Livia Ellia Diaz ascended to her Heavenly home on Aug. 23, 2019 and is reunited with our parents, Armando Diaz and Josefa Cantu Diaz.
Livia was the first child born to Armando and Josefa in Mercedes on Jan. 12, 1938. Livia attended elementary, junior high school and high school in Mercedes. She graduated in 1956. After graduation, she enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin. She received a bachelor of science degree in health, physical education and recreation in 1960. She continued her education, receiving her master’s degree from The University of New Mexico and worked towards her doctorate at Texas Women’s University. She started her teaching career in Portland, then moved to Albuquerque, where she taught at Lincoln Jr. High School and Sandia High School. She cut short her doctoral work to accept an assistant professor position at Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University at Kingsville) in 1971. While there, she coached the girls’ softball and track and field teams until the late 70s. She started what is now the Javelina Invitational Track and Field meet as a lab for students in the track and field classes. Livia was one of the pioneers in the Javelina Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Program. She was inducted into the Texas A&M University Javelina Hall of Fame in 2007. She retired from the Health and Kinesiology Department as an Assistant Professor Emerita in 2012.
Livia was an extraordinary teacher, coach and mentor who was passionate about education and loved her students dearly. She was very active with the Catholic church and volunteered at The Catholic Student Center serving lunch to students every week. During her life, she also found great joy in volunteering with The Girl Scouts of America.
Livia is survived by her siblings, Elma (Don) Carlson, Arnoldo (Dorothy) Diaz, Armando (Susan) Diaz Jr., Hilda Diaz and Michael (Lindsey) Diaz. She loved and adored her nieces, Erin Jarrett, Erica Diaz, Tricia Mueller and Lori Ansotigue; and nephews, Lance Carlson, Arnoldo Diaz Jr. and Matthew Diaz. She will be greatly missed by all her grandnieces and nephews, Abigail and Austin, Jarrett, Trace Armstrong, Jordan, Micah, Charlotte, Kate and Ryann Mueller, Christian and Claire Contreras, Ella Phillips, Lauren and Michael Diaz, Keenan Diaz and Devon Pearson. She will also be greatly missed by all her church family, extended family and friends who she deeply loved.
Livia’s family would like to thank Beverly Fletcher and her family for welcoming Livia into her home and providing such outstanding and loving care during her final weeks. A special thanks also to Cima Hospice. Livia was a strong and caring woman who inspired many and whose sense of humor, advice and wise stories will be greatly missed. Her kind and compassionate heart will live on through all who knew and loved her.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 at St. Gertrude Catholic Church in Kingsville. The Holy Rosary will begin at 10 a.m., with a funeral Mass to be celebrated at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Resthaven Cemetery, with a reception following at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at the Texas A&M University Kingsville campus.
In lieu of flowers please donate to Texas A&M University Kingsville Foundation C/O Kinesiology Department in memory of Livia Diaz, 700 University Blvd. MSC 173 Kingsville, Texas 78363.