Maria RODELA PENA 1918-2016

Photo of Maria RODELA PENA.
Map of the El Potrero area south of  Villaldama, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Map of the El Potrero area south of Villaldama, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

View Maria’s records transcribed in Spanish and translated into English in a pdf document.


Maria RODELA PENA was born September 08, 1918, at the Hacienda del Potrero, Nuevo Leon, Mexico record entry #04 from January 01, 1919 in Villaldama parish.
Her parents were Benito RODELA and Viviana PENA. She was born at 6 a.m. and was presented by Benito Rodela. Witnesses were Norberto CISNEROS and Gabriel GONZALES.

Birth record of Maria RODELA TREVINO.
Birth record of Maria RODELA TREVINO.

Maria was baptized December 28, 1918 in Villaldama parish, Nuevo Leon, Mexico record entry #380. Her parents were Benito RODELA and Viviana PENA. Padrinos were Catarino BOTELLO and Victoria ALBARADO.

Baptism record of Maria RODELA TREVINO.
Baptism record of Maria RODELA TREVINO.

Maria immigrated across the U.S./Mexico border July 18, 1919 through Laredo, Texas with her family and five siblings. Crossing card #1606 states she was 10 months old going to Laredo, Tex. View her manifest #1606 for more information.

Crossing card #1606,  July 18, 1919.
Crossing card #1606, July 18, 1919.
Manifest #1606, July 18, 1919.
Manifest #1606, July 18, 1919.
Picture of Maria with her father Benito and mother Viviana, siblings Carmen, Andres, Trinidad,  Ana Maria and the blur on the right is Guadalupe. The partial stamp at the top reads, LAREDO.
Father Benito 37 and mother Viviana 33, Carmen 13 (top right), Andres 11, Trinidad 5 (far left), Maria 10 months, Ana Maria 8, Guadalupe 3 (on his father’s lap). The partial stamp at the top reads, LAREDO.
[I believe this is immigration photo from July 18, 1919.]
Maria RODELA PENA from her family photo.
Maria RODELA PENA, 10 months old.

In the 1920 US census, Benito 30 and wife Beviano 28 lived in Frio County, Texas with their children Carma 14, Andres 13, Anna 9, Trinita 6, Lupe 5 and Mary 2. Entries begin line 84.

1920 U.S. Census for Benito RODELA and family.
1920 U.S. Census for Benito RODELA and family.

In the 1930 Mexican census, Andres RODELA DOMINGUES 78 lived in El Potrero, Villaldama, Nuevo Leon, Mexico with his daughter Rosalia 54, son Dionicio 38, Dionicio’s children Agapita 13, Arturo 10, Feliciana 8 and Dora 6, Maria [RODELA PENA] 13, Jose GOMEZ 28 and Elio GOMEZ 2.

1930 Mexican Census, Maria lives with her grandfather and family in El Potrero, Nuevo Leon.
1930 Mexican Census, Maria lives with her grandfather and family in El Potrero, Nuevo Leon.

Maria and Ramon VILLARREAL TREVINO were married February 19, 1939 in Nueces County, Texas file #1939017043, filed February 11, 1939.

Maria’s Marriage photos, U.S. Census and Corpus Christi, Texas city directory documents included on Ramon VILLARREAL TREVINO page.

News clipping from September 24, 1940 about Maria and her first-born daughter, Mary.
News clipping from September 24, 1940 about Maria and her first-born daughter, Mary.
Animated clip of Maria from a photo, 1947.
Second animated clip of Maria from a photo, 1947.

Maria’s petition for naturalization was granted March 25, 1955 in Corpus Christi, Texas, document #3238, first and second page. Witnesses for the affidavit were Adan RODRIGUEZ GUZMAN and John GERNIOTTIS. There was an additional affidavit witnessed March 07, 1955 by Evangeline VALVERDE.

Ramon and Maria in the naturalization office, 1955.
Ramon and Maria in the naturalization office, 1955.
Petition for naturalization, page 1.
Petition for naturalization, page 1.
Petition for naturalization, page 2.
Petition for naturalization, page 2.

Maria died July 26, 2016 in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was buried at Rose Hill Memorial Park, Corpus Christi.

Gravestone where Maria is buried at Rose Hill Memorial Park in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Gravestone where Maria is buried at Rose Hill Memorial Park in Corpus Christi, Texas.
In loving memory of Maria RODELA VILLARREAL.

On the morning of July 26, 2016 Maria Rodela Villarreal passed peacefully at age 97 after a long illness. She was being cared for and comforted by her loving family in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Maria was born September 08, 1918 at the Hacienda del Potrero, a small ranch in Nuevo Leon, Mexico to Benito Rodela and Viviana Pena.
Maria immigrated to Texas with her parents and siblings in July of 1919, where her mother passed when Maria was two years old. Not long after, her father died. Maria’s oldest brother Andres Rodela took charge of his siblings and brought them to London Community south of Corpus Christi in the mid 1930s.
Maria worked at the Lehman cotton farm where she met Ramon Villarreal, and they were married February 11, 1939. Ramon and Maria lived in the home that he built at 1315 Maguey Street, where they would raise five children and many grand-children.
Maria was a devoted mother, grand-mother and great-grandmother, with a quiet angelic manner and gentle sense of humor. Maria had an unwavering faith in God and saw the hand of the divine in her everyday life. She had an exceptional green thumb and loved working outside in her garden. Maria’s favorite flowers were hibiscus. She was an excellent cook, famous for the sweet treats she made at Christmas.
Maria was preceded in death by her parents and all eight of her siblings, her abiding husband Ramon Villarreal and her son Gilberto Casimiro Villarreal.
As a family, we deeply mourn the loss of our precious and special matriarch, Maria. We are grateful for the prayers of countless friends who were blessed to have known her.