Johnelle Juhree Calame Longoria was born on July 11, 1929 in Wortham, Texas and passed away into the arms of her creator on December 19, 2018. She was the eldest of eight children born to Lillian and Guy Calame. There is not a person that we know who has more patience and kindness than she. Her father who was a graduate of Gallaudet University for the deaf in Washington DC, moved the family to Sulphur, Oklahoma so he could teach at the Oklahoma School for the deaf.
As a child she loved swimming at Bear Falls in Chicksaw National Park near their home and also loved poetry.
She graduated from Sulphur High School in 1947 and with 50 dollars that her father borrowed from her brother Alvin, she was able to attend St. Paul’s Teaching Hospital in Dallas, Texas. She graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1950 and returned to Sulphur to work in the town’s small hospital. It was there that she met the love of her life, a tall, dark and very handsome, Ramiro Longoria, who worked in the hospital laboratory.
They were married and she moved to his hometown of Mission, Texas and lived next door to his parents. Now, I don’t know if you can even imagine a white anglo woman from rural Oklahoma moving to Mission, Texas to live next door to her Mexican suegra (and matriarch of the Longoria family) in the 1950s, but the culture shock must have been something we cannot imagine.
She acclimated quickly, became fluent in Spanish, and adopted the Mexican culture as her own. She even gave her three daughters beautiful Spanish names that she had complete liberty of choosing on her own. Later they moved to Brownsville where she raised her daughters, Yolanda, Elena and Carmen. She worked in many capacities as a nurse at Mercy Hospital, the City County Clinic and as a school nurse at the end of her career as well as private duty nursing assignments. She spent most of her career helping the less fortunate residents of Brownsville.
Because of her swimming acumen she particularly appreciated driving down to Boca Chica Beach during the summers to swim in the ocean. When children and grandchildren came along, traveling to the ocean became a regular outing. While her husband fished, she would swim with ease to the third sand bar as all watched in disbelief.
Her grandchildren remember her fondly and when choosing sides for “Trivial Pursuit” she was always first on everyone’s list as she knew the answers to all of the arts and literature questions. She was also known for her humor and her kind and gentle demeanor.
While losing a loved one is always sad, living a full and wonderful life and passing away being held and cared for by your loved ones is no tragedy. Her husband, Ramiro Longoria, passed a little over 10 years ago and she made it just in time to spend Christmas with him this year.
She is survived by her three daughters, Yolanda Swanson, Dr. Elena Longoria Marin (Carlos) and Carmen de la Llata ( Julio), her grandchildren, Kyle Swanson (Wendy), Leslie Swanson Anaya (Gabriel), Julio Andres de la Llata (Amanda), Diego de la Llata, Diana de la Llata Graham (Michael), Tomas Marin, Rebecca Marin Shepherd (Clay) and six great grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 21, 2018 in the East Chapel at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home.
Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, December 22, 2018 at Mary Mother of the Church, 1914 Barnard, Brownsville, TX with interment to follow at Buena Vista Burial Park.
Friends and family are invited to view Mrs. Longoria’s obituary, sign the guestbook and send condolences to her family at www.darlingmouser.com
Yoland, Elena and Carmen, Our deepest Condolences on the loss of your mother. May she rest in peace and GOD has senr her to be with your Dad....He received a beautiful Christmas gift. GOD Bless you all...In GOD'S Hands she is. R.I.P. Mrs. Longoria...Much love to the family 😇
Francine Adams and Paul GarzaBrownsville, TX
My heart felt condolences to Yoli, Elena and Carmen. Your Mom was the sweetest, and living ladies and I am glad I got to know her. My prayers to all of the family. She has joined your Dad for Christmas.
Lety BarguiarenaSan Benito, TX
Mrs Longoria was a sweet and beautiful lady who will undoubtedly be missed. She certainly left an amazing legacy.
PATSY SCHANBAUMAUSTIN, TX