Cover photo for Hortencia "IRI" Chapa's Obituary
1961 Hortencia "IRI" 2024

Hortencia "IRI" Chapa

December 14, 1961 — February 3, 2024

   On February 3rd, 2024, an angel on earth became an angel in heaven. Hortencia Guerra Chapa, also known as “Iri”, was the youngest of 11 born to Francisco and Lilia Guerra. She was born in Roma, Texas on December 14, 1961, and spent her whole life nurturing growth and kindness within her community and family. 

   She met the love of her life, Ruben Carlos Chapa Jr, when she was in 8th grade and was devoted to him ever since, becoming his beautiful wife at 21 years old. The incredible love they shared brought three wonderful children into this world – Ruben Carlos Chapa III, Roxanna Chapa, and Priscilla Bianca Chapa. She was the core of our family and created a home filled with boundless joy, profound beauty, and legendary arroz. There is no greater love than God’s love for his children, and this divine grace shone brightly through my mother’s immeasurable love for her family and her children.

   Although the youngest of her siblings, her role became that of a teacher, not just occupationally, but through the effortless embodiment of love and unspeakable wisdom that flowed through every word and action she shared. She received her Bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Texas at Pan America in 1983 and her Teacher Certification in 1995. She helped mold many young minds as a kindergarten teacher at R.T Barrera Elementary from (1996 – 2021). Her talent as an educator was extraordinary, but she never sought out attention or acclaim. She was a quiet presence with a resounding influence. It is said, that from a small seed, a mighty trunk shall grow. If only one word could be used to describe her, her sisters insist that it would have to be “leader” and with gleeful laughter agree that the flip side to that would be “bossy.” She always did know best. 

   She fiercely and courageously battled cancer for the first time in 1999 and battled a second time in 2005. She was able to do this through her unshakeable faith and with the support of her loving family. After 19 years of cancer remission, her uterine cancer mysteriously returned, and in an extremely rare and rapid manner, her light was called back to the source from which we all come, to the Almighty Creator. She will be terribly missed, but her love and teachings will forever live on through her family, friends, loved ones, and students. 

   She is survived by 9 siblings: Oralia Cavazos (Wally), Yolanda Villarreal (Alfredo), Norma Olivares (Ove), Francisco Guerra III (Lucy), Lilia Guerra (Homero), Noemi Hinojosa (Jorge), Idolina Flores (Sixto), Hector Guerra, and Enedelia Coulter (Gary). She is also survived by over a hundred nieces and nephews. 

   We would like to give special thanks to DHR Edinburg, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and all the doctors and support staff who helped her with her care during these past few months. We also want to thank Dr. Raymond Mussett for his care as her primary care physician. We would also like to thank our Lone Star National Bank family, especially David Deanda, for their prayers and support during this difficult period.

   Visitation will begin February 8th at Sanchez Memorial Funeral Home in Roma, TX from 1:00 - 7:00 pm with a Holy Rosary beginning at 6:00 pm. The second visitation will be February 9th, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Mass will be on February 9th at 1:30 pm at the Santa Rosa de Lima Catholic Church in La Rosita, TX followed by the burial at 2:45 at the City of Roma Cemetery. 


From your children:

Mom,

   We love you more than anything in the entire universe. There aren’t any words that can describe how blessed we were to have you as our mother. THANK YOU for everything you have done for us! I am not sure if there is anything we could ever do to repay you for the immeasurable love and joy you brought to our lives, but we promise to always carry you in our hearts and let you guide us through all the rough times and all the good times yet to come. We will miss you forever.

                                                                                                                        Love you forever,

                                                                                                                        Ruben, Roxy, and Prissy


A final word from my Father to his love:

Hortencia,

   Our hearts are broken. You left us too soon. I always felt that we would grow very old together, but that is not to be. When we first met in 1975, I knew that someday, we would get married. I was never going to let you go physically, but now that time has come. This is extremely hard. I was the luckiest husband in the world to have you all these years. You gave me three of the most beautiful children that anyone could ask for. Over the past few months, you endured pain and suffering, and I felt totally helpless. Now, your pain and suffering are over. We miss your hugs, your kisses, your presence. You were our family’s compass, and right now, we feel totally lost without you. Where do we go from here? This has been a surreal experience, and it is hard to accept that you are not here. We know that you ascended to Heaven, so please ask God to help us in the healing process. So for now, this is not goodbye. One day, we will be together again as a complete family in the presence of God Almighty, and we will rejoice in Heaven together. I will always love you. We will always love you.

                                                                                                                                      Your Husband, 

                                                                                                                                      Ruben

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, February 8, 2024

1:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Sanchez Memorial Funeral Home

101 AR Sanchez Sr. Dr., Roma, TX 78584

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Holy Rosary

Thursday, February 8, 2024

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Sanchez Memorial Funeral Home

101 AR Sanchez Sr. Dr., Roma, TX 78584

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Friday, February 9, 2024

10:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Sanchez Memorial Funeral Home

101 AR Sanchez Sr. Dr., Roma, TX 78584

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Friday, February 9, 2024

1:30 - 2:30 pm (Central time)

Santa Rosa de Lima Catholic Church

4195 Old Hwy 83, Rio Grande City, TX 78582

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Interment

Friday, February 9, 2024

2:45 - 3:45 pm (Central time)

Roma City Cemetery

US-83, Roma, TX

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Visits: 2018

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