Rebecca “Becky” Herrera, formerly of Merkel, Leander and San Marcos, passed away at the age of 88 in New Braunfels, after a brief battle with cancer. She was a cherished sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, treasured friend, and a special person to everyone she encountered. Becky has fulfilled her goal of being reunited with her “Honey” Art, her son David, and the eternal embrace of her Lord Jesus Christ.
Becky was born in Raymondsville, TX to Reynaldo and Lucy (Gonzalez) Guzman. Her childhood was spent in various foster homes. She displayed tremendous resiliency and perseverance, becoming the first of her family to graduate high school in Colorado City. Then, she attended Texas Tech in Lubbock on a choir scholarship. College was cut short when true love intervened. She followed her heart to Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico. There, she married her high school sweetheart, Arturo “Art” Herrera, on November 17, 1955. They were happily married for 39 years, until Art's untimely passing in 1995. As a military family in the United States Air Force, they were stationed in Europe and stateside for the next 20 years. Overseas assignments included Germany and Greece, where Becky was quick to pick up the local languages. Other assignments were at bases in Texas, Arkansas, the Pentagon and Kansas. During Art’s tour of Vietnam, Becky single-handedly raised their five children in Oklahoma. Art retired from the Air Force in 1974, and they settled near Dyess Air Force Base in Tye TX.
After their youngest child started school, Becky began a 24-year career of her own at Tye Elementary. She made a quick transition from “Lunchroom Lady” to a paraprofessional, reading instructor. Becky encouraged and motivated each of her students to do their best every day. A yearbook dedication sums up her impact: “She is special person who put happiness and joy and love in everyone’s heart. She believed education was the way to improve and prepare yourself for the future. She not only touched your mind, but she touched so many students’ and coworkers’ hearts and souls. There is not a more lovable, acceptable, cherished person in this school than Mrs. Herrera.”
Becky was known for her many volunteering efforts, where she sought no earthly reward and focused on God’s direction and inspiration. She visited numerous shut-ins and residents of nursing homes. Becky also was involved with City Light Community Ministries in Abilene, for low income families. There, she taught Bible lessons to young children and took them on field trips that would make a lifelong impression. Becky was an Executive Board Member of the Taylor County Extension Program. She and Art were members of Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Merkel, where Becky was a catechism teacher. When she moved to Leander in 2001, she became an active member of the United Methodist Church. She was recognized in the Missionary Spotlight for being “one-of-a-kind.” Becky spent her time and energy giving to others what they had given her - faith, love, hope, and joy. She was a “one-woman care ministry,” who constantly sought to uplift others with positivity and encouragement. She eventually was selected to serve on the board of trustees. As Becky often said, “The secret to life is to give. The more you give, the more you receive.” Her volunteering included teaching Spanish, and medical missions to Piedras Negras, Mexico. She was a Christian role model for all to emulate.
Becky enjoyed sewing, had a passion for flowers and always had a suitcase ready for the next road trip. She visited many new places around the world, including Jerusalem, Italy, the British Isles and Costa Rica, where she zip-lined at age 80. She went on cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska, where she was recognized as the most friendly passenger.
Mrs. Herrera loved her family and was extremely proud of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. While raising her children, she was very involved with their school, church, and sports activities. She is survived by three daughters: Norma (Ken) LeBlanc of Wichita KS, Sylvia (Barry) Jankord of Seguin TX, Clara Herrera of Austin TX; two sons: Victor (Criss) Herrera of Cleveland MO, and Edward (Julia) Herrera of Schertz TX, plus twelve grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Arturo Q. Herrera, son David Herrera, daughter-in-law Irene (Victor), her parents, brothers Ruben and Rudolph Garza, and sister Ginny Martinez.
Visitation will be held 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. on May 12 and services will be presided by Pastor Ray Altman on May 13 at Starbuck Funeral Home in Merkel at 1:00 p.m. with burial following at Rose Hill Cemetery. The family asks for memorials in Becky’s name be directed to The Carehouse of the Yellow Rose, 730 Gray Cloud, New Braunfels, TX 78130.
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