Our loving mother, beloved grandmother, great grandmother and caring sister, Lucia G. Leyendecker, passed away in her home on January 25, 2022.
Lucia G. Leyendecker was born on Sept 15, 1930, in Laredo, Texas, to Jesus M. Gonzalez and Josefina Cardenas Gonzalez. She graduated from Martin High School in 1947 and subsequently earned her BA degree from Texas Woman’s University where she studied Education, Spanish and Horticulture.
At 19, she began her distinguished profession with the Laredo Independent School District where she was employed for 40 years as a teacher and administrator. She began her teaching career at Katherine Tarver Elementary School. When M.S. Ryan Elementary School was built in the early 1950’s, she was selected to open the campus. She was dedicated to the students of M.S. Ryan Elementary School until the early 1980’s, when she became a Parent Involvement Officer with Federal Programs. This position led her to a lifelong relationship with The Congregation of Sisters of the Sacred Heart Children’s Home.
Lucy, as she was fondly known to her family and friends, was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Frank X. Leyendecker, an avid hunter, fisherman and rancher. Together for over 62 years, Frank and Lucy shared a life filled with love of family, friends and the outdoors. Blessed with movie star looks, they were always the most handsome/most beautiful couple on the dance floor. Always smartly dressed, you couldn’t miss beautiful Lucy with her jet black hair, green eyes, red lipstick and stiletto heels. No matter the time or place, Lucy was absolutely captivating and the epitome of grace and dignity.
In addition to her parents and her husband, she was also preceded in death by her brother Jay Gonzalez, sister Josefina Gonzalez Garcia, brother-in-law G.G. Garcia, son-in-law Bill Wise, Jr. and niece Rosa Garcia Cady.
Lucy was a dedicated and devoted educator, tutor and life mentor who always sought to make others’ lives better by nurturing, teaching and inspiring her students to excel in knowledge and in character. She taught with a warm, caring heart while creating an environment of wonder, adventure and laughter. Her students loved her dearly. Her children fondly remember that no matter where they were, her former students would always recognize her and sing her praises. She instilled in each student the belief that they could become anything they wanted to become. As an educator, this is the greatest gift a teacher can give a child. One of her former students, Mike Jackson, once wrote, “One person who encouraged me and instilled self-confidence like I never had before was my fourth grade teacher, Lucy Leyendecker. I started that year with my head in the sand and emerged feeling like I could conquer anything! Thank you, Mrs. Leyendecker.” Another of her former students, Sandra Uribe, said “I have always thanked God for having Mrs. Leyendecker in my life. She helped me so much with my self-esteem and had a gift for making me feel special.”
Lucy loved life, her family, her home and her yard. She frequently recharged her soul tending to her garden. Many who knew her well describe a contagious laughter, spontaneous sense of humor, and a playful mischievousness. Her wit and wisdom will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Lucy was a living example of this Bible verse (Proverbs 31:25-29): “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
Lucy is survived by her son, Frank (Lourdes) Leyendecker, Jr. and daughters Rebecca (Beto) Leyendecker Gutierrez and Elizabeth (Peter) Leyendecker Greenblum and grandchildren, Lisa Leyendecker, Lou Leyendecker, Jordan Wise, Jay (Karina) Leyendecker and Jonathan (Hannah) Leyendecker and great granddaughters, Josephine Leyendecker and Frances “Frankie” Leyendecker.
Lucy’s children extend their heartfelt gratitude to those who cared for their Mother including the late Dr. Joaquin G. Cigarroa, Monsignor James Harris, Dr. Marco Uribe, Dr Carlos N. Casas, Chuck Keke Pharm. D. , Superior Nursing Care, Nurses on Wheels Inc. and their teams. The family is most grateful to her caring neighbors, Dr. and Mrs. Jerry Thomspon, Mary Prevost, Greg Melendez and to her devoted caregivers of eight years, Ma. Rosario Montes and Elsa Ortiz.
Due to the recent surge of COVID-19, to protect her family, friends and all those who loved her, services will be held at a later date.
Should you desire, memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Children’s Home 3310 S Zapata Hwy, Laredo, TX 78046. You may express your condolences and sign the guestbook online at www.freddickey.com
Arrangements are under the care and direction of the funeral service professionals at Fred Dickey Funeral & Cremation Services, 1320 Trey Dr, Laredo, TX 78041, (956) 723-3611.