Juan “Johnny” L. Tamez, born in Olivia, on May 16, 1938 to Abel Tamez Sr. and Dominga Lara Tamez, passed peacefully in the early morning hours of Sept. 27, 2020.
Johnny grew up outside of Louise with his brothers and sisters and was taught the value of hard work and strong ethics. Johnny married Juanita Barrera Tamez on Sept. 6, 1964. This union produced one son, George Tamez of Edna, of which Johnny was extremely proud of and who was his pride and joy.
During his early teenage years, he worked around El Campo, Louise and Danavang areas farming. Johnny was always very mechanically inclined and found his calling as an automotive and diesel mechanic. He went on to receive diplomas and certificates in various areas of automotive and diesel mechanics. He was especially proud of his “Doctor of Motors” diploma he received and aced in the 1960s.
In 1971, Johnny opened J. Tamez Arco service station in Edna where his business thrived until the OPEC oil embargo in the mid-1970s. Afterwards, he went to work in the oil fields in and around South Texas. While working in the oil fields, he made many friends and business contacts which led him to establish another business, Tamez Welding & Oilfield Service, which quickly prospered. Unfortunately, Johnny was severely injured while working at an oil tank battery that left him permanently disabled and was unable to resume normal every day tasks we all take for granted. However, after numerous personal hardships and struggles, and after five years of rehabilitative therapy, Johnny regained some basic coordination and functionality. He began doing wood working projects, which he excelled at, along with doing small engine repairs and fixing sewing machines.
He also took up gardening and, after investing in a much better tiller (his old tiller eventually proved inadequate), his garden grew and produced many varieties of vegetables, and an occasional fruit or two. This became his second calling and his garden grew to where it eventually encompassed half the back yard. Some vegetables were canned and many were given to family, friends and neighbors.
Johnny also continued his education and obtained his high school diploma in the early 1990s. He further continued his course work at Victoria College, taking basic classes and was especially proud of completing them given the challenges he faced after his traumatic head injury.
Johnny was also a member of the Knights of Columbus in Edna. He and his family attended Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Edna where he was an usher and assisted with CCD classes making sure the kids would not be tardy to their religious education classes.
Johnny was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Nestor and Abel Jr. and his wife of 43 years.
He is survived by his son, George; sisters, Maria T. (Ninfa) Martinez, Lidia T. Savala, Adelayda T. Gonzalez, Herminia T. Perez; brothers, Henry Tamez and Arthur Tamez, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Johnny will be laid to rest next to his family at Holy Cross Memorial Park Cemetery in El Campo.
Visitation begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30 at Triska Funeral Home with a Rosary recited at 6 p.m. Funeral services begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Memorial Park.
Due to the CDC guidelines for the pandemic, masks are required at the funeral home, and seating will be limited.
Condolences may be shared online at www.triskafuneralhome.com.