Weslaco-Jose Luis Garcia Rivas, 72, passed away at his home on Sunday, April 23, 2023. His loving family surrounded him. Jose Luis was born to Jose Bartolo and Maria Clara García Rivas on September 17, 1950, in Guadalupe Victoria, Durango.
Jose Luis grew up in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, but he spent several years in California, where his family worked as migrants. While living in California, Jose Luis learned to play basketball. He fell in love with the game, spending countless hours playing pick-up games. Jose Luis became a great basketball player and a force to be reckoned with. It wasn’t long before the local college basketball team welcomed his talent, and Jose Luis would spend most of his free time practicing with the team.
Jose Luis fell in love with his best friend, Margarito Soto’s sister, Rosa Martha Soto, in his hometown. She was the love of his life and soulmate. They were married on November 20, 1971, and spent the rest of their lives together.
Together they created a life of love and happiness. They welcomed five children, Angelica, Rosa, Perla, Diana, and Joe. His priority in life was to protect his children from harm and support their hopes and dreams.
He and Rosa Martha worked hard to support their family, traveling to Florida and Ohio as migrant workers. Although Jose Luis did not have a formal education, he was intelligent, good with numbers, and had a tireless work ethic. These qualities earned him respect and promotions while working for Pioneer. As a result, Jose Luis and Rosa Martha could provide for their family without having to migrate. Jose Luis became a field supervisor and eventually retired from Pioneer Hi bred.
Jose Luis’s passion for basketball was not left behind in California. He played most of his adult life. His daughters fondly recall their dad playing with their high school classmates. Jose Luis loved the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan, and watching as many games as possible.
Jose Luis also enjoyed going to the movies, listening to music, and dancing with his beautiful wife. His family was vital, and most of their outings and gatherings included siblings, kids, nieces, and nephews. He was an overprotective father and doted on his four daughters and son. Jose Luis instilled the importance of earning and showing respect.
As much as Jose Luis loved his children, the grandchildren were adored. He always attended sporting events, competitions, or awards. “Welo” was their number one fan, sitting in the front row and cheering the loudest. Jose Luis knew the rules and advocated for fair calls from the referees. Snacks were unlimited when “Welo” was in charge. When his grandchildren were disciplined by their parents, “Welo” was their protector and although mom said no, “Welo” always said yes.
Finally, Jose Luis was a man of faith and led by example. He was Catholic and instilled the importance of church and values in his family.
Jose Luis is preceded in death by his parents, Jose Bartolo and Maria Clara Garcia; siblings, Desiderio Garcia, Pedro Garcia, Jose Garcia, Heriberto Garcia, Gerardo Garcia, Ruben Garcia, and Guadalupe Garcia.
He is survived by his loving wife, Rosa Martha Garcia; five children, Maria Angelica Rodriguez (Juan Diego), Rosa Martha Almanza (Juan Manuel), Perla Valenzuela (Gerardo), Diana Gonzalez (Kenneth Lee), and Jose Luis Garcia Jr. (Jessica Fabiola), brothers, Antonio Garcia (Elena), Raul Garcia (Enedina), grandchildren, Nicolas, Jonathan, Isaiah, and Abigail Giselle Almanza; Gabriela, Andrea, and Diego Valenzuela, Brody Lee and Karianna Lee Gonzalez, Jose Luis III, and Jayla Jesabel Garcia.
Visitation will be Tuesday, April 25th, 12-9 pm, with a rosary at 7 pm. Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 26, at 10 am, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Progreso, followed by burial at Highland Memorial Park.