It is with heavy but peaceful hearts that the Servantes family of Uvalde, Texas announces the passing of their beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather
José Melig Servantes on November 3, 2021. Known to many as “Joe,” he was born on November 5, 1925 in Blewett, Texas. An accomplished hunter and ﬁsherman, Joe grew up living oﬀ the land, and he later passed his keen skills and knowledge down to his children and grandchildren.
Joe was a proud sailor in the United States Navy during World War II, rank of Seaman First Class, and he served from December 31, 1943 to January 6, 1946, during which time he
was stationed in Tinian Island in the South Paciﬁc. He often told stories in great detail about his time in the Navy, including how in the early morning hours he heard the bomber plane Enola
Gay take oﬀ from the base on its famous mission. A member of the American Legion Post 479, Joe was rarely seen without his WWII Veteran baseball cap and the US ﬂag always waved faithfully over his front porch.
Before shipping out to his service, his sweetheart Belia “Betty” Luna gifted him with a black and white photo of herself, which Joe lovingly carried in his wallet for the rest of his life and never hesitated to show oﬀ to anyone who asked. Upon returning from his naval service,
Joe attended Uvalde Junior College and married Betty on July 27, 1947. Together, he and Betty had four children - José “Joe” Servantes, Jr., Hector Servantes, Sr., Ida Servantes, and Ernest Servantes, Sr. In addition to his children and wife, Joe is survived by ten grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren, all of whom adored and cherished their “Welo Joe.”
Many longtime Uvaldeans will remember Joe from the local JC Penny store where he worked for thirty-seven years before retiring. Additionally, he and his wife Betty owned and operated the restaurant Betty’s Tamales, and Joe ofen delivered dozens upon dozens of tamale orders all around Uvalde. Joe was a faithful parishioner at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and he had a special veneration for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Known for his green thumb, Joe grew avocado and pecan trees around his home as well as ﬁgs, rosemary, and plenty of nopales. Joe was active and independent well into his nineties and he ofen attributed his good health to a steaming bowl of oatmeal and a cup of good strong coﬀee every morning. His children and grandchildren all agree that “Welo Joe” made the best pinto beans and most delicious chorizo in the entire world.
The visitation will be held at Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary in Uvalde on November 11, 2021 starting at 12:00 PM, and a rosary service will be held there at 7:00 PM that same evening. The funeral service will be at 10:00 AM on Friday, November 12, 2021 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.
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