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Memories & Candles

“May you be comforted by the grace and peace of our Lord during this difficult period. My most sincere and heartfelt condolences go to each of the...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Mina Montes - Laredo, TX

“Loving Leal Family, While I personally did not know Mrs. Leal, I felt like I got to know her through several of her family members. All of them...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Rosena Garcia - Houston, TX

“I would like to thank everyone that sent their condolences on the death of Manuel's & my mother. She was a wonderful person, and her memory lives on...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Bernadette StClair - Phenix City, AL

“My condolences to the family of Rosario Leal. May the Lord give you all strenght. God Bless You! ”
4 of 8 | Posted by: Frances Puente - Laredo, TX

“To the family, My sincerest condolence and heart felt sympathy for your loss. My thoughts and prayers with you all, at this time. GOD BLESS YOU. ”
5 of 8 | Posted by: Gogi - Laredo, TX

“To Bernie, Manuel,Daniela and all: My deepest sympathy to you and the rest of the family during this difficult time. Mrs. Leal was loved by all and I...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Gladys Pierluissi - Dallas, TX

“To Bernadette, Daniella, Benny, Jerry and all the Leal family: Cindy, Danny, and I would like to send our condolences on the death of your loved one....Read More »
7 of 8 | Posted by: Gloria Davila - Mission, TX

“To Bernadette, Daniella, Benny, Jerry and all the Leal family: Cindy, Danny, and I would like to send our condolences on the death of your loved one....Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Gloria Davila - Mission, TX


Maria Del Rosario Vizcaya de Leal joined Our Lord in heaven on Sunday, March 8, 2009, at the age of 91. She was born in Laredo, Texas on October 31, 1917 to Manuel Vizcaya Sierra and Juanita Cerda Vizcaya. Although she loved Laredo and her family, she decided to move to Phoenix City, Alabama, in order to be close to her daughter. Rosario was a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother, and aunt. She was the Rock of Gibraltar for all of her children. As a Halloween baby, she was often teased about being a witch. To where she responded, "I am not a witch. I am a fairy." This fit her personality to a"T" as she was a fairy godmother to many. In reality, she was an angel with wings to protect all of those that she loved.

Rosario was educated by the Madams of the Sacred Heart, and she graduated from St. Mary's Academy in Austin, Texas, in May of 1937. When she returned to Laredo, she met the love of her life, Bernardo Leal. After one year of courtship, she married him in June of 1940. Through their union, four children were born. After her youngest child was born, she decided to go back to school, and she received her Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education degree in 1959 from Texas A & I University in Kingsville, Texas. She began her teaching career at Bruni Elementary School, where she taught grades first through third. She received her Master's of Science Degree from Laredo State University with specialization in Special Education. She continued her studies by taking classes at Dominican College in Houston. She then began her career as a Special Education teacher, where she taught for 29 years at Bruni Elementary School, working with numerous principals and teachers throughout her career while touching the lives of many students.

During her lifetime, she enjoyed dances and parties. She adored her children and her grandchildren. Her love of life and travel were undeniable. Although she traveled throughout the United States, from Maine to Florida, allover Texas, and to the West, she enjoyed Nevada the most. She loved the one-armed bandits, but in her case, they were very generous. She made several trips to Elko, Nevada, with her daughter, Rosario L. Carmichael and her granddaughter Daniella Carmichael. She visited the Vizcaya Museum in Miami, Florida, as she was always very interested in her Spanish heritage. Rosario was a wonderful story-teller, recalling life in Laredo in the 1920's, 30's and 40's. One of her most delightful memories was the picture she and her future husband, Bernardo, took in 1940, with a very tall snowman. She passed on all her tales to her children and grandchildren. As Glenn LaFleur Jr., remembers the stories she told of the nuns that were her teachers. She told theses stories in such a way that she made everyone laugh.

Rosario was preceded in death by her parents, her nanny to whom she was very close and who became an important part of her extended family, Panchita Gutierrez, her husband of 40 years, Bernardo Leal (1980), her eldest daughter, Rosario L. Carmichael (2002), her daughter Estela L. Treviño (2005), great-granddaughter, Maria Elena Leal (2003), and grandson, Patrick Bernard LaFleur (2008).

Rosario is survived by her son, Manuel (Rafaela) Leal of San Antonio, TX; her daughter, Bernadette (Richard) St. Clair of Phenix City, AL; her numerous grandchildren: Daniella Carmichael of Laredo; Manuel Leal and Arlisa (Mark) Valdez of Beeville, TX, Bernard (Mary Katherine) Leal of San Antonio, TX; Dr. Rodolfo Molina of Dallas, Estela (Ricky) Ybañez, Geraldine (Alfredo) Perez, Gerardo Molina, Clarissa (Alfredo) Perez, Benny (Diana) Molina, Erasto (Melissa) Treviño of Laredo; Joe (Angie) St. Clair of Brockport, PA; Glenn D. LaFleur, Jr. of Columbus, GA; Marie Bernadette LaFleur and Leann LaFleur of Phenix City, AL.
She is further survived by her great-grandchildren: Samantha and Nina Leal, Ellis and Mark Valdez of Beeville, Texas Austin and Lucas Leal, Lindsey Clare and Hannah Smith of San Antonio; Kate and Jack Molina of Dallas; Geraldine, Gabriella, Christina and Rebecca Perez; Luis, Santiago, Clarissa, Miguel and Monica Perez; Bernardo and Mikey Molina; Erasto, Megan and Dante Trevino, of Laredo, Texas; Jonah Patrick LaFleur of Phenix City, Alabama; and great-great granddaughter, Cameron Perez, of Laredo, Texas.

Rosario is looking down from heaven at all of those she has left behind, asking only that they be happy for her. For she is enjoying the company of God, his Angels and Saints and her family whom she missed dearly while on earth. She will see the rest of her family when the time is right, but she will always remain in the minds and souls of all that she loved as well as of those she knew. We miss you, Mom. And we'll see you soon!

Mrs. Leal will lie in state at Joe Jackson Heights Funeral Chapel, 719 Loring at Cortez, on Thursday the 12th of March, 2009 from 5 to 9 in the evening. A Vigil for the Deceased will commence at 7 that same evening.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday the 13th of March, 2009 at 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 2219 Galveston St. The funeral cortege will depart the funeral home at 9:40 a.m.

Mrs. Leal will be laid to rest in the family plot at the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

If you wish to express your condolences to the family or are unable to attend the wake, we invite you to sign her guestbook online at: www.joejacksonfuneralchapels.com

The family has entrusted the arrangements in Alabama to the funeral directors and staff at Vance Memorial Chapel.

Arrangements in Laredo have been entrusted to Joe Jackson Heights Funeral Chapels, 719 Loring at Cortez, 956.722.0001.

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