BROWNSVILLE, TX. – Gloria Oralia C. Villarreal entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at the age of 84.
She was born in San Benito, Texas on January 14, 1935. She attended San Benito High School where she was elected the first Hispanic cheerleader in the school’s history. During her senior year, she served as head cheerleader and was voted high school sweetheart. Upon graduating from high school, she became a licensed vocational nurse before attending Durham Business College. In 1954 she married Arnoldo, her husband of 62 years. Together they founded Villarreal Furniture in 1965 and subsequently moved with their four children to Brownsville in 1969. After their sons graduated from college, they founded Rio Loan which the family operated in Brownsville, San Benito, Mercedes, and Mission, Texas. Oralia and Arnoldo were inseparable partners in marriage and business as they worked side by side for over sixty years.
Oralia loved to travel and she and Arnoldo traveled extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, including many exotic trips throughout Southeast Asia and Tibet. As devout Catholics, she and Arnoldo visited the Holy Land and enjoyed a private mass at the Vatican courtesy of Monsignor William T. Thompson of Corpus Christi, Texas. Though her travels were numerous, time spent with her children and grandchildren were near and dear to her heart as together the family made unforgettable memories. Oralia enjoyed gardening, playing the piano, crocheting, and was always intellectually curious. She will be remembered for her grace, her beauty, her intelligence, her adventurous spirit and vitality, her sense of humor, her joyous laugh and her gentle, kind temperament. She will be missed dearly for the care and devotion she showered on her children and grandchildren and for her loyalty to her friends and relatives.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arnoldo L. Villarreal; and by her parents, Tomas C. Cantu and Josefina V. Cantu. She is survived by her four children: Arnold Villarreal, Carlos Villarreal, Ada (Ben) Beall, and Ana (Craig) Worthington; her grandchildren Camden, Phillip, Katherine, and William; and great-granddaughter, Elyse. In addition, she is survived by her siblings Hilda (Jim +) Strickland, Tomas C. Cantu, Simon (Josefina) Cantu, and Carlos C. (Maria) Cantu; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Visiting hours will be held between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Friday, October 4, 2019 with the recitation of the holy rosary at 7:00 p.m. within the East Chapel at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home.
The family requests everybody meet at St. Mary's Catholic Church on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. for the Mass of Resurrection. Entombment will follow at Mont Meta Memorial Park in San Benito, Texas.
Honorary pallbearers are Arnold Villarreal, Carlos Villarreal, Craig Worthington, Camden Worthington, Phillip Worthington, Ben Beall, and William Beall.
Memories of Oralia may be shared at www.darlingmouser.com.
Personalized funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Darling-Mouser Funeral Home at 945 Palm Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas 78520, (956) 546-7111.
To send flowers to Gloria Oralia C. (Cantu) Villarreal's family, please visit our floral section.