Cover photo for Maria Guadalupe Bautista Vela's Obituary
Maria Guadalupe Bautista Vela Profile Photo
1929 Maria 2023

Maria Guadalupe Bautista Vela

June 17, 1929 — June 20, 2023


Weslaco- Maria “Guadalupe” Bautista Vela passed away peacefully in her home on June 20th, 2023, surrounded by her loving family, at 94. She will be missed dearly.


Guadalupe was born on June 17th, 1929, in Mercedes, Texas, to Ramon and Vicentá Bautista. Her mother was from Mexico and her father’s descendants were from Spain. She was one of eleven siblings and grew up in Weslaco. Guadalupe’s family started in agriculture, cultivating their land, and eventually ran a substantial thriving business. Next, they opened a grocery store on FM1015, where the children all worked. Guadalupe sacrificed her own Catholic education as a child to help make the grocery store a success. 


When Guadalupe was a young adult, she was in the car with her two sisters in their convertible at La Placita Park. That is when Jose Vela laid his eyes on her for the first time. Jose and Guadalupe were married in 1952 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church and spent the rest of their lives together. 


Jose began his career at Continental Can Company, and Guadalupe was able to be a full-time mom. She was a wonderful cook and some of the favorite meals were the arroz con pollo and her homemade tortillas. Guadalupe was very frugal and ran the house on a budget. Jose would bring home a 25-pound sack of flour, and when Guadalupe was done with it, she used the cloth to sew the girl's dresses. 

Guadalupe was an incredibly kindhearted individual who dedicated much of her life to helping others through her faith. She was a deeply religious woman who cherished the Catholic faith. Guadalupe and her husband Jose were founding members of San Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Weslaco, which now has a stained glass window dedicated to their memory. Guadalupe devoted herself entirely to serving God through the Church by participating in various committees such as counting tithes, cleaning the church grounds, and preparing for festivities such as Christmas and Easter, where she  was instrumental in coordinating the crucifixion play for many years. Guadalupe was a long-time member of the Legion of Mary, a lay Catholic organization whose members voluntarily gave service to the Church. 


Guadalupe was also an individual with great reverence for the Virgin Mary. She prayed the rosary every day, often multiple times a day. Her bedroom eventually became her prayer room, where she would spend most of her day praying and thanking God for all the blessings bestowed upon her.


Her love for God extended beyond service at the Church walls; it was also evident in her daily life. Guadalupe put trust at the core of her beliefs, reflected in her daily interactions with those around her. For example, she took a deep interest in helping those in need. Guadalupe and Jose often donated to strangers and invited them to their homes for a meal. She donated generously to many charities, but St. Jude's Children's Hospital was especially dear to her heart.  Guadalupe was known for giving whatever she could afford to those who required help, displacing kindness everywhere she went.


In her pastime, Guadalupe adored watching Spanish novelas and shows like The Price is Right, Golden Girls, or Let's Make a Deal while enjoying her favorite fruit -papayas! She played word search daily and loved to play chalupa, especially with her family. Guadalupe and her siblings were lifelong friends and spent much of their free time together. Many weekends were spent at the family ranch when the Vela children were growing up. 

Guadalupe is preceded in death by her loving parents, Ramon and Vicentá Bautista; her beloved husband, Jose Vela Jr.; her granddaughter, Lupita Conchita Vela, her siblings Antonio Bautista (Carmen), Miguel Bautista (Rafaela), Gregorio Bautista (Julia), Vicente Bautista (Eusebia), Ramon Bautista, Olivia Medrano (Maximino), and Jesusa Villapando (Manuel). 


She is survived by her children, Rosalinda De Cosmo (Bob), Jose Vela II, Ramon Vela (Maria), Diana Vela Mohr, Irma Gardner (Dennis), Richard Vela (Enna), Ruben Vela (Susana) and Michael Vela; siblings, Silverio Bautista (Clemencia+), Maria Amelia Guerrero (Ramon+), Juanita Lopez (Eugenio+), sister-in-law, Matilde Bautista, her grandchildren, Shawn, Charlie, Alex, Danny, Jose Felipe, Christopher, Brittany, Hillary, Steven, Cassandra, Jose Rolando, Veronica Marie, and Susana Anne, and Ruben Jesus, her great-grandchildren Avery, Violet Storm, Poppy Tiger, Adeline Charlotte, Charles Christopher, Todd William, Hunter Mack, Walker Shoals, Mackenzie Rayne, Jesus Alejandro, Christian Andres, Julian Aiden, and Charlotte Aurora, and numerous nephews and nieces. 


Visitation will be held from 12-9 pm, with a rosary at 7 pm on Thursday, June 22nd, at McCaleb Funeral Home, followed by a prayer service. The Mass of Christian Burial will commence at 8 am on Friday, June 23rd, at the San Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Weslaco, with burial to follow at Highland Memorial Park. The family would like to invite everyone after the burial to celebrate Guadalupe's life, which will continue at McCaleb Funeral Home. 


Contributions in Guadalupe’s honor can be made to 

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, June 22, 2023

12:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

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Holy Rosary

Thursday, June 22, 2023

7:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Friday, June 23, 2023

8:00 - 9:00 am (Central time)

San Martin De Porres Catholic Church

901 Texas Blvd, Weslaco, TX 78596

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Friday, June 23, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

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Friday, June 23, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

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