MISSION – Ricardo R. Peña, 93, passed away on Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, at Amara Hospice in Edinburg.
Mr. Peña was born and raised in Los Ebanos and graduated from La Joya High School and Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan. At the age of 16, he converted to Los Ebanos Mennonite Brethren Church and, after graduating from high school, attended a Christian college and earned a degree in business administration. After college, he became a missionary and started churches in Premont and Garciasville and taught at the Rio Grande Bible Institute. In 1953, he married and founded the Mennonite Brethren Church in La Joya. He also served in the Chihuahua M.B. Church, and served 17 years in the Mission M.B. Church.
After 30 years of volunteered ministerial service, he retired and served in churches in Alton, McAllen, and Mexico for the next eight years. While serving as a minister, he worked in full-time employment to support his family, retiring after 30 years with the U.S. Postal office in Mission.
Survivors include his children, Carlos Peña, Federico Peña, Dina Medina, Ricardo Peña, Rebecca Elam, and David Peña; and 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Carmen Pena Villarreal; parents, Federico and Maria Luisa F. Peña; and siblings, Rafael, Rene, Rodolfo and Ricardo Peña.
A funeral service was held on Dec. 28 at Puerta De Salvacion La Joya Mennonite Brethren Church. Burial followed at Los Ebanos Cemetery.