Olivia Contreras, 96, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and lifelong resident of Laredo, Texas was called to her final rest on October 20, 2023 peacefully, surrounded by her loving family.
Olivia is preceded in death by her parents, Filiberto and Elvira Sandoval. Her beloved husband, Alfonso Contreras, Sister, Alicia Moran and brother, Juan Sandoval.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Minerva (Reyes) Soto, Alfonso (Yolanda) Contreras, Arturo (Imelda) Contreras, Olivia (Mario) Rodriguez, Rebecca Contreras, and Veronica Contreras. She is survived by her younger sister Elvira Gonzalez (Pablo), 13 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.
Olivia led a good and simple life. Together with her “Ponchito,” they raised a good strong family. She worked hard for everything she earned: a strong marriage and a good home life for her family. That was the recipe for her success. Hard work, the main ingredient for this success defined “our mother.” At 18 years of age, Olivia was a familiar face at “el centro” where she worked at Kress Department Store until a year later, love came into her life.
It was “love at first sight” for Poncho and Olivia after her good friend, “La Beve” introduced them. “El es para mi.” Olivia would quip when she retold that story many times, always smiling. Sure enough, six months after they met, they married. Poncho, a WWII Purple Heart recipient, worked in carpentry after serving his country and with their own hands, together they built their house where it stands now since 1968. Our father dedicated himself to carpentry in order to support a growing family, while Olivia dedicated herself to mold a strong family. Together they shared the good times and made the best of the bad.
One love they shared was the dance floor in an era where social life was simpler and romantic. Mom sewed her own dress for each dance and assured her Ponchito was dressed “como catrin” with his “trajes de Joe Brand.” They were quite the couple on the dance floor where everyone earned their social status. They never missed a dance when the Valdez Brothers played and were sure to whirl to “their song,» “Como Han Pasado los Años.”
Our mother, Olivia, was not one to lead a sedentary life. In 1978, she received her GED and went on to work for LISD for 25 years. She first worked as a bus monitor, then as a teacher’s assistant and lastly as a substitute teacher. Her main assignment focused on special needs students for whom she always held a fondness. They returned the kindness as they referred to her as, “Grandma.”
Leading a good life resulted in good humor, a great trait of hers. Olivia loved to tell jokes and loved to hear her audience laugh, even more. If you heard laughter, you knew Olivia was the center of it all.
Home was her focus. She worked to maintain a clean house and her home boasted the aroma of a good home cooked meal. Olivia loved cooking for her family, neighbors, and friends. Those recipes have been handed down the family line and this recipe for a good strong family has been well established by Poncho and Olivia.
Our family would like to extend a sincere appreciation to our mother’s devoted caregivers: Rebecca Contreras, daughter, Consuelo Mendez, Marisela Gonzalez and Dr. Oscar Gutierrez-Vizuet and Serenity Hospice Care, her grandkids, Jerry Soto, MSN RN, and Melissa Rodriguez, BSN RN.
Pallbearers will be: Gerardo Soto, Alejandro Soto, Daniel Contreras, Arturo Contreras Jr., Mario Rodriguez Jr., and Elias Espinoza. Honorary Pallbearers will be Alfonso Contreras Jr., and Arturo Contreras.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 26, from 5:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. and a vigil of the deceased will be at 7:00 p.m. at Fred Dickey Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be departing from the funeral home on October 27 at 10:30 a.m. to Blessed Sacrament Church for a Christian mass at 11:00 a.m.
Rite and Committal and Interment will follow to our Father’s plot at the Laredo City Cemetery – Veteran’s Section.
You may express your condolences, share your favorite memories, and sign the guestbook online at www.freddickey.com
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care and direction of funeral service at Fred Dickey Funeral and Cremation services, 1320 Trey Dr., Laredo,
Texas 78041, (956) 723-3611.
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2023
Time: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Rosary at 7 pm
Date: Friday, October 27, 2023