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Remembering Rudy Garza
By Raul Muñiz
Recently, the city of Floresville lost one of its outstanding citizens, Rudy Garza.
My first recollection of Rudy was seeing him in his Army uniform visiting my cousin, Dora Treviño. To me he looked like a general. That image has been etched in my mind and life for more than 70 years.
Rudy came from good stock. His father, Vicente Garza, had served his country honorably in World War I and received a citation from President Woodrow Wilson. Rudy served in Europe during World War II. Both father and son were proud Americans and they proved their loyalty to their country beyond and above.
Rudy was one of the first Mexican Americans to serve on the Floresville school board. I was a member of the Texas Legislature at the time, and was invited to bring forth some of the educational issues that were being considered in the Texas House of Representatives. At that time I recall that the other board members respected Rudy’s opinion and decisions he expressed.
Rudy was not a radical or rabble-rouser. In his soft manner he exhibited concern for all students in the district and fought for a sound and meaningful education for each one, regardless of race or religion.
After retiring from civil service, Rudy served as a municipal judge. Here again, from what I heard, he presented himself with dignity and fairness.
Most people don’t know this, but Rudy was a talented sketch artist. I am far from being an art critic, but I can assure you that my eyes do not betray me. He gave me one of his sketches. I lived half a block from the structure he drew in pencil, therefore I vividly remember what the small building looked like. Observing the drawing, it seemed to me that I was walking up the dilapidated wooden steps into the place.
Rudy was also a heck of a ballplayer. We played for the Floresville Panthers -- flax league -- and the Floresville Eagles, managed by my uncle, Alfredo Trevino. The panthers were managed by Pete Barcena, who had been a Prisoner of War in Germany.
In later years, Rudy and I played many a round of golf in Pleasanton. He enjoyed playing in tournaments with his daughter Claudia.
He was married to my dear cousin Dora and they lived, in the true sense of the phrase, happily ever after. They raised two boys and three girls who in their own right became examples of their beloved parents.
Rudy was indeed a fine person to me. He was a role model and a dear friend. His legacy should remain in the annals of Floresville history forever.
Raul Muñiz is a resident of El Paso. He was born in Floresville in 1932, the son of Raul R. Muñiz and Beatrice Treviño. Raul served in the Army’s 97th Engineers during the 1950s. When he took office as the representative of district 74-4 (El Paso) in 1965, he replaced Malcolm McGregor. Muñiz would serve the 74th district from 1965-71 (59th to 61st sessions).
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