Juan Manuel Ledesma, 80, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, went home to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his beloved Maria Elena, his wife and best friend of 53 years in the comfort of his home on the morning of June 16, 2021, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
He was born to Zeferino and Josefina Ledesma on December 24, 1940, in Laredo, Texas. He was drafted into the Army four days after the death of JFK at the age of twenty-three years old. He was a US Army Veteran having served in the First Battalion Cavalry in Vietnam in 1965 in the Ia Drang Battle in Shau Valley, the site of a battle recreated in the Mel Gibson film “We Were Soldiers”. He was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Upon honorable discharge from the US Army, he returned home to Laredo, Texas where he served his community as a Police Officer and married the love of his life Maria Elena. They started their family and were blessed with two sons and one daughter. He relocated to Corpus Christi, Texas in 1977, where he began his career with the Office of Inspector General of the Texas Department of Human Services while pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree of Science majoring in Psychology, and retiring in 2000 after 25 years.
Juan loved spending time with family, friends, and making memories with his loving wife. He served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Peter Prince of the Apostle Catholic Church and enjoyed some leisure time with his brothers in arms as a Color Guard Commander for the Veterans Band of Corpus Christi and at the Calallen VFW Post #3837, where he was known as “Dilly, Dilly”. You could always find him sitting in the stands at volleyball games, basketball games, football games, baseball games, softball games and track meets. He was his grandchildren’s greatest and biggest fan. He made sure to attend everything from sports to award ceremonies, luncheons, performances, etc.
Juan was preceded in death by his wife, Maria Elena Montalvo de Ledesma his mother, Josefina Ledesma, his father, Zeferino Ledesma, his sister, Marta Gutierrez, and his brother, Vicente Ledesma. He is survived by his children Juan M. Ledesma Jr. (Phyllis), Ernesto A. Ledesma (Monica) and Veronica De La Garza. Along with his children he is survived by his grandchildren, Christopher, Jessica, Zachary, Bella, Yvanna, Mariela, Alec and Isaac. He was blessed to see his great-grandchildren, Myranda, Brianna, Clara, Brason, Kason, Brenden, Bethany and Ella.
A visitation will be held on Monday, June 21, 2021, from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm with a rosary to be recited at 7:00 pm at Sawyer George Funeral Home, 12497 Leopard St., Corpus Christi, TX 78410. On Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at 9:30 am, Mass will be celebrated at St. Peter Prince of the Apostle Catholic Church, 3901 Violet Rd., Corpus Christi, TX 78410, followed by burial with full military honors at the Coastal Bend Veterans Cemetery, 9974 IH-37, Corpus Christi, TX 78410, where Juan will be laid to rest.
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