Cover photo for Jose Luis Santillán's Obituary
Jose Luis Santillán Profile Photo
1949 Jose 2022

Jose Luis Santillán

July 21, 1949 — February 19, 2022

José Luis Santillán entered eternal rest peacefully on Saturday, February 19, 2022, surrounded by his family at the home built with his loving wife of 48 years Rachel Santillán. One of his famous sayings was "Si Se Puede" and relentlessly he fought, never giving up. Jóse Luis was Papi to daughters Dina Santillán (Jonathan Gongora), Jennifer Vasquez (Adolfo Jr.), and Ellie Santillán as well as to his grandchildren Taylor Santillán, Andrew Vasquez, Sara Vasquez, and Ryan Drew Gongora.
Born to Gilberto Santillán, Sr and Maria Leal Santillán, he spent his entire life in San Juan. Raised by his parents, his father instilled a strong and fierce work ethic that began as a migrant farmworker while his devoted mother influenced the powerful belief of faith that he would carry throughout his life. With his parents' foundation, José Luis pursued a degree in Education receiving his Master's Degree from Pan American University, and retired as Assistant Superintendent from Valley View ISD however, his passion and dedication for education continued as a consultant with the Texas Education Agency.
José Luis is also remembered for his public service within the City of San Juan. Beginning in 1996, he was elected and served as City Commissioner for three consecutive terms and continued serving the city as a volunteer youth coach as well as a Board Member of the San Juan EDC.
José Luis will be missed and remembered by many, including his 10 siblings, Esperanza Stockwell (Louie Long), Irma Santillán, Maria Elena McDonald (Severo), Fernando Santillán (Elena), Francisco Santillán (Cris), Gilberto Santillán, Jr (Yolanda), Rosario Mancha (Armando), Gracie Santillán (Filemon Perez), Cris Ortega, Maricela Santillán, and two half-sisters San Juana Fonseca and Enedelia Fonseca and numerous nieces and nephews.
Gloriously waiting for him in Heaven are his parents, his niece Jessica Denyse McDonald and his mother-in-law, Maria G. Hernandez.
On behalf of the family, we would like to express our gratitude for the excellent care he received at MD Anderson. Especially Dr. K. Raghov, Anneleis, PA, Dr. Isabel, and Dr. E. Miller and to Harbor Hospice for their compassionate and loving care.
Visitation will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with a 6 p.m. rosary Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at Memorial Funeral Home in San Juan. Celebration of Life Mass will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 23, 2022, at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in San Juan. Interment will follow at Palm Valley Memorial Gardens in Pharr.
Pallbearers will be grandsons, Taylor Santillán and Andrew Vasquez, nephews, David Mancha, Nathan McDonald, Danny Santillán, and godson, Nicolas Garza. Honorary pallbearers will be grandchildren, Sara Vasquez, Ryan Drew Gongora, and nephew, Frankie Santillán.
Funeral services are under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home in San Juan.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jose Luis Santillán, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Memorial Funeral Home - San Juan

311 E Expressway 83, San Juan, TX 78589

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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

216 W 1st St, San Juan, TX 78589

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Palm Valley Memorial Gardens

4607 N Sugar Rd, Pharr, TX 78577

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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