Juan “Johnny” Guevara, 89, of Harlingen passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, September 24, 2021.
Johnny was born on December 12, 1931 and raised in La Feria, Texas. He graduated from La Feria High School in 1949. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1950 and served in Japan during the Korean Conflict. He was well liked by his fellow servicemen and superiors, and his military experience gave him his first opportunity to travel, which he loved. After serving 10 years, he was honorably discharged in 1961, having earned the rank of staff sergeant. He earned multiple awards including the Korean Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, United Nations Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.
Shortly after his return to the Valley from Japan, Johnny worked as a salesman for American National Insurance Company. It was while paying a visit to one of his customers, Felicitas Castro of Harlingen, that he was introduced to his future wife, Livia Elia Henderson (Felicita’s granddaughter). Following a six-month courtship, Johnny married Livia on July 19, 1962, and they lived and worked in Harlingen, Brownsville and Grand Rapids, Michigan before eventually settling in Harlingen. During that time, they raised four children and remained together nearly 60 years until his death.
Besides being a devoted husband, Johnny had a strong work ethic and was employed in numerous fields throughout his life, including teaching, insurance sales, concession sales, construction, oil refining, inventory management and delivery. Johnny chose to continue working well past the typical age of retirement. His last job as a courier for a local law practice gave him the opportunity to continue one of his favorite pastimes of driving while exploring places off the beaten path throughout the Valley. He eventually retired at the age of 83. Johnny was an avid gardener who enjoyed tending to his yard up until the last few months of his life. He also enjoyed movies, politics, football and supporting various charities, including the Rio Grande Valley Food Bank, American Red Cross and In Touch Ministries.
Johnny was preceded in death by his mother, Maria Sanchez Guevara; father, Antonio Guevara; sister, Elodia Guevara Gaytan; and nephew, Michael A. Guevara.
Johnny is survived by his wife, Livia Elia Guevara; daughter, Mary K. Guevara; and sons, John David (Joanne) Guevara, Robert S. Guevara, MD, all of Harlingen and Edward J. Guevara of Edinburg. He is also survived by his great granddaughter, Clara Jane Page; granddaughter, Jacquelyn M. (Eric) Page, all of Lewisville, Texas; and grandson, Jeffrey A. Guevara of Huntsville, Alabama. He is also survived by his brother, Tony Guevara of Harlingen; his niece, Melissa Guevara of League City, Texas; sisters, Rose Gaines of San Antonio, Hilda Guevara and Leticia Guevara both of Austin; and numerous cousins and other nieces and nephews.
The family would like to give special thanks to the devoted staff of Kindred Hospice in Harlingen for their compassionate care during Johnny’s last few weeks.
The Guevara family will receive relatives and friends Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home. A memorial service will begin at 4:30 p.m. (Click the link below to view a live-stream of the memorial service.)
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the RGV Food Bank (foodbankrgv.com), American Red Cross (redcross.org), Humane Society of Harlingen (hshtx.org) or the charity of your choice.
To plant a tree in memory of Juan "Johnny" Guevara, please click here.
Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc.
724 N. Cage Blvd., Pharr TX 78577
American Red Cross
P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines IA 50340
Harlingen Humane Society
1106 Markowsky Ave., Harlingen TX 78550