October 16, 1923 - July 2, 2013
Maria (Mary) Melendez, 89, passed away July 2, 2013 in Carrollton, Texas. She was born in Morenci, Arizona on October 16, 1923 to Jose Garcia and Luz Posada Garcia. The family moved to Texas in the 1930’s and settled in El Paso, where she lived most of her life. She married Juan Melendez on October 2, 1949. They were married 29 years when he passed away in 1978. Mary retired in 1988, after 36 years as an esteemed employee of the laboratory at Providence Memorial Hospital.
Mary valued education and learning, and did her best to instill her love of learning in her children. After high school, Mary started working at El Paso General Hospital at 17, completing a two-year training program for medical technology and working at the hospital throughout the war years. In 1945 she also trained as a bookkeeper and worked at several businesses. In 1952 she went back to the work she really loved at the lab in Providence Memorial Hospital. At Providence, her work ethic and compassion made her a valuable resource. She became Chief of the Hematology department and taught students participating in the UTEP clinical rotation. She took advantage of many continuing education programs for medical technologists and belonged to the Texas Society for Medical Technology and the International Society for Clinical Laboratory Technology. Her family proudly remembers how much she loved her job and the impact her presence made on the lab.
Mary also loved music and took music lessons as a child. Because of her example, her children and grandchildren all play an instrument. After she retired, Mary spent time gardening, volunteering at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and enjoying her family and grandson in El Paso until 2003, when she moved to the Dallas area. Although her health was fading in the last years of her life, she was as an optimistic person who looked forward to spending time with her local family, her beloved dog Amber, playing bingo, going to movies, watching PGA golf, Animal Planet, and the Dallas Cowboys on TV, and enjoying the visits from her El Paso and San Antonio family. Mary will be remembered by her caregivers at Villagio Assisted Living and Vitas Hospice Care for always having a smile on her face no matter how she felt.
Mary is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Yolanda Joosten and Rick Joosten of Plano; her son, John Melendez and daughter-in-law, Esther Melendez of El Paso, her grandson, Johnny Melendez and Johnny’s wife, Tamara of El Paso and her grandson Daniel Joosten of Plano. She is also survived by her loving and devoted sister, Mrs. Lucy Montes and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her beloved parents Jose and Luz Garcia and her brothers Jose Alberto Garcia, Juan Garcia, Jose Guadalupe Garcia, Carlos Garcia, Edmundo Garcia, and sister, Josefina Garcia Mendez.
A memorial Mass will be held at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1050 N. Clark, El Paso, Texas, at 11:00 am on July 18, 2013, followed by interment at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery at 2:30 pm. Memorial gifts may be made to Vitas Community Connection, www.vitascommunityconnection.org or The American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org.
Arrangements are under the direction of ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home 19310 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75252, 214-306-6700.
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