Cover photo for María L. "Mary Lou" Saldaña's Obituary
María L. "Mary Lou" Saldaña Profile Photo
1944 María 2023

María L. "Mary Lou" Saldaña

November 9, 1944 — February 11, 2023

María Lucia V. “Mary Lou” Saldana, peacefully passed February 11, 2023 at seventy-eight years of age. She was born to the late José T. Villarreal and Elida Salinas Villarreal on November 9, 1944 in San Benito, Texas.

She was a graduate of San Benito High School and a proud Greyhound. While a student at SBHS, she was a member of the San Benito Greyhound Band and was elected the first Hispanic drum major. After graduating high school, Mary Lou attended Pan American University in Edinburg where she completed a Bachelor of Science degree.

Mary Lou dedicated thirty-five years to the children and youth of San Benito as a professional educator with San Benito CISD. During her tenure, she inspired many of her students and colleagues, teaching not only academic lessons but also life lessons. She served as a class sponsor for many years, guiding and encouraging students during their high school years. She dedicated much of her time and energy to supporting the Greyhound Band and Quarterback Club, of which Mary Lou served as President.

In her leisure time, Mary Lou loved reading, listing to music, and studying history. She also enjoyed gambling and traveling to casinos to try her luck. However, her greatest enjoyment was spending time with her family and close friends.

Mary Lou is preceded in death by her high school sweetheart and husband of over fifty-five years, Reynaldo R. Saldana; her parents, José T. and Elida S. Villarreal; and her sister, Carmen “Chore” Villarreal.

Left to treasure her memory and honor her legacy are her children, Ray Saldaña Jr. (Martha), Laura Ann Soliz (Adrian), Lurae Caldwell (Richard); and, ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Mary Lou is also survived by her siblings, Jose A. Villareal (Alicia), Diana V. Farias (Arturo), Minerva V. López (Onésimo, Jr.), and Peter S. Villarreal (Alicia).

The family wishes to thank all the medical professionals who compassionately cared for Mary Lou.

Visitation will take place Thursday, February 16, 2023 from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home. A recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin Thursday evening at 7 o’clock. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, February 17, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Benedict Catholic Church. Following the Mass, Mary Lou will be laid to rest at Mont Meta Memorial Park.

Honored to serve as pallbearers are Nathan Villarreal, Mark López, Roel Partida, Peter Villarreal Jr., John Rosales, and Joseph Piñón. Serving as honorary pallbearers are Willie Rosales, Jr., Roel Farias, Randy Partida, and Trey Saldaña.

You are invited to share remembrances and condolences by clicking on the "Tribute Wall" tab at the top of this page.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of María L. "Mary Lou" Saldaña, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, February 16, 2023

1:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home

1400 West Business 77, San Benito, TX 78586

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

Recitation of the Holy Rosary

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Central time)

Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, Chapel A

1400 West Business 77, San Benito, TX 78586

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

Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, February 17, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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

Interment following Mass

Friday, February 17, 2023

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