2010-08-25 / Obituaries

DANIEL “DAN” SOLIS REYNA

Daniel "Dan" Solis Reyna, was born on May 11, 1930 and passed away on August 14, 2010, at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville. He was preceded in death by his parents Adalberto Reyna and Dolores "Lola" Solis Reyna.

He was born & raised in Raymondville and attended Raymondville Public Schools. As a young man he worked in his parent's furniture store, Bal-Rey Furniture Company. He received a track scholarship to attend Pan American Jr. College in 1950, but instead chose to enlist in the USAF on August 15, 1950. His duty assignment was to the 353 1st Maintenance Squadron at Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX. He was also assigned to Chanute AFB, Ill. He was honorably discharged on July 22, 1954.

He was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Medal, Korean Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Air Crew Members Wing, Sol. Medal, and the Army Com. Medal.

He was married to Virgina DeLeon Reyna, in October 1954, who preceded him in death. For over 30 years he was a Special Ed Teacher Beginning in 1957.

In 1963 Dan ran for office and was elected as the Willacy Co. Tax Collector.

In 1968 he was appointed the CEO of Cameron-Willacy Counties Community Projects, Inc.; He led the efforts to bring a myriad of services to its neglected, poverty-stricken population. Among these "firsts" was the provision of Texas Legal Rural Aid services for the poor, family planning, a Head Start program for needy children, and accessibility to federal food assistance programs. His mark as a "Great Society" warrior came when he was named CEO of the two county program: with a several million dollar budget with a staff of almost 800.

President Richard Nixon appointed Dan to serve on the National Commission on Aging and three Texas Governors called upon Dan to serve on commissions that addressed the needs of Texans over the years. Gov. Dolph Briscoe appointed him to the Texas Urban and Rural Development Commission. Gov. Alan Shivers appointed him as an Admiral in the Texas Navy, and Gov. John Connelly also called upon him to serve as an Admiral in the Texas Navy in the Nickels Museum and Battleship of Texas. He was a member of the Teachers Association and helped to establish the Brownsville Teacher's Credit Union. His community involvement did not end there. He was a member of the Lion's Club, was active in the Masonic Lodge, Temple No. 3, where he attained a 32-degree Scottish Rite rank, active with the Shiners, he supported the St. Jude Children's Hospital to aid children free of charge, and remained active in Brownsville's St. Mary's Church.

He ran for office and was elected as a commissioner for the Brownsville Navigation District in 1996. During his term of office, he and his fellow commissioners on the board built Brownsville's first (and only) Hazardous Materials capable fire station, a new Harbor Master's building, and began construction of new docks, lowered the tax rate, raised the bond rating of the port from C to A, and capped a 40-year effort by former boards to attain a presidential permit for the construction of a port bridge.

As a veteran, he never forgot the needs of his fellow service men and women. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and served in many capacities, including commander of Post 6719, District 18 Commander, Dept. of Texas Inspector General, and The Dept. of The Texas Surgeon General, He was chosen as VFW Dept. of Texas Member of the Year.

He was a firm believer in the capitalist system and free enterprise. He started several businesses which include Real Improvement Corp. (pres.), Bal-Rey Construction, inc. (pres.), and Focus Inc., a firm for the rehabilitation of children and young adults (administrator).

"I go in peace knowing that I gave my family, my country and my fellow men my all, my love, faith and charity. I have done many things and traveled the world over. I have eaten with kings and presidents, and even shared meals with fellow prisoners, but the most important thing to me was to teach a child to read and write and to help the widow and the Orphan."

Graveside committal services with military honors were held at 4:00 pin Friday August 20, 2010 at Brownsville City Cemetery. Full military honors were conducted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2035 under the direction of Luis Lucio.

Surviving Dan, a Son Felipe Daniel Reyna, a brother, Beto Reyna; and a sister Elma Reyna Delgado and Grandchildren, Cristina, Thomas, Joseph.

Honorary Pall Bearers: Lalo Fonseca, Eustolio Gonzales, Hector Galindo, Guadalupe Lupe" Espinoza, Alex Anzaldua, Lupe Camargo, Cesar Garcia, J.A. Garcia, Felix Longoria, +, Dolores "Lolo" Garcia, +, Carlos Garza, Alex Leal.

Pall Bearers: Eden Reyes, Frank L.Garcia, Oscar Gonzales, Dan Gonzales, Jr. Joe T. Vasquez Jr., Buddy Puente, Luis Saravia, A.J. Cantu, Baldomero Leiva, Jr. George Cantu.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday August 26, 2010 at 10:00 am at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Raymondville, Texas.

In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Reber Memorial Library or Texas Special Olympics.

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