Richard Harold Farris (born in Uvalde, Texas Nov. 29, 1947) passed away in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 26, 2015, at the age of 67. Rick served his country in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1972. He was a helicopter pilot during his tour of duty in Vietnam and was honored as a hero by rescuing fellow wounded soldiers despite his helicopter being heavily hit by enemy fire. He received a Battle Field Commission and Bronze Star Medal and his father, Col. Harold Farris, from Uvalde and serving with the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam at the time, pinned the medals on his son. After his Army service, Rick attended Southwest Texas Junior College, Uvalde, and then completed his degree in business management, specializing in aviation management, from the University of Texas Permian Basin in 1978. He was known for his computer skills as well as being an avid musician playing drums in bands with wellknown names such as: Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Ray Charles, Brenda Lee and others.
Ernestina D. Garcia, 70, of Uvalde died on April 1, 2015, at St. Luke’s Hospital in San Antonio. A prayer service will be held today at 7 p.m. at the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Chapel. Funeral services will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Templo Cristiano Church. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery. A complete obituary will appear in a future edition of he Uvalde Leader-News.
Isabel Rodriguez “Chavelita” Castillo, 90, of Uvalde died on Monday, March 30, 2015, at Uvalde Memorial Hospital. Funeral services will be held today at 10 a.m. at the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Chapel. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery. She was born on Nov. 19 1924, in Uvalde to Nabora (Montoya) Rodriguez and Esteban Rodriguez. In 1943, she married Alejandro “Role” Castillo in Uvalde. She is survived by her husband of 71 years, a resident of Uvalde; three daughters, Gloria Ortiz of San Antonio, Olivia Butman and husband, Bill, of Hutto and Berta Stratton and husband, Ben, of Houston; one son, Alex Castillo of Uvalde; one brother, Ernesto Rodriguez of Chicago, Illinois; nine grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; special niece, Ester Rodriguez Gomez; and other additional nieces and nephews.
Finis “Hooter” Clayton, 84, of Utopia died on March 25, 2015, at his residence. Memorials may be given to the Utopia EMS, 462 Sycamore St., Utopia, TX 78884; or Utopia Volunteer Fire Department, 485 Main St., Utopia, TX 78884.
Roberto F. Garza, 74, of San Antonio died on March 25, 2015, in San Antonio. A funeral procession will depart after a church service at 9 a.m. today at the Cathedral of Faith Church in San Antonio. Interment will follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. He was born on Jan. 4, 1941, in San Antonio to Lucia Garza and Josue Garza. Garza was a graduate of Uvalde High School, class of 1959, and served in the United States Air Force. He also was the owner of Garza’s Food Mart for over 40 years. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Susana R. Garza of San Antonio; two daughters, Brenda Torres and husband, James, and Kathy Garza, all of San Antonio; one son, Robert “Tinker” Garza Jr.
Inez Mata Jr., 45, of Uvalde died on March 27, 2015, at his residence. He was born on Oct. 11, 1969, to Josephine (Hernandez) Mata and Inez Mata Sr. He is survived by his father, Inez Mata Sr. and companion, Irene Martinez, of Uvalde; one daughter, Josephine Mata of Uvalde; four sons, Marcus Ray Inez, Alex Garza, Inez Mata III, all of Uvalde and Joseph Mata of San Antonio; one sister, Menda Mata of Uvalde; two grandchildren; one niece; and two nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother; maternal grandparents, Victor and Paula Luna; paternal grandparents, Hilario and Concepcion Mata; and one uncle, Victor “Chico” Luna. A rosary was recited on Sunday and Monday at 7 p.m. at the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Chapel. Funeral services were held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. Interment followed in Hillcrest Cemetery.
Porforio “Pilo” Rodriguez, 88, of San Antonio, formerly of Uvalde, died on March 27, 2015, surrounded by his family at Silver Creek Manor in San Antonio. Visitation will be held today from 2 to 9 p.m. with the recitation of the Holy rosary at 6 p.m. at Castillo Funeral Home in San Antonio. Burial will be held at a later date at Fort Sam Houston with full military honors. He was born on Sept. 15, 1926, in Knippa to Elena Rodriguez and Antonio Rodriguez. The family said Rodriguez served in the U.S. Army. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Anna Maria “Anita” Rodriguez of San Antonio; two daughters, Leticia Rodriguez and ReAnna Martinez and husband, Tito, all of San Antonio; three sons, Ruben Rodriguez and wife, Polly, Robert Rodriguez and wife, Linda, and Richard Rodriguez and wife, Adriana, all of San Antonio; one brother, Eduardo Rodriguez of San Antonio; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Elizabeth Tovar Solis, 59, of Brackettville died on March 25, 2015, at Cedar Hills Nursing Home in Camp Wood. She was born on July 16, 1955, in Mexico to Martha Aguirre Tovar and Porifiro Tovar. She is survived by her mother, a resident of Brackettville; one son, Javier Solis of Brackettville; one daughter, Sandra Solis Rivas and husband, Rolando, of Brackettville; three grandchildren; three brothers, Ben Tovar and Jesus Tovar, both of Brackettville and Alvin Tovar of Del Rio; one sister, Martha T. Lopez of Del Rio; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father; husband, Edward C. Solis Sr.; one son, Edward T. Solis Jr.; and one brother, Eloy Tovar. Visitation was held on March 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Slator Hall in Brackettville. Graveside services followed at 3:30 p.m. at the Brackettville County Cemetery with the Rev. Bernie Cervantes officiating.
David Arthur Swift went to be with the Lord surrounded by his family on March 27, 2015, at the age of 73. He was preceded in death by his father, Herbert Aaron Swift, who perished at sea during World War II in 1944. He was also preceded by his sister, JoAnna Swift Gleim; and stepfather, Jack Welch. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Linda. He is also survived by his son, Michael Swift and wife, Christina; daughter, Allison and husband, Paul Kimble. He leaves behind five grandchildren, Mario, Andrew and William Swift, Bethany and Brian Kimble. He is also survived by his mother, Mary Piper Welch; and brother, Jackie Welch. David was a Uvalde native, born in Uvalde on Dec. 24, 1941. David graduated from Uvalde High School and later became a barber for 15 years at Plaza Barber Shop with his lifelong friend, Herbert Harrison. For almost 30 years, he served the community of Uvalde with his local business, Swift’s Lawnmower Repair.