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Jeanne Dezaro

Obituary for Jeanne Dezaro

November 3, 1956 - July 7, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 63


On Tuesday, July 7, 2020 Jeanne Canestaro Dezaro, passed away quietly of kidney failure in her home at age 63, surrounded by family. Jeanne was a constant source of love, resiliency, wisdom, and humor—both subtle and mischievous—for all who knew her. She will be remembered as a thoughtful wife, sister, and aunt, and as a dedicated teacher and imaginative artist.

Born on November 3, 1956, Jeanne Elizabeth George Canestaro was the fifth of Otilia Lucia Frazer Canestaro's eight children. Jeanne was a determined original-thinker and always followed her own path throughout life. When she was twelve, preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, she chose the name George (after the Beatle) as her Confirmation name, arguing that it was her right to choose any name she wished. The Bishop later had the official document changed to "Georgia."

Jeanne was a selfless individual; after graduating from high school, rather than leave home and follow her older siblings to college, she stayed to support her mother and younger siblings. While working at a downtown restaurant, she met the love of her life, Xavier Hernandez. They were married in July of 1983 at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in the Oblate Missions. As a condition of marriage, Jeanne insisted she not be the only one to change her name. Jeanne and Xavier created a new family name, Dezaro, taking the last three letters of each of surname.

Jeanne's drive to nurture and inspire those around her led her to her true calling as an elementary school Fine Arts teacher. After graduating from UTSA, she taught at St. Mary's Catholic School in downtown San Antonio, and at Schulze Elementary in the Harlandale district. Her music and art classes were so energetic and her methods so attuned to her young students that she was awarded the Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2008 at Schulze Elementary. Her annual Christmas show (featuring the song "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas") was a cherished tradition. She offered students her rare zest for learning, and ardently believed that if you weren't learning messily you weren't living. While teaching, Jeanne went on to complete her master's degree—a proud accomplishment that stemmed from her unending desire to create and grow.

Jeanne was an amazing artist, channeling her creative spirit into creating complex ceramic vases and figures that she would give to family and friends. She could always be found drawing and transforming ordinary objects into flourishing works of art. The intricacies and beauty of her works were sources of wonderment and could have been easily displayed in galleries.

The core of Jeanne's being was that of love and support of her family. She helped raise her younger siblings and was a beloved mentor to her nieces and nephews. She was always generous with her time and advice and had a knack for making those around her feel appreciated. Her gentle presence and witty mind will be deeply missed.

Jeanne is survived by her husband, Xavier Dezaro, by her siblings, Authur Hernandez (Linda B. Hernandez), Gloria Hernandez, Blanch Medrano, Rosairo De La Cruz, (Roy De La Cruz), Alice Canestaro-Garcia, Catherine Cisneros (George Cisneros), Christopher Canestaro (Patricia Canestaro), Peter Canestaro (Virginia Canestaro), Monica Canestaro-Darby (Stephen Darby), Charles Canestaro and Toni Gloria Canestaro (Timothy Jones), and by numerous nieces and nephews.

Jeanne is preceded in passing by Ruben Hernandez, Louisa Eclarinal as well as her mother, with whom she can now reunite and perhaps share stories of a life well-lived and songs of love.

A live stream of her service will be available on Monday, July 20, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. via this link:

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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