ALMIRA FIDELIA MARTINEZ CANTÙ
EDINBURG - Almira Fidelia Martinez Cantu, 83, went to her heavenly home on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. Almira was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and educator who affected everyone with her love, humor and wit.
A descendant of the Llano Grande Land Grant awarded by Spain to Capitan Juan Jose Hinojosa in the mid 1700's, she was born to Arturo B. Martinez, a prominent Mercedes, TX pharmacist and businessman and Agripina Dominguez Martinez on May 27, 1938. She graduated from Mercedes High School in 1956. After attending Pan American College for one year, she transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. It was there that she met the love of her life and soulmate, Jose Rene Cantu, a UT Pharmacy School student. The couple was married in early 1961 following Rene's graduation. She followed Rene as he took pharmacy positions in Brownsville, where their first son, Nario Rene Cantu was born, San Antonio, where their second son Jimmy (Jaime Ricardo) Cantu was born, followed by a job in Mission, TX and finally settling in Edinburg, TX in 1969. The following year, Almira graduated from Pan American University and began teaching Physical Science at Edinburg Junior High. She was supportive in her husband's dream of opening Cantu's Pharmacy which opened October 1, 1970. She was largely responsible for the expansion of the Durable Medical Equipment Division. As an educator, she was known for her intelligence, sarcasm and wit and was loved by all her students. She also was devoted to her sons’ sports and orchestra activities and never missed a baseball or football game.
A voracious reader, Almira served on the Edinburg Library Board from 1976 to 1979 and was known to read several books at a time. Later in life she loved traveling the world with her husband and would tell stories of her travels to Amsterdam, Hong Kong and cruises of the Mediterranean, Alaska and the Caribbean. Affectionately known as “Eeah” by her grandchildren, she loved being a grandmother and was extremely proud of all of them. Her wit and humor carried over to all of them.
Almira was very private and chose not to have a public service after her passing. Granting this wish, a small private celebration of life will be held once the pandemic eases.
She is survived by her sons, Nario Rene (Selina) Cantu of Harlingen, TX, Jimmy (Thelma) Cantu of Flower Mound, TX, grandchildren Kyle Rene Cantu of Denver, CO, Lauryn Cantu of Los Angeles, CA, Dorian Cantu of Lewisville, TX, Carolina Raquel Cantu of Savannah, GA and Cassandra Rose Cantu of Flower Mound, TX. Audrey Martinez (Daniel) of Harlingen, Tx, and brother, Arturo B. Martinez, Jr. of Mercedes, TX. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Jose Rene Cantu and her parents Arturo B. Martinez and Agripina Martinez.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to: Friends of the Edinburg Public Library, attention Ramon Vela, 1906 S. Closner Blvd. Edinburg TX 78539.
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