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1938 Jesus Francisco 2024

Jesus Francisco Velasquez

September 7, 1938 — April 4, 2024

Jesús Francisco Velásquez, Sr., 86, long-time Laredo resident, passed from the embrace of his loved ones into the graceful loving arms of Our Savior on April 4. 2024. Born in 1938 to Florencio Isabel and Maria Toribia (Garza) Velásquez.

 Pancho was a loving husband (Mary ♰), father, grandfather, great grandfather, son, brother, uncle, relative and friend. Pancho was born at the onset of World War II, and he became the idealized citizen who survived and helped to build up America’s economy and society. He was one of millions who became the backbone of the American workforce, a true American worker. Never one to boast about himself, we know about his young life through countless stories relayed by his aunts and his mother. Not surprisingly to those who knew him well, Pancho was kind, accommodating, generous and a hard-working young man. Naturally skilled in the various trades of carpentry, plumbing, electrical wiring, and car mechanics, he jumped in to help Tía Tomasita, Tía Matilde, Tío Poncho and other respected elders. Along with his brothers, he was crucial in remodeling the homes of many families and friends, including some of Laredo’s historical hotels and gardens. A skilled craftsman, Pancho approached every task with an eager desire to produce a handsome creation. Many of his loved ones proudly display work completed by him.

Pancho had no shortness of joy for life. He was one of the lucky ones to appreciate cars and music from his teens in the Fabulous 50s, The Swinging 60s, the “Me Decade” of the 70s, the 80s and into the modern decades. He admired the Chevrolet Bel Air, the Ford Crestline Victoria, the Buick Skylark, the Cadillac Eldorado, the Plymouth Cranbrook, the Studebaker Commander, the Pontiac Chieftain, the Oldsmobile 88 and, of course, the first Chevrolet 1953 Corvette. Rock and Roll music ran through his veins, and perhaps this was the spark that led to his famous nickname, “Cool Cat”. If you knew him well, you would have heard him sing loudly to Blueberry Hills by Fats Domino. He also loved Classic Country Music songs, like Fraulein. Recently, he shared that his famous hair-combing sparked off the fun duet Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb) by Ed Byrnes and Connie Stevens. He was one of the lucky ones to be exposed to American cultural life from South Texas to the Northern Central states of Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota. Indeed, “Cool Cat” describes him well because he walked to his own beat, calm and steady. Wherever he was, savoring every cup of coffee, the sweetness of pan dulce, and enjoying the stories of the daily newspaper were some of his favorite pastimes.

Jesús Francisco Velásquez, Sr. married his wife, Maria Epigmenia Gonzalez (♰) in 1967. Together, they immediately started a family, one which he cherished dearly. His joy only grew in the moments he was able to share with his wife. They enjoyed beaches between the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf Coast, and the Atlantic Ocean. They enjoyed the destination sites of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mount Rushmore, The Grand Canyon, The Garden of the Gods, Taos, Corpus Christi, San Juan del Valle, Monterrey, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, Chicago, Sault Ste. Marie, Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C.

Father to surviving children Jesse, Marisela (Basi), Grizelda (Fernando ♰), Rosie (Chacho), Esmeralda (Ramon), Jerry, and Fernie, he never missed a day of living by example. He was a generous father with an exceptional work ethic, continuous desire for learning, and admiration of astronomy. Always a jokester, his children remember that he enjoyed playing pranks and startling people to jump. Whether it was pretending to drive into the ocean, shrieking when a nurse was about to stick him with a needle, or pretending not to remember you when tripping down the stairs, there was always a great big laugh that followed. He also enjoyed sharing his life with 18 surviving grandchildren who he lovingly knew as J.V.(April), Isabella, Baby Boy, Antonio, LuLu, Nandito, Hector, Kasee, Robbie, Nicholas, Julian, Lucas, Jerrito, Samantha (Ramiro Jr.), Roxcella (Jo), Kayla, Kristina and Alicia. They remember him as bringing the best piñatas to their birthday parties because nobody makes better piñatas than Laredo, Tx. One thing was certain: if Grandpa heard the ice cream truck was coming down the street, his grandchildren were sure he’d buy them a treat. As they grew older, he enjoyed their band performances, concerts, soccer games, cheerleading, track meets, cross country runs, ballet recitals, and graduations. He even got to hold his five great grandchildren: Vitalia Rose, Sophie, Hailey, Jojo, and Enzo.

Pancho is survived by three siblings: Vidal (Genie), Jose Luis (Irene) and Maria Guadalupe. In heaven, he joins Felix Sr. (Emma), José (♰), Maria Ángela, Juan de Dios (Cristina ♰), Raul Diego (Gracie), and Maria Alicia (Emilio). Pancho loved his siblings dearly. Their camaraderie and family bond is a direct reflection of their adored mother. In fact, on any given day, Pancho would share pan de rancho, un cafesito or caldo with his brothers and sisters at Barcelona Ave. Their bond grew when they traveled up North for work, where Pancho undertook the role of contractor since he knew the language of contract farming. He was their official troquero, and their memories are priceless, but all too short-lived. During this period in their lives, he became tío for the first time, and developed a special relationship with his nephews. Often they have said, “Quiero mucho a mi Tio Pancho.” Once they started their families, he and his brothers built homes, remodeled homes, and planted beautiful gardens together. Tio Pancho was loved by his Velázquez and Gonzalez nieces and nephews. With such a family blessing came countless weddings, wedding anniversaries and quinceañeras. At these celebrations Pancho was Puro Velásquez. Proud, he was, to be a part of the Velázquez legacy. With an unwavering commitment to uphold the legacy passed down through generations, Puro Velásquez captures the deep reverence for the family’s heritage and values that unifies its members. With them, we witnessed Pancho’s happy moments singing and dancing to Tejano music. He’d dance the night away with his wife, daughters, sisters, nieces & granddaughters, and he’d join his nephews in the traditional gritos. Just when we thought he was all danced out, the band would play a zapateado, and off he went with one of many dance partners. What a joyful life he lived!

Jesús Francisco Velásquez, Sr. bore the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he honored it. To his children, he never knew a moment without Christ, Our Father. He used to say, “I try my best to walk the path as Jesus walked. Everyone should walk, as He did.” He showed his undying devotion to God and His servants with numerous pilgrimages to pray at places of worship such as the Shrine of the Virgen de San Juan, countless Catholic churches in Laredo, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Zapata, mission churches in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin, Kyle, Kenedy, Chapel Hill, Winston Salem, the Basilica at Notre Dame, and Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at St. Edward’s University. Notably, he often told of a vision he witnessed of the Virgen de Guadalupe off the road between Cotulla and Encinal. He went on his last pilgrimage with his wife during her last year of life to the Ave Maria Grotto in Alabama. In his final week, on the 7th day of his novena, his daughter Esmeralda listened to its prayer, humbly fitting her father: “Today bring to Me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy.” Shortly thereafter, Jesús Francisco took his final breath, holding a rosary from his wife in one hand, a second from his son in the other hand, and the Virgen de Guadalupe by his side. Truly, he was embraced by the Divine Mercy.

To all the children who he held, know that such a holy man whispered sweet nothings in your ear. Did he pray for God’s Grace unto us? Did he pray for a rich and joyful life for us? Did he thank us because we were yet another blessing? To those who knew him, there are no words necessary to describe him; to those who didn’t know him, there are not enough words to describe him. Beloved in all our hearts, he lives within us. Rest in peace Dad, Grandpa, hermano, tío, You've lived a life so deserving of God's gentle Grace.

The family wishes to thank his son-in-laws for their devoted time in loving and nurturing Mr. Velásquez. We also wish to whole-heartedly thank the staff of Ascension Seton Kyle for their caring support and especially his caregiver, Raquel Portillo, who lovingly cared for him and considered him family. 

We invite you to honor his life at his Visitation, on Monday, April 8, 2024, from 5-9 pm, at Gamez & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services, where a Prayer Service with Rosary will held  at 7 pm. 

A Mass of a Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at San Luis Rey Catholic Church at 9 am.

Interment will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be: Jesse Velasquez, Jerry Velasquez, Fernie Velasquez, Hector Barrera, Jerrito Gonzalez, Robbie Barrera, Nando Cuellar, Lucas Perales.

 Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of and direction of Gamez & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services; 1029 Bob Bullock Loop; Ste, 1; Laredo, TX 78043.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, April 8, 2024

5:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

Gamez & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services

1029 Bob Bullock Loop #1, Laredo, TX 78043

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rosary

Monday, April 8, 2024

7:00 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

Gamez & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services

1029 Bob Bullock Loop #1, Laredo, TX 78043

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

San Luis Rey Catholic Church

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

San Luis Rey Catholic Church

3502 Sanders Ave, Laredo, TX 78040

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Calvary Catholic Cemetery

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

10:00 - 10:45 am (Central time)

Calvary Catholic Cemetery

3600 McPherson Rd, Laredo, TX 78040

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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