Our Ministries
23 Aug

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Isabel Lanier Villarreal

March 20, 1928-August 15, 2018

Isabel Lanier Villarreal, mother of St. Francis of Assisi parishioner Cedar Joiner, was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba on March 20, 1928. At the age of eighteen, her parents sent her to the United States to live with her brother and help him with his new family. She was beyond selfless. She was always extremely proud of her Cuban heritage and never forgot where she came from. She always supported her family back in Cuba, sending clothes and money every month. She was the most giving person. If you liked something of hers, it would become yours.

Isabel soon became a loving wife of 48 years to Jose Albert Villarreal. Together they had four wonderful children, Joe Albert, Mary Isabel (Cedar), Mary Elena (Lana) and Mary Irene (Irene). Yes, they were all named Mary, after the Blessed Mother, and how beautiful, Isabel herself passed away on the Assumption of Mary.

Isabel was the most wild, fun-loving, carefree, creative, selfless, and loyal person ever known. She was always so full of life whether it was painting polka dots on the trees or throwing plates, as if in a Greek wedding, at Macaroni Grill. She would always keep everyone laughing and on the edge of their seat as to what she would do next. A longtime family friend said something that rings too true; she said, “I loved her because she was exactly who she was! If you didn’t like it, there was a problem with you.”

Isabel was awfully creative and an astounding artist. From her wonderfully captivating landscapes or naturalistic paintings to playing piano and guitar (mostly all by ear) to her remarkable sewing skills (she worked as a hat seamstress for Joske’s and Frost Brother’s department store).

She loved her eleven grandchildren immensely. She was always taking care of all the grandchildren in the family, even moving in with Irene and Curt to help them when their baby Gunnar was battling for his life. She never complained and never asked for anything in return. She was always there when you needed her. She would give you her last dollar. If you were in her life she always had your back against anyone, whether you were right or wrong it didn’t matter, she was there for you. Our hearts ache without her, but our endless memories of her continue to bring unsurpassable joy. Heaven just got that much better with this crazy angel.

Isabel was predeceased in life by her husband, Joe A. Villarreal, mother Irene Medina Lanier, father Jose Lanier, grandson Gunnar Harwerth, bothers: Tom, Phillip, Pepe, and sister Josefina

She is survived by her sister-in-laws Irma Villarreal, Regina Villarreal, Joise Villarreal and brother in law Eddie Altamirano and wife Ruth. Her son Joe Villarreal, Jr., daughters: Cedar Joiner, Lana Story and husband Sam, Irene Harwerth and husband Curt. Her grandchildren: Paul Villarreal, Alex Holifield, Ashley Holifield, Garrett Joiner, Eric Story, Luke Story, Grant Harwerth, Kirsten Harwerth, Giffen Harwerth and Joshua Canseco. Her great-grandchildren: Calvin Villarreal, Laila Villarreal, Cassius Villarreal, Samantha Canseco and Destiny Canseco. great-great-grandson Elijah.

Dear friends: Sally McGuff, Mary Rodriguez, Zoriada Villarreal, Sandy Guevara

Friends and family are invited to celebrate her life at St. Joseph Catholic Church-Honeycreek, 25781 Hwy 46, Spring Branch, TX 78070.

Vigil: Friday, August 24 at 7:00 pm

Funeral Service: Saturday, August 25 at 10 am