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Fair, 92 F

Tue - Mostly Clear. High: 99 Low: 78
Wed - Partly Cloudy. High: 100 Low: 77
Thu - Mostly Sunny. High: 98 Low: 76
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Israel Sanchez Jr.

MISSION – Israel “Coco” Sanchez, Jr. passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, at Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen.

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Maria Sierra

MISSION - Maria Sierra, 58, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Doctor's Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Virgil Wilson Mortuary of Mission.

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Alejandro Franco Sr.

MISSION - Alejandro Franco, Sr., 76, passed away on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 at Edinburg Regional Medical Center. He was born to Juan Franco and San Juanita Cuevas in Karnes City on Nov. 19, 1934.

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Oliver C. Crain

PENITAS – Oliver C. Crain, 71, passed away Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 at McAllen Medical Center.  Mr. Crain was born in St. Charles, Virginia on Sept. 16, 1939.

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Jose Maria Olivarez Sr.

MISSION – Jose Maria "Joe" Olivarez Sr., 89, passed away on Dec. 22, 2010, at Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen.

Mr. Olivarez served in the Army Air Corp, Lighting Division 78, during WW II, and fought under General Patton in the battles of Schwammenauel Dam and Remagen Bridge. After his time in the military, he was active in the VFW as well as other military organizations. He was an active member of Our Lady of Holy Rosary in Mission, where he served on the parish council for the church and the Diocese of Brownsville.

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Edwin Wayne Sparks

MISSION – Edwin Wayne Sparks, 86, passed away on Friday, Dec. 24, 2010, at his residence in Sharyland.

He was born on June 17, 1924 in Aquilla, Texas to Nathan and Alma Sparks. He attended Edinburg High School and served in the Army Air Corp, and was stationed at Moore Air Base. He was a farmer, land leveler and business developer. Loyal to the Sharyland area, he donated the land for Jessie Jensen Elementary and was always willing to donate his services to the Sharyland schools.

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Alicia de la Garza Gomez

Alicia de la Garza Gomez, 76, died Dec. 18, 2010 in Ontario, California.

She was born Aug. 9, 1934 in Mission, daughter of Vicente and Amelia de la Garza . She worked as an operations officer in banking for 30 years.

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Benigno Hector Delgado

ALTON – Benigno Hector Delgado, 82, passed away Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at Mission Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Mr. Delgado was born to Rafael and Margarita Delgado on Feb. 13, 1928 in Tampico, Mexico.

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Rosbel Lopez

SULLIVAN CITY – Rosbel Lopez, 23, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 in Mexico. He was born Sept. 17, 1987 in McAllen to Manuel R. Lopez and Maria Cristina Martinez.

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Jesus Rizo

LOS EBAOS - Funeral service for Jesus Rizo Jr. will be held Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 2 p.m. at El Faro Bible Church in Sullivan City.  Burial will follow at Sullivan City Memorial Cemetery.  L&I Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

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Octavio Flores Jr.

OBIT_Octavio-Flores_pRLA JOYA – Octavio Flores Jr., 65, passed away December 7 at Lifecare Hospitals of South Texas in McAllen. Mr. Flores was born in San Miguel, Tamaulipas, Mexico on November 7, 1945 and raised in Los Ebanos.

Left to cherish his memory are his son, Ricardo Flores, his daughters, Ana Lisa Flores, Melinda Flores, Susanna Flores, Cynthia (Senovio III) Ramirez and his granddaughters who he loved dearly, Amaris , Mia, Chloe, and Vianey Ramirez.  He is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Serapio Flores, Sigifredo Flores, Amelia Moreno, Aurora Collins, Arminda Chapa, Anabelle Flores and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Octavio and Guillermina Flores, his sisters, Guadalupe Guzman, Guillermina Gandaria, Alicia Gandaria, Alma Salinas; and one brother, Saul Flores.

He was loved by everyone who knew him and he will be greatly missed.

The funeral mass was held December 10 at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in La Joya. Burial followed at Havana City Cemetery.  L&I Funeral Home of Peñitas was in charge of the arrangements.

The guest book may be signed at

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John F. Abbenante

OBIT_John_Abbenante_BIGJohn F. Abbenante, born on Aug. 11, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, passed away at his home in Kyle, Texas on Nov. 30, 2010.

Brooklyn-born, Mr. Abbenante was an educator for 40 years, as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman in 1945-1946 before entering college. Of his 40 years of service, 30 were with the Mission School District and the remaining years with Central Islip Union Free School District in Central Islip, New York.

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Maria Rodriguez Salinas

MISSION - Maria Rodriguez Salinas, 81, passed away Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010 at Mission Regional Medical Center. She was born to Mr. David Salinas and Mrs. Gertrudes Salinas in Dr. Coss, Nuevo Leon, Mexico on March 8, 1929.

Survivors include her husband of 66 years, Federico Rodriguez; children, Maria G. Salinas, Humberto Rodriguez, David Rodriguez, Leonel Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Maricela Salinas, Yolanda Reyna, Enedelia Flores, Estela Salinas, and Jaime Rodriguez; brother, Fidel Salinas; 38 grandchildren and 63 great-grandchildren.

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Valerie Johnson

 MISSION/GREELEY – Valerie Johnson of Greeley, Colorado passed away Nov. 21, 2010 at Mission Nursing Home.

Mrs. Johnson was born in Holland/Pena, Nebraska on March 27, 1915 to Harry and Grace Borgman. She married Lloyd Melvin Powell in 1935 and raised three children. In Lincoln, Nebraska she worked at Western Electric on the assembly line, then at Bryan Memorial Hospital as an LPN and last owned and managed a nursing home for five years. She moved to Greeley, Colorado in 1972 and worked at the North Colorado Medical Center. She married Ernie Johnson in 1976.

Survivors include her son, Larry Powell; daughter, Cleo Williams; stepson, Corwin Johnson; stepdaughter, Koreen Strandberg; 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren.

Preceding her in death were her daughter, Phyllis Smith, and two grandchildren.

Arrangements were under the direction of Ric Brown Family Funeral Home of Mission.

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Efrain Reyna Jr.

 MISSION - Efrain Reyna Jr., 17, died Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010 at McAllen Medical Center.

Efrain was a senior at Sharyland High School.

He is survived by his parents, Efrain and Sylvia Reyna; siblings, Efrain Reyna Jr., Heriberto Reyna, Priscilla Reyna, and Belinda Reyna; paternal grandmother, Librada Reyna; and maternal grandmother, Eugenia Plata.

Pallbearers were his brothers and Ismael Salinas, Gabriel Garza, Daniel Hurtado, and Anthony Zecca.

The funeral mass was held Saturday, Nov. 20, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Mission. Burial followed at Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Services were under the direction of Ric Brown Family Funeral Home of Mission.

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Hector Suarez

MISSION – Hector Suarez, 37, passed away on Nov. 18, 2010, at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg.

Mr. Suarez attended Mission High School and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Mission, where he participated in the Angel Food Program, children’s program, choir, served as a camp counselor, and on the first response team.

Survivors include his mother, Molly Mendoza of Mission, and siblings, Maria Guadalupe Suarez of McAllen, and Juan (Monica) Silva of McAllen.

The funeral service was held Nov. 22 at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home Chapel in Mission.

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