June 9, 1932 – July 25, 2019
Mary Cárdenas Turk passed into the Lord’s warm embrace on July 25, 2019, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June. She was born María de Jesús Cárdenas on June 9, 1932. Her pregnant mother was visiting a friend in Monterrey, Mexico and Mary was delivered prematurely at the friend’s house. They brought her back across the border to Laredo in a shoe box during one of Mexico’s heat waves. This was the beginning of a wonderful and rich life. She dedicated her life to educating children. She earned her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Texas Womens College in Denton, Texas. She continued her education with a Masters Degree in Counseling and Administration from St. Marys University in San Antonio, Texas. She began her teaching in San Antonio career at Edgewood Independent School District and finished her career at Northside Independent School District. She taught all the elementary school grades, was a counselor, a principal, and wrote curriculum for the Character Education program. She was charged with implementing the kindergarten program and the Title IX program in all the schools at Northside. When she retired she moved to Austin, Texas to be close to her children and grandchildren. She had such an impact on some of her San Antonio teachers that they continued to visit her in Austin, as recently as last year. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Richard A., her father and mother, Justo & Matilda Cárdenas, her brother, Dr. Justo Cárdenas, her brother, Dr. José Angel Cárdenas, and her beloved son-in-law, Johnny Lambert, who she always referred to as “should’ve been a Mexican”. We know Richard was waiting at the gates of heaven for her and that Johnny was waiting inside with a Mariachi band and a margarita. She is survived by her son, Richard L. Turk and his wife, Janice, of Belton, Texas and her daughter, Terrie Lambert, of Austin, Texas, 5 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, her sister, Matilda Cárdenas Gonzalez of California, and her brother, Alfredo Cárdenas of Mexico City, Mexico, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and all the friends who loved her. She was a lover of life and people. She played piano, she sang, she danced, she was the life of the party. The greatest gift she gave to her family, besides her love, was the joy and tradition of her beautiful Mexican heritage. We know she is dancing across heaven, teaching the angels “La Granada”, while she plays her castanets. Mucho amor, Mamá.
Services will be Friday, August 9th at 2:00 pm at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 10205 N FM 620, with a reception to follow at the Oasis Retaurant, 6550 Comanche Trail. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Lustgarten Foundation, where 100% of their donations go to pancreatic cancer research. This is a devastating disease and we need to find a cure NOW.