Teresa Godinez Cruz
February 25, 1978 ~ December 19, 2021
Avon Park , FL
Resided in: Iola, TX
It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, niece, and friend, Teresa Cruz. Our personal worldly angel received her permanent angel wings in heaven on December 19, 2021, after a 20+ year battle with Huntington’s Disease.
She was the light in our lives, like the sun, she always gave us warmth, joy, and hope. Teresa was born in the Sunshine State, Florida. As a young child, her parents were migrant workers picking fruits and vegetables all across the United States (California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan). Even from a young age she was a hard worker, she would jokingly tell you she would make sure to fill up her belly before filling up her pail. After several years her family eventually established roots in Benchley, Texas, soon to be joined by other members of her extended family.
As a teenager her love of art, music and photography gave her a lot of joy. An avid reader as well, these interests remained with her until her disease would not allow her to enjoy them. Her interests would later on be shared and loved by her children. She was a true fashionista, being a typical 90’s teen, her fashion was very much “it girl”, the perfect blend of grunge meets princess. Ever the icon, her younger sisters would “borrow” her clothes and receive many compliments regarding “their” outfits. With all sister relationships no matter how annoying or nosy, she wouldn’t have traded their crazy memories for the world. As soon as she was able to, she started working to help support her younger siblings and sick mother. It was at one of these jobs she worked in during high school that she met her future husband and the love of her life, Gerardo.
Not long after the start of their romance they found themselves expecting their first bundle of joy and their love, Sonia Maria. Soon after Maria De la Luz joined them on Menudo day, hoping to leave the city for something more peaceful, that same year they were blessed to find and start purchasing their now permanent family home and property. Teresa was adamant in the fact that she wanted to give her family a home with space to play, grow and expand. Once moving to the country, mini fashionista Natalya Margot joined to make their family nearly complete. In main character fashion, her son, Gerardo Leocadio made his appearance to establish them as a family of six. She truly enjoyed every aspect of the country life they built, her property was filled with many wonderful pets and farm animals over the years.
A dotting, gentle and present mother. She loved to watch her kids explore and discover even the smallest things. Everything they did or made was precious and priceless, she saved it all. Her children appreciate and value how much she thought to hold on to these things for them. She was always teaching and educating her children in all; from pop culture to cooking to politics and government. Teresa had a hard life growing up, but she did everything in her power to make sure her children had a great life. She filled their home with great food, music, love and support. If they wanted something but didn’t have the means to get it, Teresa would not stop until she found a way to provide it.
In 2010, after many years of attempting to have their mother seek medical help, she finally allowed them to start the process of finding a medical diagnosis for her. She had known for a while that she was struggling but hated to admit that something was wrong. After almost two years, in 2012 they received the diagnosis, Huntington’s Disease (HD), a rare fatal genetic disease which causes nerve cells in the brain to progressively break down. HD causes a person’s physical, mental, and emotional abilities to deteriorate slowly over time. Having HD is like having Dementia, ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s Disease simultaneously. There is currently no cure for Huntington’s. When her husband and children first learned about the condition Teresa had, there was no real support, resources or accurate information near them, however thankfully that is not the case today. Over the years came many obstacles and challenges as her disease progressed, no matter how hard or unsure her husband and children were, they faced each day together. Her spouse and kids were her fierce, loyal, and loving caregivers until her last breath.
Teresa was extremely proud that all of her children graduated high school, as she never got the chance to go back and finish due to her disease progressing. The fact they were attending college, pursuing degrees, and graduating university brought her so much pride and happiness.
Though in her last couple years she had extreme difficulty in communicating and letting people know how much she was grateful for what they did for her. She would especially like to express her gratitude to Tio (Compadre) Ramiro and his wife (Tia) Gloria for everything.
Teresa is survived by her devoted and loving husband of 26 years, Gerardo Cruz Barrios; daughters, Sonia Maria, Maria de La Luz, and Natalya Margot; son, Gerardo Leocadio; spoiled pets, companions and protectors, Wellington Rabinowitz and Vanilla Bean Frappuccino; sisters, Elba, Rocio, Librada, Soledad and Guadalupe: brothers, Luis, Santos Jr. and José Godinez; a bus full of nieces and nephews, including her favorite niece, Miriam, and nephew, Kevin Garcia Tamez. Preceded in death by her mother, María Guadalupe and father, Santos Godinez; father-in-law, Leocadio Cruz Sauceda and mother-in-law Maria de La Luz Barrios de Cruz; sister, Adriana Godinez; nieces, Anna and Leticia; uncles Raul and Reynaldo; grandparents, Alfredo & Teresa Godinez and Juan & Juana Cisneros.
A rosary will be held on Monday, December 27, 2021 , in the chapel of Callaway Jones Funeral Home, at 6 pm. A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, December 28, at 11 am, at St, Teresa Catholic Church, with interment to follow at Bryan City Cemetery. The family is requesting that double masks be worn at all times throughout services, regardless of vaccination status, and to practice social distancing
In Lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution through the link below to help with Funeral and Medical Expenses, whatever is not used or needed will be donated to a Huntington’s Disease organization charity in her name: