After a prolonged illness, but surrounded by her loving family, Josefa “Josie” Amelia Maldonado Kazen, age 78, entered eternal rest on August 12, 2018, at her home in Laredo, Texas. A direct descendant of early settlers Jose Vasquez Borrego, Juan Antonio Vidaurri, and Don Tomas Sanchez de la Barrera y Gallardo, who founded Laredo in 1755, Josie was born in Mirando City, Texas on February 15, 1940. She was the second youngest of five children born to Amador & Velia (Vidaurri) Maldonado.
Josie was preceded in death by her parents Amador & Velia (Vidaurri) Maldonado, siblings Oscar Maldonado and Sylvia Maldonado Ruelas, and grandson Christopher David Garza.
Josie was raised in Oilton, Texas and educated at Oilton Elementary School and Bruni High School, graduated in 1959. At Bruni, she demonstrated a broad spectrum of passions and talents in activities such as cheerleading, basketball, and debating. For one special year (’54-’55), however, she attended Christen Jr. High in Laredo, where she met the love of her life, Tony Kazen, whom she would eventually marry 1961.
She was also an active member of the 4H club from Elementary through high school, under late Webb County Agent & Mentor, Ms. Ruby Power, and through her involvement embodied that organization’s mission of “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development”. All who knew Josie would agree that she truly strived to make the most of her Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.
Based on her extraordinary modeling and dress review which she patterned 1957, Josie was the first Latina to make it to the “Final 5” at the Dallas State Fair. During summers she worked in Laredo at McClellan’s Department Store, Zales Jewelers, Laredo Junior College, and Central Power and Light. Josie then went on to work for Laredo Independent School District for thirty years as a Teacher Aid and then as Registrar at Nixon Annex and Memorial Middle School.
Never letting go of her natural talents, though, Josie became well known as a seamstress, patterning wedding gowns for herself, her sister Sylvia, and her own daughter Cindy.
She was also known for her artwork, ever grateful to her mentor, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Walker Quiroz (Bess).
While Josie was recognized widely for her skills as an artist and seamstress, what many may not have known was of her ability to fix just about anything around the house, and for her “theories” about why things happened. In fact, her children’s spouses are known for saying that the children she raised “got their Josie on” when they solved problems and fixed things that no one else could (or would) take on.
Not content with staying at home, Josie followed her dreams and traveled to exotic destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and South America, this perhaps being her greatest joy during her retirement years.
She is survived by her beloved husband of 57 years, Antonio “Tony” Kazen, children Oscar (Melissa) Kazen, Linda Kazen (David) Garza, Cynthia “Cindy” Kazen (Fred) Kopec, and Martha “Marti” Kazen (Robert) Coronado, and by her beloved grandchildren Joseph Garza, Nicholas Garza, and Ethan Coronado. Surviving siblings are Diana (Manuel) Vasquez of Mathis, Texas, and Anita (Frank) Plasencia of Laredo.
The family wishes to offer heartfelt gratitude to Josie’s long-term caretakers, Juanita de la Paz & Neri Ibarra, to Dr. Luis Benavides, the staff at Nurses on Wheels, and to Father Hector Flores. Finally, Josie’s family would like others to remember that small town girls have no barriers, if they just “Get their Josie on!”
The family will receive guests Wednesday, August 15, 2018, at Fred Dickey Funeral & Cremation Services from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, where a holy rosary will be recited at 7:00 pm. Funeral services will be Thursday, August 16, 2018. The funeral home will open at 8:00 am for a reception. The funeral procession will depart at 9:30 am from the funeral home to Saint Patrick Catholic Church. A funeral mass will start at 10:00 am. Cremation will be at a later date.
Funeral arrangements are by Fred Dickey Funeral & Cremation Services, 1320 Trey Dr. Laredo, TX 78041. Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting us online at www.freddickey.com
Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Time: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Rosary: 7:00 pm
Date: Thursday, August 16, 2018
Time: 10:00 am
Funeral Mass: 10:00 am