Obituary of Lois P. Villaseñor
Our founder and matriarch, Mrs. Lois P. Villaseñor, age 87, resident of Austin, Texas, was called by our Heavenly Father on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles L. Villaseñor, Sr., her parents, Melquirez and Manuela Peña; her grandson, Alfred Douglas Dye; sisters, Matilda Mejia and Suzie; brother, Julio Peña; son-in-law, Donald Wayne Burrisk; sisters-in-law, Rosie Villaseñor Noguera, Esther “Bunny” Purvis, Christine Villaseñor, and brothers-in-law, Manuel Villaseñor, Julius Steve Villaseñor, Joe Carlos Villaseñor, Sebastian Noguera, and Hardy “Burl” Purvis, Jr. and by her nephews, Gilbert A. Villaseñor, Jr., and John Phillip Villaseñor.
Lois was born in Cuero, Texas, from humble beginnings, but endeavored to leave her mark on the world. Lois was a dedicated funeral director for over 40 years, tirelessly serving the East Austin Community. She was full of tenacity, vigor, and a sense of service to her community. Having guided and mentored many young funeral directors toward the professional excellence that is still present today, her legacy of dedication in serving families will continue long into the future.
When out on funeral services, you would see her beautifully dressed, the epitome of style. A consummate professional, she was a force of nature with the center of her life being Mission Funeral Home and her family. Lois was a trailblazer, truly unique, and a leader. She held high expectations for her businesses and served her community with empathy, compassion, and kindness. Lois believed that she and her staff should always provide exceptional service to the many families they served. She valued the trust all families placed in Mission Funeral Home and that is why she always strived to provide exceptional professional services and would always treat families with reverence and respect. She felt in her heart that every life should be honored and cherished.
Lois and her husband, Charles L. Villaseñor, moved from Houston to Austin more than 60 years ago to begin serving East Austin’s Hispanic community. Together, they understood then the need to provide funeral services to the families of East Austin and determined goals to ensure compassionate care and dignified service to all families in their time of grief. Lois knew this profession was very demanding, but those demands are what kept her going, kept her strong and kept her striving to give all she could to her community. She believed in giving from your heart and your hands, to be a guiding light to those families during their darkest hours, to offer comfort, a kind word, or to simply stop and listen to a story about the recently departed. She always made everyone feel at home and cared for when they walked through the doors of Mission Funeral Home.
She was a pioneer in her field. In 1961, Lois was one of only a handful of women who graduated from Commonwealth Mortuary College. During that time, it was a huge accomplishment for a woman, much less a minority woman, to become a funeral director. That was the beginning of a career full of tireless dedication, strength, and determination. As a petite Hispanic woman, she had to work three times as hard as anyone to show her skill and to command the respect she deserved.
She was the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Texas Funeral Service Commission as a 1989 appointee of the former Governor William (Bill) P. Clements, Jr. As a Commissioner, she served six years and was asked twice to serve as the Commission’s Interim Executive Director. She was recognized as one of Austin’s Outstanding Professional Women in 1978. Lois also served as a Travis County Grand Juror from 1963-1978. She was also a member of the following organizations: the Travis County Grand Jury Board, the Commission of Urban Renewal, the American Red Cross Chapter, the Ladies of Charity, the Catholic Daughters, and the Cursillistas. Lois held the offices of President, Vice President, and Treasurer of the LULAC Council No.85 and No. 650 District 7. Lois also served on Bishop John E. McCarthy’s Diocesan Forum and was a lifelong parishioner of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Austin, Texas.
Lois was an artist and truly loved to paint, enjoyed traveling, playing Bridge and gathering friends and family to take day trips to San Antonio to visit the Market Square and dine at Mi Tierra while listening to Mariachi music. A woman with a sense of adventure, she even obtained her pilot’s license. She especially treasured spending time in the company of her grandsons to whom she instilled valuable lifelong lessons of integrity, truthfulness and the importance of faithfulness to Our Heavenly Father, service to others and the pursuit of an education.
Lois is survived by her loving children, son, Charles L. Villaseñor II; daughters, Rebecca Villaseñor Burrisk and Melissa Villaseñor-Dye; two grandsons, Charles Douglas Dye and Spencer Keith Dye; brother, Adam Peña; nephews, Kenneth Villaseñor, John Villaseñor, Steve Villaseñor; as well as numerous other loving family members and friends.
Lois will be deeply missed, but her legacy continues to live on in Mission Funeral Home. She can be proud that Mission Funeral Home continues to grow and serve the Austin community.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in memory of Lois Peña Villaseñor, to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Austin, Texas.
Lie in Repose from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at Mission Funeral Home – East Side, 1615 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas.
Lie in Repose beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 1206 E. 9th Street, Austin, Texas.
Rosary Service accompanied by Mariachis at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 1206 E. 9th Street, Austin, Texas.
Lie in Repose from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 am on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 1206 E. 9th Street, Austin, Texas.
Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 1206 E. 9th Street, Austin, Texas.
Interment will follow at the Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota Street, Austin, Texas.To plant a tree in memory of Lois Villaseñor, please visit Tribute Store