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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.

He is survived by his children, Maria Luisa Pena of Mission, Sara Valdez Jr. of Mission, Joe Olivarez Jr. of McAllen, Berta Filut of Mission; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Preceding him in death were his wife of 61 years, Maria Luisa Olivarez; his father, Manuel Olivarez; mother, Guadalupe Olivarez; stepmother, Maria Solis Olivarez; brother, Marcelino Olivarez; and sister, Severa Salinas.

A funeral mass was held Dec. 23 at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Mission with Rev. Oliver officiating. Burial followed at Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission under the direction of Ric Brown Family Funeral Home in Mission.

Serving as pallbearers were Robert Pena Jr., Daniel Pena, Michael Olivarez, Nathaniel Olivarez, Anthony Olivarez, Marcelino Olivarez Jr., Omar Olivarez, and Tomas Salinas Jr. Serving as honorary pallbearers were David Garza Sr., Joe Olivarez Jr., Bernie Pena, Ralph Valdez Jr. and Bill Filut.

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