Willie Cortez 74, passed away on Thursday, July 16, 2020, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in Austin, Texas. He was born September 10, 1945 to Eusebio and Ednedina Castillo Cortez in Rosebud, Texas. Mr. Cortez lived in Rosebud during his childhood and graduated from Rosebud High School in 1964.
He was united in marriage to his soulmate, Mary Rosalyn Beard 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. Cortez moved to Bracketville, Texas where he taught until 1974. He then moved back to his hometown where he taught among other things, Spanish and History. During his time in Rosebud, Willie and his wife Mary were involved in many community activities including; coaching little league sports, teaching religion and community education while they were busy raising their five children. In 1985, Willie felt that God was calling him to become more involved with the church and entered into The Diaconate Program for the Diocese of Austin. He was ordained as a Deacon in 1988. He remained in Rosebud until his first retirement from teaching in 1991. He then moved to Austin where he began assisting and eventually managing Our Lady’s Family Center. During this time, he also began working with the St. Mary’s Cathedral in Austin. Eventually, becoming responsible for instructing other Diaconate Candidates along their journey. In 2003, Willie returned to teaching for ten years at Rockdale High School. Following his retirement from teaching, Willie and his wife began working at Sacred Heart Catholic Church until due to health issues, Mr. and Mrs. Cortez could no longer serve. Mr. And Mrs. Cortez celebrated 54 years of marriage in June 2020.
He is survived by: his wife of 54 years, Mary Cortez of Austin; Bothers: Vincente Puente Jr. and wife Rosie of Lorena, and Raymond Puente and wife Nancy of Rockdale; Sister, Janie Shoemaker of Dallas; Children: Joseph Cortez and wife, April of San Angelo, Timothy Cortez of Denver, Colorado; Michelle Miller and husband, Chuck of DeLeon, Texas; Christopher Cortez of in 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 numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eusebio Cortez and Ednedina Puente; step-father, Vincente Puente Sr.
We would like to thank the Baylor Scott and White Health System for the care of Willie Cortez over the last several years, especially Dr. Elena Slavacheva.
Due to COVID, the family will be having private Visitation and Funeral services. The service will be streamed on Sacred Heart FaceBook Page starting 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 for those unable to attend in person.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Our Kids at Heart, 5909 Reicher Street, Austin, Texas 78723. A program that Willie enjoyed working
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