Carmen Pantoja Corbeil, 83, passed away on Sunday, November 11, 2018 in Brownsville. The eldest of thirteen children, Carmen was born and raised in La Manzanilla de la Paz, Jalisco, Mexico. She met her French Canadian husband, Joseph Rene Corbeil, during one of his many travels to Mexico. They married and emigrated to the United States where they raised seven children while building a successful construction and apartment business.
Affectionately known to most of her family and friends as Carmelita and Grandma, she will be most remembered for her love of both her immediate and extended family. She considered her children and grandchildren to be her life's greatest achievement. Additionally, her deep love of Mexican music came from her numerous family members who are professional musicians and entertainers. Their extensive collection of movies, recordings, and live performances from throughout both Mexico and Spain have entertained millions and kept her singing for her entire life. There was rarely a party where someone in the family didn't play the guitar or the piano and sing. Grandma was always first to join in, having most recently sung with a mariachi in celebration of her 83rd birthday.
Camelita spent the last 15 years in San Antonio helping to raise her twin grandsons. Loved by everyone who met her, she was a kind soul devoted to her family.
Carmen was preceded in death by her parents, Jose and Rosario Pantoja, her husband, Joseph Rene Corbeil, Sr., a son, Jean-Pierre Corbeil (Lourdes), and a brother, Adrian Pantoja.
She is survived by her children, Joseph Rene (Maria Elena), Jean-Baptiste (Sonia), Charles Albert (Lynda), Madeleine Anne (DJ), all from Brownsville; Lupita (Dawn) of San Antonio, TX; Louis Adrien (Jessica) of Bandera; a daughter-in-law, Michelle Corbeil of San Antonio, a goddaughter, Celina Maldonado of Brownsville; her sixteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
She is also survived by eleven siblings Carlos Pantoja, Miguel Pantoja, Vicente Pantoja, Jose Pantoja Jr., Francisco Pantoja, Antonio Pantoja, Lupita Fernandez, Teresa Pantoja, and Marta Pantoja of Guadalajara, Mexico; Ruben Pantoja of Malaga, Spain, and Ramiro Pantoja of Chicago, IL as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A public viewing will be held on Sunday, November 18, at 4:00 p.m. followed by a recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Darling Mouser Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Monday, November 19 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1914 Barnard Road. Serving as pallbearers are Rene Corbeil, Jean-Baptiste Corbeil, Carlos Corbeil, Louis Corbeil, DJ Johnson, and Devon Corbeil. Entombment will follow at Buena Vista Burial Park