Jose Maria Loya, 75, formerly of Brownsville and Edinburg, entered into eternal rest on Monday, September 26, 2011 of natural causes after a stroke at the Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veteran's Home in McAllen, Texas.

A Brownsville native, as a child, Joe along with his siblings helped their father operate the Brownsville Hat Factory. Spending summers in Texas, he was fond of spending time in Willacy County at the Tres Norias Ranch of Abundio Garcia and his family.

He graduated from Brownsville High School prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps in January of 1953. During his service in the Marine Corps, Joe earned the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Ribbon while serving as a machine gunner during the Korean War.

He received a Bachelor and Master's Degree from Pan American College and was a teacher at Faulk Jr. High and a high school counselor at Edinburg HS and Barbara Jordan HS in Houston, where he retired. He believed that getting an education was the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and improving one's life. He delighted in hearing back from students and learning about their progress and success.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Fidel and Tomasa Loya and a brother, Salvador.

Left behind to eternally treasure their memories of him are his children: Salvador "Sonny" (Eva), Norma Sylvia (Alejandro) Garcia, Servando "Sal" (Patricia), Sergio (Sherryl), and Sigifredo "Sigi" (Lauren) and their mother, Josefina G. "Chepa" Loya; and Jean Marie and John Mark Loya and their mother, Joscelyn B. Loya; fourteen grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren , and numerous nieces and nephews and other extended family members.

The interment of his cremains was held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission, TX with full military honors. Family and friends came together for a memorial rosary service at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home.

Local arrangements were entrusted to Darling-Mouser Funeral Home, 945 Palm Blvd., 546-7111.