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We gather today to celebrate the life of Jose R. Leal, fondly known as JR, a man whose laughter and creativity brought light and love into the lives of all who knew him. Born on January 21, 1960, in Mission, Texas, JR's journey through life was one filled with joy, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to his family and community. His life's sunset came on January 29, 2024, in Edinburg, Texas, but the warmth of his spirit continues to embrace us all.
JR was a proud graduate of Mission High School, class of 1978, whose thirst for knowledge and practical skills led him to earn an Associate's degree in Applied Science from TSTI in 1991. His dedication to learning and serving others was further exemplified when he graduated from the CBP Academy in 2006, marking the beginning of a distinguished 17-year career as a Customs and Border Protection Officer. JR's work ethic and integrity were pillars that not only defined his career but also inspired those around him.
Behind every great man is a loving family, and for JR, his heart belonged to his beloved wife, Mary Leal, and their sons, Javier Roel and Samuel Alejandro. He was a brother to Ramon, Gumecindo, and Graciela, and carried the legacy of his late parents, Ramon and Narcedalia Leal. JR's life was a testament to the power of love, and his role as a husband, father, and brother was performed with unparalleled devotion.
JR's passion for life extended beyond his family and work. His interests were as eclectic as his sense of humor. He was a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan, watching every game with the intensity of a coach screaming at the screen trying to motivate them even though they could not hear a thing. In his spare time, he turned his creativity to crafting wooden and leather projects, each piece infused with the same care and attention he gave to his jokes.
Described by those who knew him as funny, loving, and creative, JR's legacy is not just in the memories he leaves behind, but in the laughter that echoes in the hearts of his loved ones. Let us remember that his humor was a beacon of light, his love a comforting embrace, and his creativity a spark that ignited the imagination of those around him.
As we honor the extraordinary life of JR, let us carry forward the lessons he imparted through his example: to love without reservation, to laugh with abandon, and to create with passion. His life was a remarkable journey that touched many paths, and though he has set off on his final voyage, the footprints he left on our hearts guide us toward living our lives with the same joy and enthusiasm that JR embodied every day.
As we bid farewell to JR, we imagine him delivering one last zinger with a twinkle in his eye. He lived life as he believed it should be lived – as the ultimate joyride, full of laughter, love, and a good puzzle or two. JR's legacy is one of humor and heart, and it's a safe bet that heaven just got a little bit funnier.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024 at Rivera Funeral Home of McAllen. Funeral mass will be held at 1:00 pm Friday, February 2, 2024 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Interment will follow at 2:00 pm Friday, February 2, 2024 at Roselawn cemetery. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Rivera Funeral Home of McAllen.