusted with the arrangements.
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