Graciela was born July 18, 1928 in Benavides Texas. After graduation from Benavides High School, she went on to receive her BA from Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio, TX. She received an MA in Music and later an MA in Elementary Education from the University of Texas.
Graciela taught music in Benavides and Kingsville, TX but was then hired by Creole Petroleum to teach at Camp Tia Juana on the shores of Maracaibo, Venezuela in the mid-1950’s. Upon her return from Venezuela, Graciela applied for and was accepted to teach in the military’s overseas schools.
In the 1960’s, Graciela was assigned to Mainz, Germany where she spent six years. She then transferred to Madrid, Spain where she spent the next 25 years. During her teaching career overseas and after her retirement in Benavides, Graciela traveled extensively. Starting in Mexico in her teens, she traveled to 97 countries, often attending concerts, operas and ballets. She had a collection of over 100 musical instruments from all over the world.
Graciela kept physically fit playing tennis while living in Spain. She loved attending tennis tournaments abroad, in New York and Corpus Christi. In October 1984, she chose golf as her sport. She often attended U.S. Women’s golf tournaments. Grace participated in DoDDS golf tournaments earning several trophies. She was an avid genealogist and was active in civic and church organizations.
Graciela died on July 30, 2001. She will be remembered by her friends and family for her love of life and dedication to the teaching profession.
Prepared by Lydia Canales and Humberto Gutierrez.