Cover photo for Elsa Laurel's Obituary
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1928 Elsa 2019

Elsa Laurel

October 5, 1928 — February 5, 2019


October 05, 1928 – February 05, 2019

Elsa G. Laurel, 90, was welcomed into the kingdom of heaven on Tuesday, February 05, 2019.

Elsa was born in Laredo a direct descendant of founder Tomas Sanchez and grew up in the landmark Benavides-Herrera house in the San Agustin Historic District. Graduating high school at age 15, she started working various jobs and met Oscar M. Laurel while at Ward Jackson Insurance in the Sames-Moore building, where he was a law clerk for Mr. Ed Mann. Their first date was at Central Drug and she would recall he had coffee and she a Dr. Pepper.

She was crowned the city’s very first Miss Laredo in 1948 and she married Oscar in 1951. He established his law practice on Washington Street and she did secretarial work and managed the office. She supported his entrance into local politics as he was elected State Representative for the region, National President of LULAC, and District Attorney in the early 1960s. During this period, she participated in local community activities ranging from raising money for the March of Dimes to membership in the Society of Martha Washington. In 1967, they moved to the Washington D.C. area when he was appointed to a position in the LBJ Administration. During their time in Washington, she became known as an unofficial hostess and tour guide to all Laredoans who visited the area and also enjoyed hosting Members of Congress, their staffs and other Administration officials at her home. Her parties were legendary, always featuring a feel of South Texas.

The post Washington years were filled with traveling the world, ranch time with family, and supporting her kids through college and graduate school. More than anything else, she loved time with her family as it grew to include her precious grandchildren and great grandchildren, who affectionately called her Mami. In 2001, she lost her Oscar to cancer and spent her remaining years enjoying time with her family, her many friends and close relatives. Among the great joys of her later years, she especially cherished her trips to Las Vegas with her dear friend Peggy Newman and her Wednesday Scrabble games with her beloved cousin Sara Alicia Brittingham and dear friend Phyllis Freed.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Oscar M. Laurel; parents, Edgardo A. and Virginia Penn Gonzalez; sister, Alma Gloria Johnson; brother, Edgardo A. Gonzalez, Jr.; and brother-in-law, Arturo Barrera.

Left to cherish her memory are her children, Elsa Laurel Nicholson and Oscar M. (Rebecca) Laurel, Jr., her grandchildren, Melissa L. (David) Dominguez, Rosanna M. (David) Barrera, and Daniel J. (Kristen) Nicholson; Oscar M. Laurel, III, Lorenzo Z. Laurel and great-grandchildren, Graciela, Sofia, and Liliana Dominguez, and Bryden and Lola Barrera. She is also survived by her sister, Virginia G. Barrera, sisters-in-law, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to extend their most heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Milton Haber and staff, Nurses On Wheels, and the fourth floor nurses at Doctor’s Hospital. They also wish to extend their profound love and respect for her caregivers: Elena Plata, Gaby Castillo, Lily Arce, Janie Guerrero, Laura Benavides, and Laura Alicia Escamilla.

The family will be receiving condolences on Friday evening, February 08, 2019 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Joe Jackson North Funeral Chapels & Cremation Services, 1410 Jacaman Rd.; where a Vigil for the Deceased and Rosary will commence at 6:30 p.m., followed by remembrances and celebration of life at 7:00 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday morning, February 09, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 555 E. Del Mar Blvd. All attending are kindly asked to meet at the church; there will be no procession.

Rite of Committal and Interment will follow at the family plot of the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be: David A. Dominguez, David M. Barrera, Daniel J. Nicholson, Oscar M. Laurel III, and Lorenzo Z. Laurel.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that you consider making a donation to Bethany House of Laredo, 819 Hidalgo St., Laredo, Texas 78040, or The Congregation of St. John of Laredo, 505 Century Drive South, Laredo, Texas 78046.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care and direction of the funeral service professionals at Joe Jackson North Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services, 1410 Jacaman Road, Laredo, Texas 78041; (956)722-8850.


Joe Jackson North Funeral Chapels & Cremation Services
  • Email Details
  • 1410 Jacaman Rd.
    Laredo, TX 78041


Joe Jackson North Funeral Chapels & Cremation Services
  • Email Details
  • 1410 Jacaman Rd.
    Laredo, TX 78041

Mass of Christian Burial

St. Patrick Catholic Church
  • Email Details
  • 555 E Del Mar Blvd.
    Laredo, Texas 78041
  • There will be no procession, please meet at the church.

Rite of Committal and Interment

Calvary Catholic Cemetery
  • Email Details
  • 3600 McPherson Rd.
    Laredo, TX 78040
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