Olive Longoria Rathjen was born in San Benito, Texas on November 28th, 1930. She died in Brownsville, Texas on Sunday, May 16, 2021, at the age of 90 years.
Olive was the second daughter of Benito Longoria, Jr. and Linda Temple Longoria of Brownsville, Texas. She was also the granddaughter of Annie Bell Temple and R. M. Temple of Brownsville and San Benito, Texas, as well as the granddaughter of Benito Longoria, Sr. and Ysabel Solis de Longoria of Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville.
Olive Rathjen graduated from Brownsville High School in 1947 and attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas from 1947-1948. Olive returned to school to attend Texas Southmost College in 1980 and earned her BA and MA at the University of Brownsville which subsequently became UTB (University of Texas Brownsville). She then became a professor of English Language Arts at UTB/TSC until her retirement.
At a young age of 5, Olive began studying piano and organ in San Benito and Brownsville primarily under her instructor, Mrs. Sarah Hardin. Later she became a serious and very accomplished pianist and organist playing at the Methodist Church for almost 15 years.
In 1949, she married Walter Clint Rathjen in Brownsville, Texas and had two sons, Fred and Danny. Olive and Walter traveled to California, Arizona, Alaska, and Canada and lived in Mexico.
Olive was also gifted in card-playing (Bridge) where she demonstrated great skill and facility of the game. She and Walter both made a great bridge pair. It was a source of pleasure for them for many years.
Olive’s passion for music never diminished, and as she became friends with Jean Serafy, a master pianist, these two spent many years jointly playing, practicing, and performed two-piano concerts in the Rio Grande Valley. Their friendship was truly God’s greatest gift in Olive’s life.
Olive and Walter had a beautiful home and a busy social life with their Brownsville friends and her newly added UTB friends. She had other interests besides music and literature. She enjoyed shopping, decorating her house, and water aerobics. She had a wicked but funny sense of humor and wrote poetry stories and drew cute comics.
Olive and Walter also shared a fondness for their beloved.
Olive is survived by her son, W. Fred and daughter-in-law Sandra Mortensen Rathjen of Brownsville, Texas with their two daughters Kerri (Scott) Tallent and Melissa (Rodney) Kotara and their families. She is also survived by her sisters: Linda Longoria Neff of Chula Vista, California; Virginal (Tom) Griffin of Scottsdale, Arizona, Christine Longoria of Asheville, North Carolina, and Benita Longoria Champion of San Antonio, Texas. Olive is also survived by her sister-in-law, Mary Rathjen Felton of Conroe, Texas. Olive is preceded in death by her husband Walter Clint Rathjen; son, Daniel Wayne Rathjen; and parents Benito Longoria, Jr. and Linda Temple Longoria of Brownsville, Texas.
Our thanks to everyone at Sunshine Haven of Olmito and Greater Valley Hospice for the great care she received.
Olive will always be remembered with great fondness and much love by her family, her friends, and her students.
A Memorial Service will be held at three o'clock in the afternoon on Saturday, the 5th of June 2021 at The Church of the Advent, Episcopal 104 W. Elizabeth Street, Brownsville, Texas 78520.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Brownsville Animal Regulation and Care Center in Olmito.
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.
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