1943 Reyes 2022

Reyes Mata Jr.

August 16, 1943 — February 16, 2022

Reyes Mata Jr., beloved husband, father and grandfather, died peacefully in his sleep at home, in the early morning of February 16, 2022. His wife of 59 years, Estela Mata, was at his side. He was 78. Born in the small community of El Porvenir, Chihuahua, Mexico, on August 16, 1943, Reyes and his family moved to Socorro, Texas, when he was a young boy. Raised in Socorro, he attended elementary school in Socorro, and then Ysleta High School after he and his family moved to El Paso. Shortly after graduating from Ysleta High School in 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Estela Argumaniz, of Sierra Blanca, Texas. They wed on January 1, 1963, in El Paso. Reyes became a talented carpenter after participating in an apprenticeship program with a local labor union in El Paso. After working as a carpenter, he quickly rose through the ranks of the local building industry, becoming a foreman, a construction superintendent, then finally a project manager, a title he held for the remainder of his lengthy and successful career managing a large array of major construction projects in the El Paso region and West Texas. He retired in 2011 from CF Jordan Construction Company as a superintendent for concrete specialties. As a young man Reyes was introduced to the sport of boxing by his older brother, Rodolfo Mata. At the age of 17, Reyes joined the Lefty Pandelitis gymnasium in Central El Paso, and then was taken on by legendary local boxing coach Jesse Fonseca, who trained him for seven years. Reyes then joined boxing teams with Chito Barragan and Beto “Diablo” Marrufo. Reyes became a dominant boxing figure in West Texas in the lightweight to welterweight classes, winning five regional Golden Gloves championships before retiring as a fighter from an injury in 1971. After retiring as a boxer, he began his lifelong role as a boxing trainer. His first trainees were his wife, sons and daughter, and then the neighborhood boys. They trained in his backyard boxing gym on Cora Place in the Lower Valley, then moving on to become trainer at the (Viejo) San Juan boxing club, the Tays boxing gym in Central El Paso, the Kennedy boxing gym on Zaragoza – the TNT Boxing Club – and finally at the Carolina Center, eventually retiring from training after more than 50 years of coaching. As with all his pursuits, Reyes devoted himself to the highest standard in his boxing activities, training some of the youngest amateurs as well as the most experienced. In addition to being a volunteer coach for amateur boxers, he also trained professional fighters, became a professional boxing manager, was a long-time president of USA Boxing Border Association in El Paso, and founded RRR Ringmasters, LLC, a boxing ring rental company for amateur and professional boxing productions. In 1997, Reyes was recognized for the significant and meaningful contribution he made to the sport of boxing by being inducted into the El Paso Boxing Hall of fame. The honor humbled Reyes, whose true inspiration came from working with young boxers. Training young men and women in the art of boxing was his great joy, and he was proud to support the El Paso boxing community with his time and effort. But he was most proud of his marriage with his wife, Estela. In her he found his true partner who inspired him to build a home and family, who shared with him all their life goals, whose strength united their family, and whose love comforted him in his final days, sending his spirit gently to the waiting embrace of our Lord with the grace and dignity of a king. In addition to his wife, Estela, Reyes is survived by three children: Elizabeth Jurado, Rodolfo Mata and Reyes Mata III; and by nine grandchildren: Andrew Jurado, Nathaniel Jurado, Samuel Jurado, Sonia Anastasia Mata, Daniel Rodolfo Mata, Gabriel Alfredo Mata, Julia Elisa Mata, Reyes Mata IV and Luna Estela Mata. He is also survived by brothers and sisters Raymundo Mata, Consuelo Hannl, Ruben Mata, Concepcion Pena, Ramon Mata, Carolina Padilla and Carmen Ontiveros. He was preceded in death by his parents Reyes Mata Sr., and Consuelo Mata, and brothers Rodolfo Mata and Raul Mata. Pallbearers will be sons Rodolfo Mata and Reyes Mata III; grandsons Andrew Jurado, Nathaniel Jurado and Reyes Mata IV; godson Miguel Angel Nevarez; and boxers Cesar Valenzuela and Oscar “Piti” Valenzuela. Honorary pallbearers include brothers Raymundo Mata, Ruben Mata and Ramon Mata; nephews Adam Peña, Ruben Mata, Mario Nevarez, Raul Mata, Jerry Mata and Raymond Jude Mata; and boxers Herman Delgado and David Muñoz. Graveside services will be Monday, February 28 at 11 a.m. at Mount Carmel Cemetery at 401 S. Zaragoza Road in the “Cristo Rey” garden. The family respectfully requests that social distancing and masking be observed. The family gives special thanks to Elara Caring Home Health Care Service in El Paso. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice El Paso (915.532.5699). Hospice El Paso is a wonderful nonprofit organization that is a blessing in the final care of many El Pasoans. Memorial donations also may be made to USA Boxing Border Association, a nonprofit organization, via the Association’s Treasurer, Frank Guerrero (432.294.2645; j.fg32@live.com) To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Reyes Mata Jr. please visit our Sympathy Store.
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