Juanita Nilda Barrera,87, of Austin, passed away Oct. 26 and was interred Thursday, Sept. 3, at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Juanita was born in Brownsville, to Guadalupe and Evangelina (Vasquez) Almazan. Juanita’s true love and purpose in life was her childhood sweetheart and husband of 46 years, Arturo Valdez Barrera and their three sons.

Juanita was a graduate of St. Mary’s University where she majored in nursing. As a registered nurse she worked in West Orange schools, for several private practices and in the petrochemical/ timber industry, all in Orange, before retiring.  Juanita also served in her community and supported her three sons extracurricular activities. Next to her children and grandchildren her greatest joy was gardening. This love of nature was passed on to all of her children.

As a registered nurse her lifelong wish was to donate her body for research and for the betterment of science.

She was preceded in death by her husband and brothers, Saul Almazan and Pilar Almazan and sisters, Guadalupe Valdez and Helen Garcia.

Juanita is survived by her sons, Arthur V. Barrera and wife Janey, Enrique V. Barrera and wife Maribel and Louis René Barrera and wife Cheryl and grandchildren, Richard Barrera, Katy Barrera, Monica Barrera and Thomas Barrera, as well as great grandchildren. Juanita is also survived by her loving sisters Evangelina Flores, Ruth Espinosa and Francis Mora.

But by God’s mercy we are reminded that while we mourn, we also rejoice because our beloved is forever in the blessed presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6)