Maria Cardenas lived a life full of love, compassion, and dedication. Born on February 18, 1948, to Jesus Trevino and Olga Morin Trevino in Sanger, CA. Born as the oldest of fifteen children into a position of leadership within her family, Maria spent a lifetime building friendships and fostering a sense of community. On Thursday, October 19, 2023, Maria Cardenas, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, peacefully entered into eternal rest at the age of 75.
Maria attended Weslaco High School with the graduating class of 1969. It was during her time at Weslaco High School that Maria crossed paths with the love of her life, Daniel George Cardenas. Their connection blossomed into a timeless romance and they exchanged vows of marriage on February 2nd, 1970 at San Martin de Porres in Weslaco. Together they embarked on a beautiful journey filled with joy and shared experiences. She also pursued higher education at Our Lady of the Lake University. Her commitment to continuous learning was evident in the years she dedicated to advocacy and education.
Throughout their marriage, Maria and Daniel were blessed with four wonderful children who became the light of their lives. Jeanette Ann was the firstborn followed by Yvette Marie, Renato Daniel, and Jennifer Lee. Maria embraced her role as a mother wholeheartedly, showering her children with unconditional love and support. Maria's life was marked by love, kindness, and devotion to her family.
Maria Cardenas, lovingly known as Mary by those closest to her, was a shining example of generosity, kindness, and thoughtfulness. Her strength and dedication were awe-inspiring not only to her family but also within her community.
Maria's passion for collecting figurines and small keepsake items was evident to anyone who knew her. Her porcelain ballerinas held a special place in her heart. But it was her dedication to advocating for migrant children's education and well-being that truly defined her. Throughout her career, Maria worked tirelessly as a migrant advocate. She believed that every child deserves access to quality education and a bright future. Her commitment to this cause left a lasting impact on countless lives.
For many decades, she fought tirelessly for migrant family advocacy and education. Helping others was always at the top of her priorities. Her work as an advocate for migrant farm workers and their children through the Texas Migrant Council, an Interstate Migrant Head Start program took Maria across various states, including California, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Washington, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Prior to joining TMC, she worked for the Colorado Migrant Council (UMOT) from 1969 until eventually managing the local branch.
Celebrating important occasions such as Christmas and Thanksgiving was always central to Maria's life. Gathering with loved ones filled her heart with happiness. Summers were often spent traveling north with family—an opportunity to create cherished memories together. Maria's love for her family was unwavering. The scent of food cooking and the joy of gathering together for a meal will forever remind us of her love—A love that was caring, passionate, dedicated, and generous. Her faith in God and the Bible were deep-rooted. She expressed gratitude daily for another day to enjoy life and cherish her family.
Maria is preceded in death by both her loving husband Daniel George Cardenas and their beloved daughter Yvette Marie Cardenas Ruiz. The loss of two cherished family members left an indelible void but their memory will forever be etched in the hearts of those who knew them.
Maria will be remembered as a pillar of strength for her surviving children: Jeanette (Erasmo) Rocha, Renato Cardenas, and Jennifer Cardenas. Her legacy lives on through the generations she leaves behind; her grandchildren Stacy, Joshua, Samantha, Vanity, Adam, Mathew, Dominick, Donovan, and Haley were her pride and joy. She also leaves behind her great-grandchildren Trinity, Serenity, and Siren. In addition to her immediate family, Maria is survived by siblings (Maria) Marta Mejia, Jesus Treviño, Jose Treviño, Felicitas Galvan, Feliciana Salinas, Joel Treviño, Barbara Treviño, Olga Riojas, Rosalva Treviño, and Juventino Treviño and numerous nephews and nieces. Her love extended beyond her household and she will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, October 24, from 1pm to 9pm at McCaleb Funeral Home in Weslaco. On Wednesday, October 25th, a 10am chapel service is scheduled at McCaleb Funeral Home where we will remember Maria's life with love and gratitude. Following the service, we will proceed to Sacred Park Cemetery in Mercedes for her final resting place.