Our Beloved and Precious Arnold Vera was called home to be with our Lord on Saturday, May 16, with his family by his side, at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston. He was born in Rio Grande City to Arnoldo Vera, Sr. and Petra Gonzalez.

Arnold, fondly known as "Pizza," was preceded in death by his father, Arnoldo Vera, Sr. and grandparents, Amado Jr. and Hortensia (Saenz) Vera and Abelino and Lucinda Gonzalez.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Yoli Garza Vera, who made his life complete for the last 22 wonderful years, traveling and seeing the world; his cherished daughters, Ashley Nicole, Vanessa Renee; loving mother, Petra Gonzalez Vera, sisters, Yolanda (Jim) Ford, and Hortensia (Roy) Pena.

He is also survived by his in-laws, Oscar L. and Yolanda Garza; sisters-in-law Dr. Alison Garza, Gloria Anne (Balta) Perez, and Clarissa Garza; brothers-in-law, Oscar L. (Imelda) Garza Jr., Dr. Jim Garza and numerous nieces and nephews.

He leaves behind family and friends saddened but grateful for the chance to share his joy and love of life. For those who knew Arnold, know that there was nothing that he cherished or enjoyed more than his family and the love of God.

The women in his life, his wife, daughters, mother and sisters were what made him live his life to the fullest. Through the years Arnold was an active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, A.C.T.S. as well as First Baptist Church in Edinburg. Throughout his journey Arnold embraced all challenges and victories as GodĀ's faithful servant.

He graduated from Rio Grande City High School after lettering in both basketball and track. He went on to Pan American University in Edinburg where at the time he became one of the rare men to make a major university basketball squad as a totally unknown walk-on. It was here that his renowned coach, Abe Lemons, nicknamed him "Pizza."

After a short stint as a coach at Central Texas College in Killeen, Texas, Arnold had a full and successful career that included working for the cities of Mission and Edinburg as a Public Works Director. As of recent, he was also in construction and development.

Yoli, Ashley, Vanessa and his mother, Petra, express their heartfelt gratitude to friends, family and especially his sister, Yolanda Ford, who not only provided unconditional and nurturing care of Arnold during his courageous battle with Leukemia, but also provided him with the selfless gift of a bone marrow donation in his time of need. Lenny Yowell, Arnold's beloved nephew, demonstrated enormous kindness by opening both his spiritual heart and his home to his "Uncle Beve" for the last year-and-a-half; his

contribution cannot be overestimated.

Pallbearers will be brothers-in law Roy Pena, Jim Ford and son Christopher, Baltazar Perez and son Marcos (Bubba), Oscar Garza Jr. and son Oscar III and Dr. Jim Garza and son, Jacob.

He was a hard working man that took great pride in the work of his hands. If you had the privilege of meeting Arnold you would have walked away with a new friend. He always greeted and treated others with respect that made him a joy to be around. Arnold will be remembered as a very generous man, spoiling his family with gifts without needing a special occasion. He will leave the ones that knew and loved him with memories of how special he made them feel while they were together.

Arnold lived a life that personifies "It does not matter how you started, but how you finished." He finished his life knowing Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior and loving others.

The family will receive friends Thursday, May 21, from 4 to

7 p.m. at Memorial Funeral Home, Edinburg, with the Chaplet of The

Divine Mercy Rosary at 7 p.m. A celebration of ArnoldĀ's life will take place at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 215 N. 16th Ave., Edinburg on Friday at 10 a.m., with no graveside services to follow. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the A.C.T.S. Retreats at Edinburg Sacred Heart Church or the McAllen Holy Spirit Church.

Arnold will always be a "GIANT OF A MAN" in the hearts of many.

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