Estella Perez Cardenas passed away at her home on November 17th, 2022 surrounded by her family after suffering a stroke in September. She was born in Lockhart, Texas on August 21st, 1938, to Cixto and Sarah Perez.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Sarah and Cixto Perez; her Tio Manuel Ramos Sr. and Tia Mary Ramos; her brothers, Benji Perez, Mando Perez, Manual Ramos, and Raymond Ramos; and her loving husband, Joseph Garza Cardenas. She is survived by siblings Sarah Perez, Cixco Perez, Sally Morin, and Robert Ramos; her three children, Paul Cardenas, Teresa Cardenas, and David Cardenas; her daughter-in-law, Joy Cardenas; her granddaughters, DeAndra Ramsey and Mandilyn Cardenas; her grandson-in-law, John Ramsey; and her great-grandson, John David "J.D." Ramsey. She is also survived by many other cherished family members, friends, and beloved pets.
Joseph and Estella courted in Houston after he finally convinced her to give him a chance. They were married in 1958 and had many happy years together. Estella could always be heard laughing and yelling at Joe while he did his best to get a rise out of her and tease his family. Love and laughter filled their home, from their children, their grandchildren and all the other family and friends who were welcomed through their door.
Estella worked as a school bus driver later in life. She took such pride in caring for the children who got on her bus every day and she ensured they arrived safely to their locations. She took the time to learn their names, ask how their days were, and make sure they knew she cared about them. All of the children who ended up on her route knew they had a friend in Ms. Cardenas, someone who genuinely loved them and had a smile just for them.
Estella's great joy in life was caring for her loved ones. It was a well-known fact that if you entered her home, you would be well-fed whether you were hungry or not. Estella loved fully and willingly. Her love extended to all living things, including the many animals she cared for, sheltered, and gave a loving home. Estella cherished having her family in her home, especially around the holidays. She adored her granddaughters and her greatest pride was in seeing them grow, go to college, and lead successful careers. She was a constant rock and source of support throughout their lives. When her great-grandson was born, her heart grew even more. She cherished every moment of the 8 years she was able to spend with him, feeding him soup, strawberries, and cheese, and taking every opportunity to brag to anyone who would listen about what a wonderful, smart, and kind-hearted great-grandson she had!
Her family will carry on her memory and stories, especially while gathering around the dinner table for her famous enchiladas or spaghetti. They will know that gathering together for a meal will be the best way to honor the woman who wanted to care for her loved ones.