Mrs. Martha Villalobos Galligan, 70, of Mission, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully at her residence in Mission on July 3, 2010. Martha was born on July 13, 1939, in Lockhart, Texas, to Refugio and Felipa Villalobos; she was one of 19 children.
Martha grew up singing and worshiping, along with her brothers and sisters, in churches in Lockhart and had a strong personal faith in God since her childhood. Teachers recognized she had a strong mind and encouraged her to continue her education. With the help of a scholarship, she was able to attend the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor. Her quest for knowledge continued and she obtained a B.A. from Hardin Simmons University in 1963; a Master of Arts in English from UT-Pan Am in 1986 and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in English Education in 1994, at. the age of 54. She, along with her husband, Bob, came to Mission as teachers in 1964.
She taught elementary students in Mission and Weslaco, as well as high school English in Mission, prior to teaching at UT-Pan Am, where she was a professor until her retirement in 2002. Martha was honored to serve on the Board of Trustees of UMHB for the last 19 years. As a tribute of her gratitude to Mary-Hardin Baylor University for having given her the opportunity to obtain a college education, a scholarship fund has been established in her name at Mary-Hardin Baylor University, Belton, Texas.
Service to her church was always a part of her life, having taught Bible classes to all ages at different times and, in earlier years, being a part of the music ministry of various churches. She has been a member and teacher of the Gleaners adult bible class at Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen for many years.
Martha and Bob were married for more than 46 wonderful and exciting years, accomplishing many goals they set for themselves. With an easy laugh and pleasant disposition, she was happiest planning trips and events (particularly Christmas) for her family and many friends. Family meant everything and she was happiest supporting her children and grandchildren in all their endeavors.
Martha is survived by her husband Robert “Bob” Galligan; her sons, Robert (Veronica) and Keith (Jennifer); six grandchildren: Robert Michael, Nathalie, Patricia Lucille, Eli, Owen and Stella; and her brothers and sisters: Mary Galarza, Cruz Bermudez, Luisa Silvas, Leonor Villescaz, Connie Smith, Refugio Villalobos, Marcos Villalobos, Roy Villalobos, Elias Villalobos, Ruben Villalobos, Rebecca Moreno, Beatrice Ramirez and Olivia Debourque.
A memorial service was held on Wednesday, July 7, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Texas.
Arrangements under the direction of McCaleb Funeral Home, Weslaco, Texas.
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