Berta Vela Peña, 87, of Galveston, passed away Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at UTMB Hospital. She was born January 4, 1925, in Falfurrias, TX, to Aurelio and Agueda Vela. Berta grew up in Falfurrias and attended school there. After her high school graduation, she moved to San Antonio, where she met and married her husband, Mario, in 1948. Berta and Mario moved to Houston and started a family. Berta was a loving mother to her 3 boys, moving the family from Houston to Corpus Christi and then to Galveston in 1964. Shortly after moving to Galveston, Berta began working at the gift shop at the Golden Greek Restaurant. In the early 1970’s, Berta began working at Weiner’s, retiring after 20 years to work with her son Carlos in the family business, Kleen Supply Co.
Berta always loved music and dance. In her youth, she and her cousins would put together plays and musical revues. She studied dance and was particularly fond of tap. One of her favorite musicals was “42nd Street,” which she last enjoyed on a trip to New York City.
In her later years, Berta loved working in her yard and watching novelas. She also spent many hours on the phone visiting with family and friends across the country. She was delighted by the arrival of her first great grandchild, whom she lovingly called, “The Little Fella.” Berta was of the Catholic faith. Family and friends enjoyed her wit and wisdom and social nature.
Berta was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Pete Vela; and husband, Mario T. Peña.
She is survived by her three sons, Dr. Mario Peña and wife, Elsa, of Lubbock; David Peña and wife, Mardelle, of Avon, Connecticut; and Carlos Peña and wife, Diane, of Galveston; grandchildren: Nicholas Peña and wife, Holly; Steven Peña and wife, Stephanie; Jessica Peña; Stephanie Peña; Zachary Peña; and Mackenzie Peña; great grandson, Bryson Peña; special friend and sister-in-law, Bea Vela; nephews, Paul and Peter Vela; cousins, Irene Drewry and Pablo Vela; and numerous other relatives and friends.
Berta’s family will receive visitors from 5:00 until 7:00 pm, Friday, April 20th, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 pm, led by Rev. Doug Guthier.
Funeral services will be 10:30 am, Saturday, April 21st, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with burial following at Lakeview Cemetery in Galveston.
Honorary pallbearers will be Berta’s nephews, Peter Vela and Paul Vela; and grandsons, Zachary Peña, Steven Peña, and Nick Peña.
Berta’s family wishes to extend sincere gratitude to the doctors and staff of UTMB, The Meridian, Kindred Rehab Hospital of Clear Lake, and to longtime family friend and caregiver, Lelia Collins.
Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.