Rafael “Ralph” Reyes was born in Elgin, Texas, one of 11 children to the late Seberiano and Carmen Villalobos Reyes on October 24, 1931. Ralph entered Eternal Rest on Saturday, June 15, 2019 in Manor, Texas. The Reyes family moved throughout Texas working on farms and ranches before finally settling in Manor, Texas in 1947. Growing up, Ralph learned the importance of his Catholic Faith along with the values of hard work and family. This included a love for music, which would lead him to learn and play several instruments, to include the guitar, accordion, and piano.
Ralph worked several jobs beginning at an early age. During one of these jobs on a farm, he met the love of his life, Romana Samudio and they were married on August 19, 1951. Together this union brought them 10 wonderful and loving children. When asked about having a large family, Ralph would say, “I want them to put God first, family second and provide them with the best education.” He would go on to instill these values in his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Ralph wanted to provide for his family and his faith community. He taught himself to read blueprints and other schematic diagrams, which helped build homes for his family and his church - it was in these special places that his family and friends all lived and grew together in their faith. Along with the home he built to raise his children, he also helped build homes for them and their children as they grew older. It was easy to discern to all who lived in or visited these homes, the true pride and craftmanship that went into their construction.
Not only was Ralph instrumental in creating numerous physical foundations for bricks and mortar, but also in helping develop spiritual foundations for the entire faith community at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Manor. Beyond these structures, Ralph constructed a community of faith and service. He made sure that his family and friends were surrounded with an opportunity to practice their faith. Ralph planted trees and gardens, organized volunteers to maintain the beauty of the church and initiated and led religious retreats with the church community.
His family was his greatest treasure and he made sure that every day they knew how much he loved and cherished them. Ralph’s greatest legacy will be the values and blessings that he instilled in his family. All would learn the importance of prayer, the commitment to helping any person in need, the bonds of family and the value of education. His grandchildren continue to build on his legacy by pursuing and obtaining undergraduate and advanced degrees from prestigious universities, ranging from the University of California-Berkeley to West Point; the University of Texas to Texas A &M; Princeton to the University of Miami, as well as Loyola University at New Orleans, University of St. Thomas, and St. Mary’s University.
Ralph is preceded in death by both his parents; five brothers, Pablo, Ruperto, Luciano, Manuel, and Guadalupe; and three sisters, Felicita Reyes Muniz, Janie Reyes Luna, and Hilaria Reyes.
Ralph is survived by his wife of almost 68 years, Romana Samudio Reyes; his four sons, Rafael Reyes, Jr.; Richard Reyes and wife Linda, Rodolfo “Rudy” Reyes, and Santos Rene Reyes and wife Minu; his six daughters, Antonia and husband Lionel Falcon, Sylvia and husband Dave Reyes, Rachel and husband Winston Watkins, Rita and husband Gary Willoughby, Alicia Reyes, and Irma and husband John Webb; 19 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; his sister, Antonia and husband John Velasco; brother, David Reyes and wife Yvonne; and countless loving family and friends. Each of Ralph’s 10 children, 19 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren are committed to honor his legacy into this world as they play their instruments, serve their families and faith communities, and build places to raise families.
Ralph’s wife Ramona of 67 years and all his family are honored to receive the prayers and support from the many people of several faith traditions and nationalities, in addition to those of Manor. The family of Rafael Reyes wishes to thank each and every one for the thoughtful prayers, phone calls, visits, and acts of kindness; you all will never be forgotten and will remain in our hearts and prayers always. Memorial contributions can be sent to www.natl-cursillo.org or mailed to the National Cursillo Center, P.O. Box 799, Jarrell, TX, 76537.
Family and friends will gather at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church of Manor on Thursday, June 20th from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM with a recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:00 PM. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Friday, June 21st at 10:00 AM with Father George Joseph presiding. Christian Burial will follow at the Manor Cemetery.
National Cursillo Movement
P.O.Box 799, Jarrell, TX, 76537., Jarrell TX 76537