Our Chief Financial Officer, Elena M. Cortez, passed away Monday, Oct. 26, 2015. The cause of death is still unknown.
Elena, 67, was a devoted member to this organization, having served as a member for 26 years. She was always a tireless worker, devoting countless hours to our scholarship celebrations, our previous yearly writing contests and just about any event we hosted. Although she lived in Beeville, which is about five hours from Dallas, she would always show up to our banquets and be willing to help. She served as CFO under 11 presidents of this organization.
For her dedication to the group, Elena was inducted into the Hispanic Communicators D/FW’s Hall of Fame in 2007. She has this honor, with only four other members of our organization. That year, Gloria Campos of WFAA-TV and Gilbert Bailon of The Dallas Morning News awarded Elena with flowers and a plaque.
“I find it a little funny because I’m not even a working journalist and never have been,” Elena said to Frank Trejo, in a story written in the DMN about her 2007 recognition.
Elena later said that by joining and working in organizations like ours, she got a chance to meet new people who “have different and interesting jobs.”
Elena appreciated the work we do so much that “she loved helping young people get into the business,” according to Gary Pina, one of our lifetime members. “She had a knack for keeping up with them over the years.”
Former HCDFW President Saul Garza said Elena always made sure the scholarship recipients were taken care of.
“She worked hard to ensure the students’ needs were met and got the money they deserved in a timely manner”, he said. “Over the years HCDFW board members came and went but Elena was always there, a familiar face that new officers could count on. She will be missed.”
The last time, we all saw Elena was during the 2014 scholarship banquet. For me, she always had a smile on her face and always asked to tell her how she could help. To this date, Elena has kept a list of every single scholarship recipient, as well as much of our materials, from the Hispanic Communicators.
Elena worked and retired from AT&T after 25 years. In addition to HCDFW, she volunteered for countless community groups, including La Voz del Anciano and the Dallas Chapter of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. Elena lived in Dallas before retiring and moving to Beeville to take care of her mother several years ago.
Elena is survived by her sisters: Elo Garza of Mission, Carmela Contreras and Del Hernandez-Garcia and members of her extended family.
A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 2, at Trevino Funeral Home, 401 W. Springer, Beeville, TX, 78102.
Elena will lie in state at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 707 N Ave E, Beeville, TX 78102 with a funeral Mass to follow at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Our Lady of Victory # 1.
As of this writing, a couple of members will be attending her funeral. The HCDFW will also be sending flowers. If you are interested in going on behalf of the group, please let us know.