Elia L.


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Elia L. Reyna

Jun 10 1929 - Dec 07 2018

Elia Lopez Reyna, age 89, formally of Frisco, Texas, passed away in Waco, Texas on December 7, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Frank C. Reyna; son, Mario L. Reyna; grandson, John William Nowaski; her parents, Vicente & Corina Lopez; brother, Eulalio Lopez and her son-in-law, Thomas Bovard.   

She is survived by her four daughters, Sylvia and her husband, James Wiggins, of Conroe, Johanna McCrary, of Lubbock, Lucille and her husband, Leonard Nowaski, of Waco, Elizabeth Bovard, of Waco; daughter-in-law, Gloria Reyna of Abilene, fourteen grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren, four sisters and one brother.  

Her profession was nursing; her 45 years of training and service began at age 20 in her hometown of Falfurrias, Texas, under the supervision of the town’s only doctor.  She became one of the first Licensed Vocational Nurses of Texas when the Texas State Board of Vocational Nurse Examiners was established in 1951.  She valued education and fulfilled her life-long dream to go to college when she enrolled at Central Texas College and earned her Associate Degree in General Studies/Business Management in 1982. 

From 1959 to 1962, while her husband was stationed in Spain, she served as an interpreter between the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy officers serving under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President John F. Kennedy and the Spanish officers serving under General Francisco Franco Bahamonde, Dictator of Spain.  She also led First Aid Trainer classes and assisted military personnel execute aid to military families for the American Red Cross, while the family was stationed at three military bases in Spain.     

She had many leadership roles wherever she volunteered.  Among her favorite memories are the years she spent as a member of the Non Commissioned Officers Wives Club, often setting up outreach services to help families re-enter the civilian community after separation from military service.  She often led by example, while stationed in Abilene, Texas, she served as a founding Board member of the Abilene American Cancer Society, helping to develop one of the first “telethon charity” events to raise funds for cancer research.   

After her husband retired from the military, the family moved to Killeen, Texas, where she served in the Civil Service and worked at Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood Army Base.  Full retirement did not come until she moved to Frisco, Texas, where she joined the Frisco Garden Club and took her turn to serve as President of the organization that shared her passion for gardening.  No matter where she went or lived, she was there for her husband, children, grandchildren and any stranger that she often turned into a life-long friend because she always gave a helping hand or listening ear. 

Visitation will be held at Berkshire Church, 9073 Berkshire Church, Frisco, Texas 75033, on December 12, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., recitation of the Rosary will begin at 7:00 p.m.  Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on December 13, 2018, at 10:30 a.m., officiated by Msgr. Leon Deusman and Decaon Gregg Kahrs, with burial following at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

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