George B. Cantu age 84 passed away peacefully on Friday July 20, 2018 surrounded by his children and grandchildren. George was born and raised in Corpus Christ, Texas. He graduated from Roy Miller High School in 1952 and was a proud member of the “Battling Buc Band” being the only band member that played the Valve Trombone. He later continued his education at Del Mar College.
George’s greatest passions were his family and work. At the age of seven (7) he began his life long career with National Linen Service, Inc. where he was known as “Little George”. He started with small tasks around the plant which then led him into the position of Routeman running city routes for the company by the age of 17. He was the youngest employee in the company’s history to receive a ten year service pin at the age of 17. After 34 years with National Linen Service, he continued his career as the first minority employed by Zep Manufacturing Company with 36 additional years of service. George received numerous awards but was continuously a member of the Zep Million Dollar and Five Million Dollar Sales Club throughout his career with the company and he was only beaten out for “Salesman of the Year” award twice during his 36 years of service. He took a great deal of pride in his work and was an expert in his field, but it gave him greater pleasure to teach, mentor and guide other salesmen in the art of sales. Mentoring salesman even after he was retired from the company was a common pleasure for George. He truly had a love for his work and all of the people he met along the way. His customers and co-workers truly became his friends and family. His words of wisdom, strong work ethic and continued dedication to Zep Manufacturing Company helped to make it what it is today. George was a leader, teacher and mentor for the entire Zep community, past and present.
George was a unique one of a kind individual who never met a stranger. He touched many lives with his profound words of wisdom and sound advice about life. Teaching and sharing his knowledge about work and life with others made him happy. Anyone who sat next to him long enough to have a conversation was sure to learn some sort of life lesson. No one was ever going to sit by George (the great story teller) and not hear a famous story or two. He was a proud father and grandfather and loved to brag about all his children and grandchildren and their numerous accomplishments to anyone that would listen. He loved spending time fishing either sitting down on the sea wall or going out on the bay for the day with his son. Another great pleasure for George was music. He loved the great oldies, all the big band sounds and he enjoyed dancing. He was an awesome dancer. In recent years he became fond of his daily trips to Whataburger on Texan Trail to enjoy breakfast with his friends. George was an active and dedicated parishioner of St. Patrick Catholic Church and was one of the oldest registered members of Knights of Columbus Counsel 1202, becoming a 3rd degree member in December 1978.
He is preceded in death by his parents Salomon Cantu and Manuela Benavides Cantu; sister, Elida Valadez; brother, Ramiro Cantu, and his infant son Juan Salomon Cantu. He is survived by his brothers, Salomon Cantu of Tacoma, Washington, Frank Cantu of Corpus Christi, Texas and his Children, Janie Solis (Santiago) of Corpus Christi, Texas, CDR Nora M. Perez (Ret.), Corpus Christi, Texas, Norma Jean King, Corpus Christi, Texas, George Cantu, Jr., (Teri), San Antonio, Texas, Naomi Johnson, (Tim) Willis, Texas, Nenette Cantu, (Jill), Seguin, Texas. He was blessed with many Grandchildren, Bernadina Rodriguez, Santiago Solis, Jr. (Crystal), Trey King, (Florencio), Diego Solis, Daniel Solis, (Hermalinda), Valentina Perez, Ashely Real, (Clinton), Theresita Perez, (Eric), Kara Bockholt, (Derek), Sarita Alonzo (Charlie), Georgia Cantu, AnnaLisa King, Cody Frontz, (Colton), Taylor Johnson; Twenty four (24) great grandchildren and five (5) great-great grandchildren.
Public visitation will begin at 5:00 pm on July 24, 2018 with a Rosary at 7:00 pm at Corpus Christi Funeral Home. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick Catholic Church at 9:00 am on Wednesday July 25, 2018. Interment will follow at Rose Hill Memorial Park. Following services there will be a reception at St. Patrick Fellowship Hall. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Running Strong for American Indian Youth Organization.
Serving as pallbearers will be George Cantu, Jr., Tim Johnson, Taylor Johnson, Valentina Perez, Trey King, Javier Mejia, Jill Burttschell, Colton Frontz, Clinton Real, Diego Solis.