Evangelina “Vangie” Martinez Ruiz, also referred to as “the boss” and “shorty” by her husband, passed away on October 5, 2014, surrounded by family at UTMB. She was 87 years old.
Evangelina was born in Pharr, TX on October 19, 1926. She was one of five children, and the fourth child of Juan C. and Victorina Benavides Martinez. She married Liborio C. Ruiz on July 26, 1957 and had five children. They met in the cafeteria line while she was in nursing school after being introduced by mutual friends.
Although most knew her as a caring and kind nurse, she spent the first part of her career as a professional photographer but changed careers after spending time volunteering and visiting an area hospital. This inspired her to change careers and enroll at the University of Texas Medical Branch where she graduated as a Registered Nurse. She was employed by Harlingen Hospital as head nurse before moving back to Galveston where she worked at St. Mary’s Hospital and UTMB. During her nursing career, she worked in MICU, CCU, OB/GYN and Postpartum but her favorite time was spent with newborns and new parents. She worked in nursing for more than 36 years before retiring in 1992.
She was a loving wife, doting mother and grandmother, caring daughter and sister as well as an amazing caregiver. She was a bit of a shopaholic, especially for family and was tough to follow when she was on a mission in the mall. She loved to laugh, savored vanilla ice cream and preferred the color red. She was a den mother for her boys and actively involved at her children’s schools. One of her favorite sayings was “que sera sera, what will be will be” which was what she often said about life. Beyond her own children, she was a “mother” to many of her children’s friends along with nieces and nephews, often waiting with open arms, solid advice and hugs and kisses. Guests never left her home hungry or empty handed.
Evangelina was preceded by death by her parents, Juan C and Victorina Benavides Martinez; siblings, Angelita “Gila” Rodriguez, Ramiro B. Martinez, twin sister Ernestina Ramirez and husband Dan, and Armandina Cisneros and husband Pete. Sadly, she is also preceded in death by two sons, Raymond Glenn and David John.
She is survived by her loving husband, Liborio; and children: Michael Ruiz and wife, Rene; Danny Ruiz and wife, Donna; and only daughter Christine Ruiz Hopkins, as well as grandchildren: Celina Ruiz and fiancé David Miranda, Robert Hernandez, Michaelann, Haley, Mason, and McKenna Ruiz; great-grandchildren, Jeffrey and Xavier Koehler and Matthew Miranda; as well as extended family and numerous nieces and nephews.
Evangelina’s family will receive visitors beginning at 5:00 pm, Tuesday, October 7th, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home. A rosary will begin at 6:30 pm, led by Deacon John Pistone.
Funeral Mass will be 1:00 pm, Wednesday, October 8th, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Paul Chovanec as Celebrant. Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The family would like to thank long-time caregivers and friends Sammy Ulanday, Septy Debelen and Renato Maceda who made her last years comfortable along with the nurses and staff at Gulf Health Care Center.