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Cleo Carranza

Obituary for Cleo Carranza

February 3, 1924 - May 16, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 95


Cleo Carranza, age 95, of San Antonio, TX, received his final salute and passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, May 16, 2019 in San Antonio, TX. He is proceeded in death by his father, Carlos; mother, Bertha Martinez; wife Tomasita Carranza; and many of his siblings. He leaves behind daughter Bertha Winborne; son Armando Carranza (Mary); daughter Diana Carranza (Brian Smith) of Danville, IL; grandson Brent Winborne of Corpus Christie, TX; and grandson Armando Carranza II (Abby Yates).

Cleo served in the United States (US) Navy during World War II, for the 64th US Naval Construction Battalion, better know as the 64th Seabees. He served honorably from December 1942 to November 1945. After serving our country, he joined Kelly Air Force Base (AFB) as a civilian aircraft painter. He also married Tomasita Suarez, the love of his life. They enjoyed family and friends, and loved dancing together the most. They joined the Pan American Social Club as a young couple and danced at gatherings or wherever the tap of their feet led them to the dance floor.

After raising a family and retiring from Kelly AFB, Cleo enjoyed traveling to Seabee conventions, spending time with family, and meeting with friends at the NCO club until he lost his eyesight from glaucoma. Although it seemed like his world turned dark, his visual impairment launched a bright and independent life, thanks to the Department of Veterans Affairs Blind Rehabilitation program in Waco, TX, the South Texas (San Antonio) Low Vision Club, and especially the South Texas (San Antonio) Blinded Veterans Association. In life, Cleo celebrated family and friends, and especially the San Antonio Spurs (Go Spurs go!). He never saw barriers with his visual impairment. Cleo was a very special man who touched the lives and hearts of many. Even at the end of his life journey, he led a full, adventurous, and independent life. He was always the center of attention, laughing with his infectious smile. He experienced incredble opportunities by participating in the VIA Transit commercial (viewed on televisions sometime around 1990 - 2000); attending Alamo Honor flight #7 (October 2012) to visit the WWII and other memorials in Washington, DC; throwing out the first pitch for the San Antonio Missions baseball game (June 2016); being interviewed for Michael Nye's newly released book My Heart is Not Blind (March 2019), featuring photographs and audio recordings of visually impaired people; and being featured both in photograph and in audio at San Antonio Witte Museum's special exibition of Michael Nye's My Heart is Not Blind (January 2019).

A special thanks to all the caregivers at Alamo Hospice and Embrace Hospice, who made Cleo's end of life as comfortable as possible. They all treated him with dignity and respect, they always kept his spirits up, and brought out the humor in him. Thanks to Porter Loring staff for Cleo's final salute ceremony at home for his children. Cleo has now joined his eternal dance partner Tomasita in heaven, dancing to big band music.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
VISITATION: 5:00 – 7:00 pm
ROSARY: 7:00 pm
St. Benedict's Catholic Church
4535 Lord Road, San Antonio, TX

Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 9:00 am
St. Benedict's Catholic Church
4535 Lord Road, San Antonio, TX
Funeral procession immediately following to Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
led by the San Antonio Patriot Guard

Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 10:45 am
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
1520 Harry Wurzbach Road, San Antonio, TX

Deacon Oscar Vela will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to South Texas Region Blinded Veterans Association and/or the San Antonio Low Vision Club, both in Cleo's honor.

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Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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