Cover photo for María Elena Reyna's Obituary
María Elena Reyna Profile Photo
1939 María 2022

María Elena Reyna

May 5, 1939 — July 17, 2022

María Elena Reyna passed away on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at DHR Hospital in Edinburg.

María Elena was born as the eldest child on May 5, 1939, to Esequiel and Angelita Reyna in Weslaco, Texas, fondly referred to as "Helen" by her siblings. Amid humble beginnings, she learned to work at a very young age. Helen set the framework for the growth and evolution of a very large and extended family that would be forthcoming. Even though she and her parents, along with her seven siblings, worked as farm workers for most of their formative and young adult life, Helen and her parents made sure that everyone in the family would be educated. Seemingly impossible in the 1940s and 50s, Helen assisted her parents, ensuring that the whole family graduated from high school and moved on to higher education degrees. María Elena's ambition paid off, and consequently, the Reyna children earned four bachelor's degrees, two master's degrees, and two doctors of jurisprudence. The next generation followed suit and attended universities all over the country.

María Elena moved to Los Angeles, California, at the young age of nineteen, aspiring for a better life, instilled with the worldly spirit taught by her parents. María Elena traveled by bus, alone, without family members, friends, or even a job waiting for her. As the firstborn, there was a call to duty and responsibility to her family and the community at large, and Maria Elena answered it with all due diligence. She never missed a beat in ensuring she would be there to assist those in need.

María Elena became Director of the Headstart program in the late 60s and served for more than fifteen years. As a result, countless children came back later in life and thanked Helen for the job she did, preparing them to meet their educational needs later in life. While working full-time, Helen simultaneously was attending Pan American University. After earning her Bachelor's Degree, Helen became a lifelong public librarian for the City of Mercedes, where she served for thirty-three years until her retirement.

María Elena loved to travel and was able to see the world. She traveled from the Northeast states of Maine and Massachusetts to the West States of California, Oregon, and Washington, and many in between. María Elena was one of two library directors for the United States to attend Oxford University. She was honored to participate in an exclusive World Conference of Librarians in China, an invitation-only conference. María Elena was also able to visit most of Europe.

María Elena was a spiritualist at heart and devoted her entire life to studying the Bible and religion. She was truly a Christian and served those in need all her life. She lived in prayer and was a role model to her siblings, nephews, nieces, and countless students.

María Elena is preceded in death by her parents, Ezequiel Sr. and Angelita Reyna, sisters, Emma R. Fuentes, Soyla R. Gonzalez, San Juanita Campos, and nephew, Robert Jason Campos.

She is survived by siblings, Maria Antonia Fuentes (Jose Lisandro), Daniel Reyna (Thelma), Ezequiel Reyna Jr. (Livia), Cynthia Reyna Valencia, and brother-in-law, Roberto Campos, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Monday, July 25th, 1-9 pm, with a rosary at 7 pm, at McCaleb Funeral Home. Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at 10 am, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Weslaco, followed by burial at Highland Memorial Park.

Serving as pallbearers will be Gilbert Gonzalez, David Lee Fuentes, Joshua Ezequiel Campos, Dominic Antonio Reyna, Daniel Ezequiel Reyna, John Demetrius Valencia. Honorary pallbearers will be Jose Lisandro Fuentes, Daniel Andrew Gonzalez, Jose Rolando Fuentes, Jarrad Blas Campos, Justin Rene Campos, and Ezequiel Reyna, III.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Reyna Family Foundation. The Reyna family will be having a back-to-school giveaway in María's honor in August.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of María Elena Reyna, please visit our flower store.

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Monday, July 25, 2022

1:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

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