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PETER VALDEZ, 94, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away peacefully at 4:16 pm on Monday, January 16, 2023, surrounded by his immediate family at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Beaumont, Texas. Pete was born June 29, 1928 in Port Arthur, Texas to Bernardino and Margarieta Correa Valdez, the sixth of seven children. Pete graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, Texas in 1948. He was hired in 1948 at Jefferson Chemical Company in Port Neches, Texas. He took a 4-year leave of absence to serve in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Pete returned to work at Jefferson Chemical in 1951 as an operator and attended Lamar University in Beaumont taking courses pertinent to his job. He retired from the Port Neches plant renamed Texaco Chemical with 39 years of service on December 1, 1986 as a Maintenance Foreman.

From 1945 through 1948 he enjoyed a Golden Gloves Boxing career which led to the State finals. He continued his boxing career while in the Navy, boxing to the All Navy finals. Sports Illustrated magazine gave his a photo write-up in the same issue that reflected Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

Pete is a lifelong Methodist and a member of the First Methodist Church in Jasper. He is a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of DeWitt Clinton Masonic Lodge #29 in Jasper where he served one year as Worshipful Master in 2006-2007. He became a Mason in 1959 receiving his 32nd degree in Galveston shortly thereafter. He has been an active member for over 60 years and was honored on July 3, 2021 and presented with his 60th Anniversary gold and diamond pin. He is a former member of the El Mina Shriners in the Mid-County Club in the Golden Triangle. Pete was a loving and devoted family man who cherished his family and was a man of God. He enjoyed his workshop where he went each day and the golf cart which allowed him to roam outdoors. He has attended most Class Reunions and Retirees’ social gatherings.

Pete married the love of his life, Joanna Jones, on February 22, 1953. He and his wife, Joanna, have been married 69 years. They traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe several times, taking pictures and giving slide presentations. He and Joanna resided in Groves, Texas for 44 years where they built two homes. In 1994, they moved to Sugarland, Texas and built a new home to be near their two grandchildren. In 2002, after 8 years in Sugarland, they built their 4th home in Rollingwood Country Estates in Jasper, Texas and retired there.

Pete is preceded in death by his parents; a son, Larry Earl Valdez; four sisters, Beatrice Trainer, Emma Ramirez, Estella Larson, and Edna King of Port Arthur; and two brothers, Roy Valdez of Beaumont and Oscar Valdez of Bella Vista, Arkansas. He is survived by his wife, Joanna Jones Valdez, of Jasper; daughter, Carol Ann Kovacich and husband, Richard Kovacich of Woodforest in Montgomery, TX; granddaughter, April Christine Medina and husband, Andy Medina; great granddaugher, Jazlyn Noel Medina, of Jacksonville, Florida; grandson, Austin Christopher Kovacich and wife, Brooke Williamson Kovacich; great grandsons, Kai Bronson Kovacich and Evan Hudson Kovacich of Magnolia, Texas.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 23 at The First Methodist Church of Jasper, 329 N. Bowie Street, Jasper, TX 75951 under the direction of Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home. You are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from 1pm to 2pm preceding the funeral at 2pm. Masonic brothers will serve as pallbearers. Masonic graveside rites will be served at Evergreen Cemetery in Jasper following the funeral service.

Navy Bugler presentation with military taps will be held.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The First Methodist Church of Jasper or DeWitt Clinton Lodge #29 of Jasper or the charity of your choice.