Cruz DeLeon, age 81, of Ulysses, Kansas, died Saturday, March 2, 2019, at her daughter’s home in Garden City, Kansas. She was born May 28, 1937, in San Antonio, Texas, the daughter of Menchor and Maria (Aguilar) Cervantez.
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Cruz married Oliver DeLeon in September 1957, in Reno, Nevada. During their marriage, they traveled with their family to several places in Texas. While raising her family, Cruz and her family were migrant workers for several years. She was a smart and educated woman, and found the jobs and was in charge of a crew of 150-200 people. The family moved to Leoti, Kansas, in 1969 and then Ulysses, Kansas, in 1981. Cruz worked as a CNA at Western Prairie Care Home in Ulysses, and was also a foster mother to 47 children. She had a distinct whistle that was well known; and her children knew when they heard it, it was time to come home from where they were in the neighborhood. She was an enthusiastic cheerleader for all her children and grandchildren’s sporting events. Cruz enjoyed sewing, playing Bingo and going to the casino. She also collected elephants, and had them from all over the world. Cruz was a member of Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ulysses. She was a people person, and when she moved to Garden City, Kansas, in July of 2018, to Garden Valley Retirement Village, she was the first to welcome new residents.
She is survived by her children, Janie Rodriguez and husband Sisto of Ulysses, Carol Carrillo DeLeon and husband Oscar Carrillo of Garden City, Oliver DeLeon and wife Natalia of Tucson, Arizona, Alex DeLeon of Garden City, Robert DeLeon and wife Delma of Garden City, Joe Hernandez and wife Liz of Summerville, South Carolina, Connie Hernandez DeLeon and husband Feliciano Hernandez of Garden City, Irene Hernandez and husband Steven Smart of Dallas, Texas, Cruz Lauber and husband Travis of Garden City, Roger Hernandez and wife Maria of Summerville, South Carolina, Jim DeLeon and wife Deana of Ulysses, Mario Hernandez and wife Cindy of Chickasha, Oklahoma, Susie Baker and husband Tracy of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Alejandra Martinez and husband Adrian of Dodge City, and Kevin Bush and wife Theresa of Momence, Illinois; daughter-in-law, Jovita DeLeon of San Antonio, Texas; sisters, Carolina Martinez, Rosa Maria De Luna, Guadalupe Castillo, and Lilia Theresa Guerrero; 68 grandchildren, 70 great-grandchildren, and 21 great-great- grandchildren .
Cruz is preceded in death by her husband Oliver DeLeon; mother, Maria Aguilar; sisters, Minerva Rodriguez and Irma Robles; sons, Armando DeLeon and Gilbert Hernandez; daughter, Josie DeLeon Garcia; daughter-in-law, Lila DeLeon; and grandchildren, Eden Rodriguez and Ariana DeLeon.
Vigil and rosary service will be Monday, March 4, 2019, at 7:00 PM at Garnand Funeral Home. Funeral mass will be Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at 2:00 PM at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ulysses, Kansas, with Reverend Peter Fernandez officiating. Interment will follow at Ulysses Cemetery. Friends may call Monday, March 4, 2019, from 2:00 PM until 7:00 PM at Garnand Funeral Home in Ulysses. Memorial contributions may be given to Grant County Senior Center in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 405 W. Grant Ave, Ulysses, KS 67880.