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After a long struggle with diabetes and heart-related complications, Ismael “Mel” Leal passed away peacefully on Monday, May 22, 2023, with his beloved wife, Mirya, at his side. Mel was born March 28, 1978.
Throughout his 45 years, Mel had many occupations, including driving long-haul, working the oil fields, and as a jailer for the corrections department. Recently, Mel’s love for and skill with leather led him to open Leal Leatherworks with Mirya. They enjoyed designing and crafting belts, holsters, wallets, and custom pieces together.
Mel enjoyed the outdoors and spending time with family, especially when accompanied by Mirya. He loved cruising the highways on his Harley, hunting at the family farm or deer lease, enjoying breakfast at Mata’s, camping in California, fishing at the coast, barbecuing, or just hanging out on the front porch. He loved being involved in Boy Scouts Troop 114. After he earned the Order of the Arrow and achieved Eagle Scout, he continued volunteering as Scoutmaster with his son, Mel. He was tremendously proud of the Smokey the Bear hat he wore as part of his uniform.
Though strong-willed and stubborn at times, Mel had a heart of gold and a wonderful sense of humor. He made friends anywhere he went, was generous, selfless, loyal, clever, and witty, and his laughter filled up every room. He leaves a 6’2”-sized hole in our hearts, said his family.
Mel had two special women in his life and was usually in the company of one or both of them. Even as he faced his own illness, he was a steadfast helper and companion for his mom, Debbie, and loved hacking her Facebook account. Though he teased her, he was her ultimate protector, errand boy, and friend. He never hesitated to help, whether it was driving her around or making her laugh. Mel loved his wife, Mirya more than life itself and wanted to be with her until the very end. She never left his side. Every time he opened his eyes, he searched for her and calmed at her voice and touch. The two of them had many adventures from California to Texas and loved each other fiercely.
Mel was a wonderful son, husband, dad, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend, and cherished every relationship.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Trinidad and Anita Leal, Daniel “Red” and Dora “Lola” Tejada, and Alfred Michaud.
He is survived by his wife, Mirya, and sons Ismael “Kalala” (Lily) and Logan, and looked forward to watching his grandson Colton grow up. He is also survived by his parents, Robert and Debbie Leal; sisters Jennifer (Israel) Aviles and Amanda (Bennie) Herrera; nieces and nephews Chandler Balcer (Julienne), Adrianna Balcer, Trinidad Herrera, Sage Herrera, Juliet Herrera, and Miriam Herrera; and in-laws Richard Bergfelder, Holly Connor, Kristopher Bergfelder, Ryder Bergfelder, Connor Bergfelder, Brooke Campbell, and Masen Campbell, who will miss his sense of humor, love for fun, and endless support.
A celebration of Mel’s life was held on Tuesday, June 6, at 5 p.m. in Studio C in Floresville, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks friends and family to consider registering as an organ donor and/or make a donation in Mel’s name to the American Kidney Fund, the American Heart Association, or the Boy Scouts of America.