Leonel Mejia, Sr., 86, died Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009, at Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen

Born in San Manuel, Mr. Mejia had lived in Edinburg all of his life. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Edinburg. He was a proud veteran of the US Army, serving during WWII; he fought in Battle of the Bulge on the beaches of Normandy, with the 12th Division Infantry and was a recipient of the Purple Heart.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Mateo and Antonia Mejia; two brothers, Benjamin and Gilberto Mejia; and a sister, Leonor Perez.

Mr. Mejia is survived by his wife, Velva R. Mejia of Edinburg; four children, Leonel (Anna) Mejia, Jr. of McAllen, Baldemar (Gracie) Mejia of Houston, Texas, Lauro (Rita) Mejia of League City, Texas and Velva (Michael) Sanchez of Edinburg; seven grandchildren, Leonel David, Baldemar Jr., Max, Michael, Kevin, Vanessa and Melina; a great-grandchild, Jesse; a sister, Carmen Gorena of Edinburg; and two brothers, Rosendo Mejia of Edinburg and Jose Armin Mejia of Donna.

A rosary was held Jan. 2 at Memorial Funeral Home. Funeral service were held Jan. 3 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Edinburg. Interment followed at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Edinburg. Military honors were conducted by VFW Post 7473 of Elsa and Americas Last Patrol Post #3 of RGV.

Funeral services are under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home in Edinburg.