Irma Ochoa Canales passed away on Jan. 9, 2021 in Corpus Christi, from heart failure and renal failure. She was born on Oct. 17, 1946 in Kingsville, to Eduardo Rubio Ochoa and Velia Garza Ochoa.
She graduated from Henrietta M. King High School in Kingsville. She attended Texas A&I in Kingsville for two years before deciding to follow her cousin into nursing, attending St. Mary’s Nursing School in Galveston. She graduated in December 1968 from Hillcrest Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in Waco.
She married Rudy R. Canales in September 1970 and had four children, Cristina Renee, Rodolfo Tristan, twins Rosa-Velia and Eduardo Valentin. While working hard at work and at home, she still found time to go back to school to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in December 1994.
She worked hard at every job she held, first with Driscoll Children’s Hospital, then Spohn Hospital, and Doctors Regional, and other area hospitals. She worked for the State as a community health nurse in the WIC program and doing vaccinations in San Diego and Alice.
She worked in home health and greatly enjoyed working with the elderly. She worked again for the State as a nursing home auditor. It was cut short by a bout with breast cancer, which she won and was an 18-year cancer survivor. She then became a school nurse at CCISD, first at Los Encinos E.S. and then Lamar E.S. She finally retired in 2009.
If you knew Irma, you know she enjoyed many, many, many things. She really enjoyed genealogy, gardening (especially when things would grow), working in the yard, raising goats, chickens, raising cattle on the ranch, etc. She provided fresh goat milk to a neighbor. She also enjoyed cooking (caldo, making cheese from goat milk, enchiladas, etc.) and cleaning out the house. She loved building things (upstairs closets), and designing (upstairs and downstairs). One of her greatest enjoyments was traveling. With her family, she travelled all over Texas, the United States and Mexico. She especially loved the La Brea Tar Pits, since she had written a report on it in elementary school. When her brother-in-law told her about a Texas A&I professor-led spring-break trip to see the pyramids in Mexico, she immediately made plans to go and continued going for the next 10 years.
When she had time she enjoyed playing Scrabble and strategizing to get maximum points, which means she won most of the time. She enjoyed good movies, especially adventure or treasure hunting movies, since she wanted to be either a doctor or an archeologist when she grew up. Her all time favorite thing to do was spend time with family and friends. She loved getting together whether it was the holidays, birthdays, or just because.
She consistently went to the water classes at the YWCA to exercise, where she enjoyed the friendships and the monthly Y Ladies of Laughter dinner/birthday celebrations. She loved talking with her friends and family in person or on the phone. She really missed seeing everyone during this pandemic.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her son, Eduardo Valentin; and her brothers, Eduardo (Lalo), Roel, and Rolando Ochoa.
She leaves behind her husband of 50 years; three children; and her sister, Maria de Refugio-Cookie (Jesse) Gonzalez; sisters-in-law Olga Mata (Lalo) Ochoa, Sylvia Trevino (Roel) Ochoa and Nellie Tijerina (Rolando) Ochoa; and numerous nieces and nephews.
One of her favorite things to do at the end of a long day of work was to look back and admire what she had done. We hope she looking down from heaven now and admiring her work on earth.
A Rosary and small service will be held on Feb. 20, 2021 at 2 p.m. at Memory Gardens Funeral Home and Cemetery, 8200 Old Brownsville Road, Corpus Christi, TX.