Maria Carmona

Longtime Terrell resident and famous restaurateur and matriarch of the Carmona family, affectionately known as “Mama Carmona”, passed away this week.

In the early morning hours on January 18, 2022, Mrs. Maria Pilar Carmona entered into her heavenly peace surrounded by her loved ones. She is preceded in death by husband Benito Carmona Sr., children Christopher Ray Carmona , Alicia Morales and her husband Jorge Morales as well as the following whom she raised, brother-in-law Lusio Carmona Lopez and Ambrosio Carmona Lopez, and sister-in-law Simona Guadalupe Lopez Carmona Martinez. She was also preceded in death by her mother, Silvina Villanueva, and father, Juan Villanueva, sisters: Jelos Villanueva, Senaida Mendoza, Juanita Villanueva and brother, Jose Villanueva.

Born December 8, 1929 in Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, he married Mr. Benito Carmona, Sr. on January 9, 1944. In 1954, she and her husband moved to Terrell, where they raised their children. They were one of 3 Hispanic families in the city at the time.

She was employed by Alexander Hospital and the Terrell Community Hospital. She worked closely with Dr. Alexander and Dr. Conrad whom she thought so much of. Mrs. Maria Pilar Carmona was known as “Mama Carmona” throughout the community. She also helped her son. Rick Carmona, with the establishing and daily operations of Carmona’s restaurant. Mama loved having family gatherings with her children and grandchildren. She was also a devoted member of Saint John’s Catholic Church. She served as a Eucharistic minister for many years and also helped in the religious education classrooms. Her love reached for beyond her immediate family and her impact was felt throughout the community.

She cherished every relationship with every person she came in contact with. She was a precious lady, and her faith in our Lord sustained her throughout her life. A special thanks to her caregivers, Joann Smith, Anna Garnica, and Angie Smith.

“We give thanks to God for his generosity to us; each day we had with Mama was a gift from God. She loved others as Jesus commanded us to do! She always told us to have Faith! She always put everyone else’s wants before hers. She was a beautiful example for all of her family to follow. We will dearly miss you Mama, but the memories we have with you will sustain us as we go forward. May you Rest in Peace!,” says the Carmona family.

Maria Pilar Carmona is survived by her children: Anita Cruz and husband Joe Cruz, Benito Carmona, Jr. and wife Margaret Carmona, Fernando Carmona, Aurora Barrientos and husband Dennis Barrientos, David Carmona and wife Donna Carmona, Eva Hernandez and husband Steven Hernandez, Sylvia Garcia and husband John Garcia, Rick Carmona and wife Lisa Carmona. As well as 18 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, and 8 great-great grandchildren as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, church family and a host of friends, all of whom will be proud to carry on Mama Carmona’s legacy of unconditional love and faith.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30am, Friday, January 21, 2022 at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church with interment to follow at Highland Memorial Gardens.

Mrs. Carmona will lie in state from 11:00am to 3:00pm for those wishing to pay their respects on Thursday, Jan. 20, at Max Slayton Funeral Chapel. A Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be at 7:00pm, Thursday, Jan. 20, at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family is strongly suggesting that, in memory of Mrs. Carmona's faithful service to the church, that contributions be made to St. John's, 702 N. Frances, Terrell, TX 75160.

Services are under the direction of Max Slayton Funerals & Cremations of Terrell.