Military Alumni

Military High School Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

Lost Class Rings

Have you lost your Psja Early College High School class ring? Have you found someone's class ring? Visit our lost class ring page to search for your class ring or post information about a found ring.

In Memory Of

Adriana (gutierrez) Tamez
Adriana (Gutierrez) Tamez
Class of 1971
Passed Jan 23, 2017
This profile was created by Melba Diana (Barrera) Maurer. If anyone would like to add info, feel free to contact Melba Diana at her profile in class of 71 alumni.

Adriana is survived by her husband, Noe Tamez, her children, her sister Arabella Edwards, and her brother Albert Gutierrez. Adriana was known as "Yaya" and loved by all. The memory of our beloved Adriana brings a smile to everyone's face. May she rest in peace.
Calixtro Carranza
Calixtro Carranza
Class of 1971
Passed May 01, 2012
On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, Cali Carranza, 59, defeated ALS (Lou Gherig's Disease) and began leading the Lord's choir. Cali was born and raised in Pharr. He served in the U.S. Army Recruiting Command for over 30 years. He was active in numerous civic and community service organizations, including the Selective Service Board, the Pharr International Bridge Board, and the Pharr Housing Authority Board, where he served as chairman.
However, he will be most remembered for the joy he shared with so many through his music. A musician from the age of 3, Cali earned numerous awards, including Song of the Year, Band of the Year, the Tejano Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into the Tejano Music Hall of Fame.
To the world he will always be "the ever-smiling Cali Carranza." To those closest to him, he will always be the strong, brilliant, and loving man who was the heart and soul of his family.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Magdaleno and Adela Carranza; and a sister, Maria Anita Rosales.
Cali is survived by his beloved wife of 36 years, Maria Carranza, of Pharr; four children, Marissa (Jason) Hernandez, Clarissa Carranza, Cali Michael Carranza, and Julian Matthew Carranza, all of Pharr; four grandchildren, Elijah, Ethan, and Isabella Hernandez, and Ava Guzman; two brothers, Magdaleno Carranza, Jr., Ruben Carranza; two sisters, Elida Garcia and Lydia Garibay.
In closing, some parting lyrics from Cali's favorite recording, reminding us all to cherish every moment…
La vida se hace siempre de momentos, de cosas que no sueles valorar
Y luego cuando pierdes, cuando al fin te has dado cuenta
El tiempo no te deja regresar.
Profile created by Melba Diana (Barrera) Maurer. If anyone would like to make edits to this profile, contact Melba on this website in class of '71.
Carlos Garcia
Carlos Garcia
Class of 1967
(Passed date unknown)
You were great classmate and a great neighbor. Thank you for your friendship and memories. Your friend that lived across the alley, Robert.
David Gonzalez
David Gonzalez
Class of 1989
(Passed date unknown)
I miss you Big Dave!!!!!
Donald Adams
Donald Adams
Class of 1953
(Passed date unknown)
Donald Adams passed away in August 2014.
Eliud Cabrera
Eliud Cabrera
Class of 1982
Passed Sep 26, 2007
Eliud, known for his dramatic and artistic abilities, succumbed to cancer at the age of 43. He had lived in Dallas for the past 13 years where he spent the happiest years of his life. My Tio Eliud painted two murals in the cafeteria of the old high school for the class of '81 and '82. He is also known for painting the huge Gene Simmons poster/banner that was displayed at one of the basketball games. He was also an active member of the Bear Memories staff. The picture I uploaded is of him at one of his proms, I'm not sure what year or his date's name (sorry). After his passing we received a lot of sympathy from friends who went to high school with him, and from UTPA. His love of drawing got his political and sometimes "controversial" cartoons are still hung up in the president's assistants office. I hope those of you who went to school with him, but didn't know of his passing until now, take a moment to smile and remember something wonderful about him; because he truly was a wonderful person. I love you, and miss you everyday Tio Eliud! Rest in peace, you are missed...
Estella Gonzalez Latin
Estella Gonzalez Latin
Class of 1991
Passed Jun 04, 2013
(no additional information)
Eugenio "gene" Gutierrez
Eugenio "Gene" Gutierrez
Class of 1962
(Passed date unknown)
Senior Class President
Florence Erdsteen Venson
Florence Erdsteen Venson
Class of 1960
Passed Sep 10, 2008
(no additional information)
Gilbert Trevino
Gilbert Trevino
Class of 1978
(Passed date unknown)
(no additional information)
Joe Acosta
Joe Acosta
Class of 1967
(Passed date unknown)
You led a good life.
We ( Lazaro, Marty and I, Robert ), childhood friends, still remember all the good times we had and we cherish your memory.
Juan Roberto Sandoval
Juan Roberto Sandoval
Class of 1971
Passed Oct 19, 2015
Juan Roberto Sandoval – My Brother
-An Old Fashioned Romantic Soul-

• Juan showed me how he loved his parents dearly
o He continuously demonstrated this love in as many ways as he could
o By his actions, he showed this love, as often as he could

• Juan had the utmost respect for all of the “Old Folks”
o He could easily speak their language and they all appreciated him for it
o For example, If you had heard him conversing with my Father-In-Law on any of the several times they met, you would have thought they were of the same age; and that they had know each other all of their lives!

• Juan was a hard field laborer and a natural-born field trucker
o We were all hand-picking crops at a very early age; and continued to do so as migrants on and off until the day we graduated from college
o Juan knew how to drive the old Trucks of our youth and he knew how to keep them running
o He loved the Black Ford Truck with the Red interior
o He loved loading up the truck with cantaloupes or watermelons and heading for the packing shed
o He loved to repeat the load/unload cycle as many times as possible
o After exiting the Army in August 1973, I went to ask about Juan who had exited before me in June
? I was told, He went to work the cantaloupe crop in Pecos; just as he had done all the years prior to the Army!

• Juan could be funny and he loved to repeat funny stories
o He was mature at a very early age and one could easily believe that Juan had never been a kid
o In our younger years, he would make us laugh just because he dressed and groomed like an adult – when other youngsters were wearing jeans, Juan was already wearing adult kakis
o One of his favorite stories was of a young cousin of his who was asked by an uncle if he was ready to begin school
? The child had responded that he could not go to school because he didn’t even know how to count
? After having a hearty laugh at the child’s serious no-non-sense response, Juan would try to explain to him that this was exactly the reason he was going to go to school!
? Once I asked Juan what his puppy’s name was
• He said “His name is Richard Nixon, but he will answer to Mr. President!”

• Juan was the best mechanic we all wish we could find any time we have car troubles
o He and my older brother began helping out at his Tio Alfredo’s Main Street Texaco when they were still kids
o Juan could properly diagnose a car’s problems using his hands, eyes, and ears long before diagnostic machines were ever designed
o Juan could replace a radiator, a starter, an alternator, a cracked manifold, a cracked cylinder head, or the worst nightmare - a timing belt;
o If need be Juan could overhaul an engine and have it purring in short order
o Juan, could fix a pick-up truck, or a deuce and a half truck with which our parents used to make their living, just as well as he could fix a car

• Juan was a good Soldier
o He was drafted into the U.S. Army in June 1971 and I joined the Army in Aug 1971
o After Basic Training, he and I ran into each other at Ft Sam Houston in San Antonio
o We took Advanced Infantry Training and Field Medic Training there for about 12 weeks
o On weekends when we did not have Post Duty, we would dress in our Army dress uniform and hitch-hike to go see our respective girlfriend
o We would hitch-hike 250 miles on Friday evening and 250 miles back on Sunday afternoon
o Juan and I knew these two girls were worth all the fuss; a few years later, we each married the girl we had been going to see during those hitch-hiking weekends at Ft Sam Houston
o After Ft Sam Houston, Juan went to Germany and I went to Ft Ord, Ca
o When on leave I went to visit his parents and asked them how Juan was doing in Germany
? His Mom said, “Juan is doing OK – there is not one letter that we get from him, when he doesn’t talk about his Jeep!”
o Juan and I appreciated the Army life – we both considered making a career of it; but in the end we finished our tour and came back home

• Juan was a very smart person
o If it were not for the fact that we were migrants, as well as the fact that we had to deal with the peer pressure inherent to our culture, we could have done much better than we did in elementary, middle, and high school
o Because we had the GI bill after the Army, We both began attending UTPA
o Juan liked math, so he declared himself a Math major
o After completing basic core classes, he had some trouble enrolling in some Math courses he needed;
? Right then and there he switched to an Accounting major because that was my major
? I was always telling him how much fun Accounting was compared to Math!
o Juan quickly picked up the core Accounting principles and understood what he was getting into
o One problem haunted him; he was forced to drop the English Literature class several times, because no one would help him figure out how to write the required research paper
o After all I owed him for his loyalty as a friend and for keeping my old car running, it was my turn to help him
? I coached him on reading a particular book, researching a related theme, taking appropriate notes, and then converting these to a comprehensive summary that the professor would enjoy reading
? Together we worked on it until Juan was able to get it done; and he passed his English Lit class!

• Juan persevered against BIG odds
o When we graduated UTPA, we each had two choices
1. Do what the majority did; find a job close to home, or
2. Explore bigger opportunities outside the Rio Grande Valley
o I graduated in August 1977 and joined John Deere Co in Moline, Il; Juan graduated from UTPA a year after I did, and he re-located the family to Dallas, after accepting a job with Mobile Oil Co
o As some of us were choosing to leave to pursue bigger opportunities and to search for a better life for us and for our growing families, you could hear the Rio Grande Valley Culture, relatives and friends alike, whispering
? “Who do they think they are?”
? “They will miss home”
? “They can’t raise their family by themselves”
? “They don’t know what it will take to make it in that tough strange world of corporate America”
? “They will find out that it isn’t easy”
? “They won’t be gone long”
? “They will be back”
o Over the early years, Imelda & I would stop and visit Juan & Frances
? We would compare notes on our progress
? We were definitely moving forward
? We were committed to making it work
? We were committed to succeeding with our chosen companies
? We were committed to proving “them” wrong
? After a few years we were confident that the former “migrants” were going to make it!
? Was it easy?
• no
• But we did make it!
? After 20+ years, Juan voluntarily chose to retire when Mobile merged with Exxon
• I voluntarily retired after 32 years with John Deere Co

• Juan was an old fashioned romantic soul
o He loved conjunto music
o He loved mariachi music
o He loved “corridos de caballos” (Horse Ballads)
o He loved old Charro western movies
o He loved old Mexican Revolution Movies
o He loved to sing and he loved to dance
o He loved to marinate and grill steaks
o He loved to work hard
o He loved Family
o He loved Friends
o He loved LIFE

Juan, my brother, I will miss you for the rest of my life,
May our good and gracious God grant you eternal rest in His heavenly kingdom!

Jose Gilberto Peña -- 20 October 2015
Juanita De La Rosa
Juanita De La Rosa
Class of 1968
Passed Mar 03, 2018
Juanita De La Rosa Class of 1968 passed away on Saturday March 3, 2018.
Marie Caroline Medrano
Marie Caroline Medrano
Class of 1989
Passed Feb 05, 2009
EDINBURG/PHARR - Carolina Marie "Carol" Estrada, 39, died Thursday, February 5, 2009, at her residence in Edinburg.
Born in Houston, Texas, Mrs. Estrada was formerly of Pharr and had lived in Edinburg for the past 7 years. She was a member of St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Pharr.
She is preceded in death by her father, Gilberto Medrano.
Mrs. Estrada is survived by her husband, Joe M. Estrada of Edinburg; three children, Ashley Marie Luna, Jonathan Mikel Estrada and Brenda Marie Estrada, all of Edinburg; her mother, Maria I. (Jose) Vargas of Pharr; four sisters, Cynthia (Larry) Kahn of Houston, Texas, Marlene Castro of Harlingen, Gloria (Jose Luis Castillo, Jr.) Galindo and Sylvia (Mike) Garcia, both of Pharr and a brother, Homero Castillo of Pharr.
A rosary was held Friday, February 6, 2009, at Memorial Funeral Home in San Juan. Funeral service will be held at 9 a.m., today, February 7, 2009, at St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Pharr. Interment will follow at Palm Valley Memorial Gardens in Pharr.
Pallbearers will be Jaime Estrada, Juan Estrada, Jr., Ruben Reyes, Jose Castillo, Michael Garcia and Steve Moyer.
Funeral services are under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home in San Juan.
Sign the guest book at
Mary Ann Garza (rodehaver)
Mary Ann Garza (Rodehaver)
Class of 1971
Passed Jan 11, 2018
Passed away at her residence in Edinburg.
Mary Castillo
Mary Castillo
Class of 1989
(Passed date unknown)
She was a true friend and a genuinely kind and caring human being. She will be missed by her family, friends, and students.
Oscar P. Rodriguez
Oscar P. Rodriguez
Class of 1971
(Passed date unknown)
(no additional information)
Pedro R Martinez Jr (chicago)
Pedro R Martinez Jr (Chicago)
Class of 1975
Passed Mar 03, 2017
(no additional information)
Rachel Acosta
Rachel Acosta
Class of 1978
(Passed date unknown)
Rachel Acosta, PSJA Homecoming Queen 1978
Ricardo Pruneda
Ricardo Pruneda
Class of 1968
Passed Jan 06, 2016
Richard lived in Richland Hills, in the Fort Worth area. Spent a year here in Pharr taking care of his elderly mother. He was the life of the "Breakfast Club" that met at San Juan Café. Any PSJA graduate was always welcomed. Always had everybody laughing. We all miss you dear friend.

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Psja Early College High School Classmates

Beto Cortez
Class of '96

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School News

finally in love

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