OBITUARY

Viola De La Garza

Play Tribute Movie

Artistic, religious, dedicated, age-defying, caring, vibrant, energetic: These are just some of the characteristics of Viola de la Garza. Born in a rural town in Panama, Viola worked hard in her youth and did what she could to help her parents and siblings. Her dedication won her several scholarships to the United States. They provided her the opportunity to study at Arizona State University and Texas Woman’s University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. During her academic visits to the U.S., she traveled extensively and visited many cities, including Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. After returning to Panama, Viola began teaching at U.S. government schools in the Panama Canal Zone. It was during that period of her life, that she met the love of her life: Henry de la Garza M.D., an American physician who had left Texas to work in the Panama Canal Zone.

Viola and her husband had two wonderful children: Lourdes and Henry (Jr.). Viola was a devoted mother who did all she could to have her children succeed. The family lived in the idyllic “Atlantic Side” of the Panama Canal Zone, and for over twelve years, their home was less than a mile from the Caribbean Sea. She taught Spanish at U.S. government schools for several years but finally decided to be a full-time homemaker. She also continued to take classes, paint, and cook. Some of her cooking specialties at the time included ceviche, Panamanian tamales, empanadas, flan, and Martha Washington cakes. In 1983, she and her husband left her beloved Panama and moved to College Station. She appreciated the calmness of College Station and its academic vibrancy. She was soon active in many organizations, including the A&M Garden Club, The Brazos Valley Art League, Bryan/College Station Newcomers Club, and Aggie Moms Club. She also took as many classes as she could in painting, flower arranging, computers, and fitness.

Viola was modest yet proud of her children. Lourdes graduated from Texas A&M, holds two master’s degrees, and is a physician. Henry, meanwhile, graduated from Rice University and earned his law degree from Duke University. He is a lawyer with the Office of the Attorney General in Austin, Texas. In 1990, Viola gained another son in the form of Roland Flanagan M.D., who married Lourdes. Roland, a pediatrician, was always loving and patient towards Viola, and she loved him dearly. In the 1990s, Viola took on the role of grandmother, a role that she relished. She went out of her way to help her four grandchildren: Matthew, Madeline, Mark, and Maci, whom she endearingly called “La Bebi.” Viola loved her grandkids and went the extra mile for them. For example, she handmade the baptism outfits for all of her four grandchildren and attended all of their births and graduations. She also was very proud of their successes: Matthew graduated from Texas A&M and is currently working for FOCUS, a Catholic outreach organization, in Missouri; Madeline graduated from Texas A&M and is currently a first-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston; Mark is a sophomore at Rice University; and Maci is a sophomore at The John Cooper School in The Woodlands, Texas.

One of Viola’s proudest moments was becoming a U.S. citizen in 1993. For her, it was an extremely important decision, even after having worked for the U.S. government and after living in an American territory and Texas for many years. She took her responsibilities as a U.S. citizen very seriously and made sure to vote in all primaries and general elections. Losing her husband in 2004 was devastating to Viola, but Viola – always strong – was able to find a new and different strength. Viola became increasingly independent and active. For example, she tremendously enjoyed lunches with her dear friend of many years, Nadia McGrann, and their group of friends; making her famously delicious flan for Garden Club events; participating in Adoration on Saturday evenings at St. Thomas Aquinas Church; going to visit her grandchildren for holidays and school functions; talking on the phone with her sister, Vilma James, of Houma, Louisiana; making empanadas for special gatherings; trying new recipes; and following current events on her computer and iPad. For fifteen years after her husband’s passing, Viola exuded a dynamic energy wherever she went, even after she stopped driving just a few years ago.

Slowing down frustrated Viola, and it was impressive how she kept going. Even on the day before her passing, Viola talked about making a cake that she had never made before. In addition, she was looking forward to more events, especially the upcoming wedding of her granddaughter Madeline to Grant Kirchhofer, a graduate of Texas A&M, who greatly appreciated Viola’s cooking and would speak Spanish to her.

Sadly, on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, Viola passed away in The Woodlands, Texas, surrounded by her children, her son-in-law, and her grandchildren. It was as dignified, spiritual, and peaceful as a death could be, but her sudden passing was a shock. It is unbelievable that vibrant, caring, and energetic Viola is gone. She will be missed terribly.

Memorials may be made to the A&M Garden Club at amgardenclub.com

May she rest in peace in the Glory of God.

  • FAMILY

  • Henry De La Garza Jr., Son
  • Lourdes & Roland Flanagan, Daughter & Son-in-law
  • Matthew Flanagan, Grandson
  • Madeline Flanagan, Granddaughter
  • Mark Flanagan, Grandson
  • Maci Flanagan, Granddaughter
  • Concepcion Lopez, Father
  • Eva Cigarruista, Mother
  • Henry De La Garza, Husband
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Henry De La Garza
  • Roland Flanagan
  • Matthew Flanagan
  • Mark Flanagan
  • Madeline Flanagan
  • Mary Catherine Flanagan
  • Grant Kirchhofer

Services

  • VISITATION Thursday, March 28, 2019
  • ROSARY SERVICE Thursday, March 28, 2019
  • MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL Friday, March 29, 2019
REMEMBERING

Viola De La Garza

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Artistic, religious, dedicated, age-defying, caring, vibrant, energetic: These are just some of the characteristics of Viola de la Garza. Born in a rural town in Panama, Viola worked hard in her youth and did what she could to help her parents and siblings. Her dedication won her several scholarships to the United States. They provided her the opportunity to study at Arizona State University and Texas Woman’s University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. During her academic visits to the U.S., she traveled extensively and visited many cities, including Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. After returning to Panama, Viola began teaching at U.S. government schools in the Panama Canal Zone. It was during that period of her life, that she met the love of her life: Henry de la Garza M.D., an American physician who had left Texas to work in the Panama Canal Zone.
Viola and her husband had two wonderful children: Lourdes and Henry (Jr.). Viola was a devoted mother who did all she could to have her children succeed. The family lived in the idyllic “Atlantic Side” of the Panama Canal Zone, and for over twelve years, their home was less than a mile from the Caribbean Sea. She taught Spanish at U.S. government schools for several years but finally decided to be a full-time homemaker. She also continued to take classes, paint, and cook. Some of her cooking specialties at the time included ceviche, Panamanian tamales, empanadas, flan, and Martha Washington cakes.
In 1983, she and her husband left her beloved Panama and moved to College Station. She appreciated the calmness of College Station and its academic vibrancy. She was soon active in many organizations, including the A&M Garden Club, The Brazos Valley Art League, Bryan/College Station Newcomers Club, and Aggie Moms Club. She also took as many classes as she could in painting, flower arranging, computers, and fitness.
Viola was modest yet proud of her children. Lourdes graduated from Texas A&M, holds two master’s degrees, and is a physician. Henry, meanwhile, graduated from Rice University and earned his law degree from Duke University. He is a lawyer with the Office of the Attorney General in Austin, Texas.
In 1990, Viola gained another son in the form of Roland Flanagan M.D., who married Lourdes. Roland, a pediatrician, was always loving and patient towards Viola, and she loved him dearly. In the 1990s, Viola took on the role of grandmother, a role that she relished. She went out of her way to help her four grandchildren: Matthew, Madeline, Mark, and Maci, whom she endearingly called “La Bebi.” Viola loved her grandkids and went the extra mile for them. For example, she handmade the baptism outfits for all of her four grandchildren and attended all of their births and graduations. She also was very proud of their successes: Matthew graduated from Texas A&M and is currently working for FOCUS, a Catholic outreach organization, in Missouri; Madeline graduated from Texas A&M and is currently a first-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston; Mark is a sophomore at Rice University; and Maci is a sophomore at The John Cooper School in The Woodlands, Texas.
One of Viola’s proudest moments was becoming a U.S. citizen in 1993. For her, it was an extremely important decision, even after having worked for the U.S. government and after living in an American territory and Texas for many years. She took her responsibilities as a U.S. citizen very seriously and made sure to vote in all primaries and general elections.
Losing her husband in 2004 was devastating to Viola, but Viola – always strong – was able to find a new and different strength. Viola became increasingly independent and active. For example, she tremendously enjoyed lunches with her dear friend of many years, Nadia McGrann, and their group of friends; making her famously delicious flan for Garden Club events; participating in Adoration on Saturday evenings at St. Thomas Aquinas Church; going to visit her grandchildren for holidays and school functions; talking on the phone with her sister, Vilma James, of Houma, Louisiana; making empanadas for special gatherings; trying new recipes; and following current events on her computer and iPad. For fifteen years after her husband’s passing, Viola exuded a dynamic energy wherever she went, even after she stopped driving just a few years ago.
Slowing down frustrated Viola, and it was impressive how she kept going. Even on the day before her passing, Viola talked about making a cake that she had never made before. In addition, she was looking forward to more events, especially the upcoming wedding of her granddaughter Madeline to Grant Kirchhofer, a graduate of Texas A&M, who greatly appreciated Viola’s cooking and would speak Spanish to her.
Sadly, on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, Viola passed away in The Woodlands, Texas, surrounded by her children, her son-in-law, and her grandchildren. It was as dignified, spiritual, and peaceful as a death could be, but her sudden passing was a shock. It is unbelievable that vibrant, caring, and energetic Viola is gone. She will be missed terribly.
May she rest in peace in the Glory of God.