Arabelia Ramirez 86, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday February 5, 2017 in Tyler, Texas. She was born in Congregacion Garza in Mexico to Juan Flores-Chapa and Santos Gomez-Villareal on June 13, 1930.
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Arabelia was a devoted wife and mother. She was preceded in death in 1975 by her beloved husband, Gilberto G. Ramirez, founder of Gilbert's El Charro Restaurants in Tyler. she was a member of The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.
Arabelia's absolute joys in life were her children. At age 18, when she and Gilberto were married, she left her adoring family in Mexico. She started the grand adventure of her life in Tyler, Texas. Gilberto worked hard establishing his restaurant business, and she worked just as hard at home raising their 7 children. Arabelia often marveled at the fact that she left Mexico alone and ended up with such a large and loving family. In 1994 , Arabelia embraced her adopted country by becoming a naturalized US citizen.
She is survived by: sisters Hermila Flores-Perales of Reynosa, Mexico, and Elvira Flores of Tyler; sons, Gilbert Ramirez, Tony Ramirez, Gus Ramirez, and Rudy Ramirez; daughters, Ana Maria Ramirez-Vela, Rosa Maria Ramirez, and Martha Maria Ramirez all of Tyler; stepdaughter, Berta Ramirez-Garza of Dallas; daughters-in-law, Magda Nanez Ramirez, Patsy Davidson Ramirez, and Julie Simpson; sons-in-law, Cesar Garza and Manny Vela. She was blessed with fifteen grandchildren, twenty-five great-grandchildren, two great-greatgrandchildren, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews whom she adored all of her life.
Arabelia, a devout Catholic, enjoyed serving as a Eucharistic Minister at both the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe. As long as she was physically able, she attended mass regularly. Arabelia developed deep friendships with fellow parishioners and clergy members, often inviting them to breakfast or a cup of coffee at her home. For her outstanding service to the church, she received a medal and recognition from His Holiness, Pope John Paul II in 2004. In the last years of her life, attending church became more and more difficult for Arabelia, but Maria Retana, her dedicated sitter, would take her to mass, knowing what an important part of her life it had been.
The family would like to thank and express their gratitude to Maria Retana, Melinda Nava and Alicia Graham for their patience and gentle care of their mother in the last five years of her life. They took care of Arabelia as if she were family.
Visitation and rosary will be held at Lloyd James Funeral Home in Tyler on Friday, February 24th from 6PM to 8PM. Funeral mass will be on Saturday, February 25th at 100PM at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception with the Most Reverend Bishop Joseph Strickland presiding, interment to follow at Liberty Hill Cemetery.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Feb. 17, 2017