Our beloved Francisco R. “Coach Frank” Garza, 94, passed away peacefully surrounded by his children, Rosie and Butch Garza and his wife of 70 years, Maria Ofelia “Baby” Garza. Frank was born on May 11, 1925 in George West to Leopoldo and Guadalupe Garza.
Frank was a World War II veteran earning five battle ribbons when he first participated in the Normandy 1944 D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach, then the liberation of Paris, France to the Ardennes, the Battle of Bulge and the Rhineland of Central Germany. Frank graduated from Texas A & I University in Kingsville, Texas after serving in WWII. While in Kingsville he met and married Maria Ofelia “Baby” Cavazos on Feb. 25, 1950. Frank made Kingsville his hometown for the next 64 years. Frank and Baby would raise their 3 children Leo, Rosie, and Butch. He was known as “Coach” Frank Garza when he was the physical education teacher for the Stephen F. Austin Elementary School beginning in 1951. He created many winning teams of the Austin Pioneers. Frank would also become the physical education coach for McRoberts Elementary School before retiring the from Kingsville Independent School District in 1985.
Frank was a devout Catholic and served as a Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady of Good Counsel church in Kingsville. He was a member of the Knight of Columbus #4623. He is survived by his wife of almost 70 years, Maria Ofelia (baby) Garza; daughter, Rosie Garza; and son, Edmund Butch Garza, both of Austin; granddaughter, Kim (husband Clay) Moore of The Colony, Texas; grandson, Gray (wife, Chelsea) Garza of Conroe, Texas; brother, Gilbert Garza of San Benito; nieces, Betty Joyce DeCarriere of San Benito and Gloria (husband Russ) Guinn of Portland, Ore.
He was preceded in death by his son, Leo Garza; his parents, Leopoldo and Guadalupe Garza; sister, Mary Bernal; brother, Paul Garza of Fort Worth; and nephew, Norman Garza of San Antonio.
Visitation took place at Kingsville Memorial Funeral Home Friday, Feb. 7 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. followed by a Rosary at 7 p.m. that same evening.
Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. at The Lady of Good Counsel Church in Kingsville. Burial ceremony took place at the Chamberlain Cemetery. Reception was held afterward at the Lady of Good Counsel Hall.