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Paula Zapata Cortez

January 15, 1926 ~ July 28, 2020 (age 94)


Paula Zapata Cortez, a long-time resident of Rio Hondo, Texas, passed from this life on July 29, 2020 at the age of 94.

Paula was born January 15, 1926 in Cerritos, San Luis Potosi, Mexico to the late Jose Zapata Partida and Graciana Ramirez Cortes. 

Paula was a co-founder of and advocate for Su Clinica Familiar in the Rio Grande Valley and lobbied Congress for funding.  She was on the Board of Directors of Su Clinica Familiar for several years.  Through her years of lobbying, she met former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, and Bill Archer, Executive Director/Head of Small Business Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

She was a member of the Guadalupanas, a lector, and a member of the choir at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Rio Hondo, Texas.  Paula found joy in cultivating her vegetable garden and caring for her plants and animals.

Paula was a retired employee of the Rio Hondo Independent School district where she worked as a custodian at North Ward Elementary School for 17 years.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gregorio Rosas Cortez; her son, Gabriel Cortez; son-in-law, Reynaldo Lopez, and her parents, Jose Z. and Graciana R. Cortez.

Left to treasure Paula’s memory and legacy are her children, Esther Lopez, Roberto (Judy) Reyes, Arturo (Marilyn Ann) Zapata, Esperanza (Bob) Cortez Want, Miguel Cortez, Marina Cortez, Carlos (Rita) Cortez, Lydia (Raul Ramirez) Cortez Lopez; 12 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.

Visitation will be on Monday, August 3, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at San Benito Funeral Home.  A recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 7 o’clock on Monday evening.  A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Mont Meta Memorial Park.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to San Benito Funeral Home, 1400 W. Business 77, San Benito, Texas 78586.  956.361.9192 www.sanbenitofuneralhome.com.

All guests must wear a facial covering and maintain social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet while visiting the funeral home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Paula Zapata Cortez, please visit our floral store.


August 3, 2020

1:00 PM to 9:00 PM
San Benito Funeral Home
1400 W. Highway 77
San Benito, TX 78586

Graveside Service
August 4, 2020

10:00 AM
Mont Meta Memorial Park
N. Hwy 345
San Benito, TX 78586
Guaranteed delivery before the Graveside Service begins

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