Maria “Pola” Saenz died at her home in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, May 24, 2020. Born in Santa Cruz, Texas on February 12, 1926, she is preceded in death by her husband, Fernando Saenz Jr., her parents, Eulalio and Eloisa Garza, and brothers, Raul Garza and Jose E. Garza.
A child of the depression and a member of the greatest generation, she possessed an iron will and determination that allowed her to overcome the challenges of her time and age, giving her the fortitude to live 94 amazing years.
She was a proud graduate of Benavides High School Class of 1943 in Benavides, Texas. She was married to Fernando for 61 yrs. After marrying Fernando, they became lifelong residents of Alice, Texas. She was devoted to her husband, to her three sons and their families, as well as giving support to many members of her extended family.
Pola was known as the family historian and resident genealogist. Blessed with a phenomenal memory of family history, births, marriages, and family relationships, she was constantly sought-after and asked to trace many family members’ close or distant relationships to someone in the family tree. She never wrote anything down. She just carried it in her memory bank.
Her home in Alice seemed to have a revolving door. There was always a constant and consistent stream of friends, neighbors, and relatives, just coming over or dropping by for conversation and pan de dulce con café or a taquito of some kind. She was a terrific cook and baker, and always ran her home like a fine-tuned instrument. She loved conversation, parties, and celebrations of all kinds. She hosted many of them at her home over the years. She was kind, loving, generous, and always a great listener. Unless, of course there was a football game on TV.
A devout Catholic and parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church to her last day, she faithfully prayed and received communion on a weekly basis.
Pola is survived by sons Gilbert (Cecilia), Roel (Sylvia) and Hector (Patricia); grandchildren Erika (John) Whittington, Vanessa (Travis) Howard, David Saenz, Daniel Saenz, Katherine (Pechler) Alex, Lorien (Nigel) Smith, Brian (Jessica) Saenz, Ian (Mandy) Saenz; eleven great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. Also surviving Pola is her constant companion and beloved sister Catalina (Cato) Cantu.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any chapter of Meals On Wheels or to your local Food Bank.
Services will be private.
Arrangements are entrusted to Holmgreen Mortuary, 2061 East Main Street, Alice, Texas.
Condolences for the family may be offered at www.holmgreenmortuaryinc.com and shared via Holmgreen Mortuary Facebook.
Meals on Wheels c/o Community Action Corp. of South Texas
204 E. First St., Alice TX 78332
Alice Food Pantry
311 E. Main St., Alice TX 78332