WESLACO - Maria “Mary” Aurelia Leal was called home to the Lord on July 2, 2021, at the age of 89. Mary was born in Weslaco on March 9, 1932 to Manuela Treviño Leal and Agapito Leal.
Mary worked part-time at Wells Five and Dimes starting at age eleven. After the 1949 freeze, Mary, her parents and some of her younger siblings went to Illinois as migrants during the summer, where they detasseled corn and picked asparagus and tomatoes. After graduating from Weslaco High School in 1952, she worked for many years at Sears Roebuck and Company. She then worked for WISD for 24 years and retired as an honored employee from the in 1999. Mary, who remained single, was her parents’ primary caretaker. For many years she supported them and was also responsible for her brother, Beto, who had a handicap.
Mary was a Eucharistic Minister and a member of the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church choir from the 1980s to 2005. She was also a member of Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy, a lay outreach of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. In 1998, Mary was one of the 90 pilgrims from the Rio Grande Valley representing the Catholic Brownsville Diocese who traveled to the Catholic Shrines of Fatima in Portugal, Lourdes in France, and Burgos in Spain.
Involved in the community, Mary was also a volunteer for Knapp Medical Center from 2004-2006, with over 1,058 volunteer hours. She lived a wonderful life traveling to many places and was always there for others.
The Leal family extends their appreciation to Beatriz and Jesus Rodriguez, and great-niece Jennifer Sanchez for their kindness, patience, and care of Mary for many years, and to the doctors, nurses, staff and her dear roommate Rafaela of Weslaco Nursing and Rehabilitation for their excellent care of Mary.
She is preceded in death by her parents, and brothers Juan “Johnny,” Ernesto, Eliberto “Beto,” and Eleazar, and her sister Cristela Silva. She is survived by her brothers Frank(Zoila) Hernandez and George Hernandez, and sister Beatriz (Jesús) Rodriguez, and sisters-in-law Irma Leal and Mary Alice Leal, and numerous nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation will be on Thursday, July 8th, 2021 from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm at McCaleb Funeral Home in Weslaco, with a Rosary at 6:00 pm. Funeral Mass is scheduled for Friday, July 9th, 2021, 10:00 am, at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Weslaco, with interment to follow at Highland Memorial Park Cemetery.
Serving as Pallbearers will be Francisco Hernandez, Cesar Octavio Sanchez, Jonathan Israel Silva, Xavier Serapio Leal, Eleazar Leal Jr, Marco Antonio Alvarez, Marco Antonio Alvarez Jr.