La Joya presents family of Margarito Salinas with key to the city

LA JOYA ­– City officials gave the family of Margarito “Mage” Salinas a key to the city as a lifetime achievement award for Salinas’ service Tuesday night.

Salinas, who served on the La Joya Economic Development Council 20 years, died Jan. 15 after battling cancer. He also was honored last week during BorderFest on the RGV Walk of Fame.

20150313 LA JOYA Mage Salinas 2985Mayor Jose A. “Fito” Salinas graduated high school with Salinas in 1957. They grew up together, Fito Salinas said.

“He was my compadre,” the mayor said.

Michael Salinas, member of La Joya Board of Aldermen and Margarito Salinas’ nephew, offered a public apology for not attending the Walk of Fame ceremony. Because of late notice, he said, none of the members of the board were able to make it.

Mayor Salinas said Margarito Salinas continued to serve the city up until October.

And Fernando Peña, who also serves on the economic development council, said Margarito Salinas always worked for the best of La Joya.

Margarito Salinas enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1965, and then he returned to start a business in La Joya with his wife, Maria Salinas. They operated their business for more than 40 years until they retired in 2006.

He supported youth education, providing La Joya Independent School District students with college scholarships, school educational sponsorships and sponsorships to Future Farmers of America projects.

Margarito Salinas was first appointed to the EDC by then-Mayor Billy Leo, and Fito Salinas reappointed him.

Married in 1962, Margarito Salinas and his wife have four children: David, Sylvia, Javier and Joe. They also have eight grandchildren.

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