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Ester Canales Tobin

January 12, 1924 ~ May 16, 2020 (age 96)

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Livestream Link for Services: https://www.facebook.com/groups/680412112736064/

BROWNSVILLE, TX. – Ester Canales Tobin, 96, died peacefully at her home in Brownsville, Texas on Saturday, May 16, 2020 surrounded by her family.


Ester was born January 12, 1924, in Premont, Texas. She was the last surviving daughter of Ezequiel and Delfina Gonzalez Canales, both of whom were descendants of Mexican cattle ranching settlers who received the Espiritu Santo Spanish land grant during the 18th century.


After receiving her college degree from Texas A&I University, Ester began a 41-year long teaching career in Benavides, San Diego, and Brownsville ISDs. During her tenure at Brownsville High School, Ester taught English and served as the proud sponsor of The Screaming Eagle school newspaper. She enjoyed reading poetry and especially loved teaching the works of William Shakespeare. She was also a talented artist. Her classroom service and sponsorship allowed her to touch hundreds of lives, and many of her former students remember her fondly.


A devout Catholic her entire life, Ester truly embodied the hands and feet of Christ. She belonged to St. Joseph’s Church and was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas for over 60 years. She served as both Regent and public relations secretary of the Texas State Court, writing and publishing numerous articles for the organization’s newsletters. One of her favorite fundraising duties was proudly cooking her famous enchilada sauce during Brownsville’s annual Charro Days. 


Further fulfilling the Catholic Daughters’ mission statement: “embrace the principle of faith working through love in the promotion of justice, equality, and the advancement of human rights and human dignity for all,” Ester served on both the Cameron County Child Welfare and the Coastal Bend Kidney Foundation Boards and was a member of the Pan American Roundtable. Through her words and deeds, she instilled in her family the importance of community service and committing to a cause greater than one’s self.


Ester took every opportunity to immerse herself in nature: she savored such serene pleasure in watching birds at her ranch, Tobin Ranch, walking along the beach and collecting seashells at South Padre Island, and tending to her beautiful roses, trees, and garden. She often painted pictures of animals, plants, and the ocean she so dearly admired. Her love and appreciation for God’s creations has been passed on to her children, granddaughter, and great-grandchildren.


Ester will always be remembered for her extraordinary beauty, class, and grace. She lives on within her family through her famous storytelling, cooking in the traditional Mexican-American style, gathering and celebrating with family and friends, advocating on behalf of the weak and suffering, and, most importantly, her courage, sacrifice, and forgiveness rooted in her strong belief in the Holy Trinity and devotion to the Virgin Mary.


“Be great in ACT, as you have been in THOUGHT.”—William Shakespeare


She is preceded in death by her husband, Antonio W. Tobin, Sr.; her parents, Ezequiel and Delfina Canales; six siblings: Belia Cruz, Aurora Garza, Hesiquio Canales, Lilia Perez, Jesus Canales, and Dr. Carlos Canales; and her dearest cousin and sister-in-law, Gloria Cadena Tobin.

Ester is survived by her two children, Laura Doreen Tobin Cardenas of San Antonio, TX & Antonio “Tony” W. Tobin, Jr. of Brownsville, TX; granddaughter, Laura Ester Cardenas Schwarz (Darren) of Cypress, TX; great-grandchildren: Kira Brynn, Dylan Scott, & Mitchell Tobin Schwarz; numerous nieces and nephews; and her beloved dog, Solo.


Visiting hours will be held on Monday, the 18th of May 2020 between the hours of 4 o’clock in the afternoon and 6 o'clock in the evening, with a recitation of the holy rosary to be recited at 6 o'clock Monday evening within the East Chapel of Darling-Mouser Funeral Home. Livestreaming of services may be viewed by visiting www.facebook.com/groups/680412112736064.


The family will gather for a private Funeral Mass at St. Francis de Paula Catholic Church. Private committal services will follow at San Diego Cemetery in San Diego, Texas where she will be laid to rest by her husband’s side.


There is a limit of seventy-five persons within the funeral home at all times due to the COVID situation. Please follow current social distancing guidelines and regulations. A face mask will be required within the funeral home at all times.


The family would like to give special thanks to Isela Castillo, Sylvia Garza, Brenda Sanchez for taking excellent care of Ester over the past few years. 


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation in memory of Mrs. Ester Canales Tobin be made to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, 2601 Zinnia Avenue, McAllen, Texas 78504, (956) 682-8101 whose mission is passionately committed to improving lives through food assistance, nutrition education, and access to community services. You may contribute to the Ester Canales Tobin Memorial Fundraiser for Food Bank RGV INC. by visiting www.facebook.com/donate/261341141917122 or www.foodbankrgv.com.


Memories of Ester 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 the family or plant a tree in memory of Ester Canales Tobin, please visit our floral store.


Visiting Hours
May 18, 2020

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Darling-Mouser Funeral Home - East Chapel
945 Palm Blvd.
Brownsville, TX 78520

Recitation of the Rosary
May 18, 2020

6:00 PM
Darling-Mouser Funeral Home - East Chapel
945 Palm Blvd.
Brownsville, TX 78520

Private Committal

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