Mary Beard Cortez of Austin, 76, went to her eternal reward on Friday, April 30, 2021 in Comanche, Texas. She was born April 27,1945 to Amos Clifton and Madalyn Louise Beard in Fort Worth, Texas. Mrs. Cortez lived primarily in the Arlington/ Fort Worth area during her childhood. She graduated from Eastern Hills High School, Fort Worth, Texas
She was united in marriage to her soulmate, Willie Joe Cortez, on June 18, 1966. The couple made their first home in Stephenville, Texas where both were completing teaching degrees at Tarleton State University. Following graduation, Mr. and Mrs. Cortez moved to Bracketville, Texas where she taught until 1974. She then moved to her husband’s hometown, Rosebud, Texas, where she taught special education at the elementary, junior high and high school level throughout the years. During her time in Rosebud, Mary and her husband, Willie, were involved in many community activities including coaching little league sports, teaching religion and providing community education while they were busy raising their five children. Her husband was ordained as Deacon for the Diocese of Austin in 1988 and Mary served along with him. She returned to college at Our Lady of the Lake and received a certification as a Director of Religious Education. She served as the Director of Religious Education at St. Ann’s Catholic church of Rosebud until around 1992 when she followed her husband’s call to Austin where they served at St. Mary’s Cathedral. She also began a new teaching position as a special education teacher at Rockdale Jr. High School. In 2013, Mary and her husband retired from teaching and began their full-time service with Sacred Heart Catholic Church until health became an issue for both in early 2020. Mary considered her primary task was to make sure Willie stayed as healthy as possible so he could continue his service to others. After serving others together for their 54 years of marriage, she lost the love of her life in July 2020.
She is survived by: Brother: Michael Eugene Beard and wife Fritzlyn of Arlington, Texas, Brothers-in-law: Vincente Puente Jr. and wife, Rosie of Lorena, and Raymond Puente and wife, Nancy, of Rockdale; Sister-in-law, Janie Shoemaker of Dallas; Aunt: Irene Beard Morton of Cleburne, Texas. Children: Joseph Cortez of San Angelo, Texas, Timothy Cortez of Denver, Colorado; Michelle Miller and husband, Chuck, of DeLeon, Texas; Christopher Cortez of Austin, Texas, Martin Cortez and wife, Belinda, of Austin; Grandchildren: Shannon Tate and spouse, Derek, of Georgetown, Jonathan Cortez of Austin, Justin Cortez of Belton, Charles Miller of Austin, Skyllar Bowdy of San Angelo, Javier Sauceda of Austin, Micaela Miller of DeLeon, Billy Cortez of San Angelo, 2 great-grandchildren; Jaxson and Kyson Tate of Georgetown and nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, Willie Joe Cortez, her parents, Amos Clifton and Madalyn Louise Treadway Beard, and daughter-in law, April Oden Cortez.
The family would like to thank the Baylor Scott and White Health System, Stephen’s Home Health of Dublin, Comanche County Medical Center, CCS Hospice of Dublin for the care of Mary Cortez.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Our Kids at Heart, 5909 Reicher Street, Austin, Texas
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