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Saturday, October 14, 2023
10:00am - 2:00pm (Central time)
Saturday, October 14, 2023
Starts at 1:00pm (Central time)
Armela “Armie” Leal Soliz was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, mentor, and friend. Armie passed away on September 2, 2023, at age 78, after a brief stay in the hospital, where she braved two major surgeries with unwavering strength and courage.
Armie was born to the late Edelmiro & Natalia Leal Sr. on May 1, 1945, in Kingsville, Texas. Armie is preceded in death by her soulmate and husband, Juan L. Soliz, after 44 years of marriage. Their love story was ironic, in that Armie and Juan were born one day apart, the same year, and at the same hospital maternity ward in Kingsville. Armie often joked that their relationship was “love at first sight.” Armie was preceded in death by her only brother, Edelmiro “Kito” Leal Jr. Armie’s world revolved around her children, Oscar Soliz, and Annela Soliz-Narayanan (Santosh), as well as her amazing twin grandsons Colton Alexander & Tristan Aiden Soliz, and her granddaughter, Alyssa Rose Gonzalez. Alyssa was Armie’s first grandchild, which opened her heart to a new way of loving. Armie was mesmerized by Alyssa’s beautiful smile, quick wit, and golden heart. In her final days, Armie was extremely proud of Colton and Tristan for developing a love for music, and she was excited that both boys possessed natural talent to continue her musical legacy. Armie frequently quoted that her family was “small but mighty,” and lived by the words that “family always comes first.”
After graduating from H.M. King High School in 1963, in Kingsville, Texas, Armie received her bachelor’s degree in music from Texas A&I University, where she attended on a full-ride music scholarship. Armie was a brilliant musician and considered herself a trailblazer as a band director / musician, as there were few women musicians and band directors in the 1960’s. Armie went back to college in the 1980’s and completed a second bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Armie worked as an educator for Kingsville ISD for over 30 years. Not only was Armie a highly reputable educator in elementary academics, but she continued pursuing her passion for music by pioneering the youth mariachi movement by forming the group, Mariachi Juvenil de Kingsville, alongside her husband, Juan Soliz and brother-in-law, Emilio Soliz. Armie prided herself in teaching her young mariachis to be masters of their musical techniques. Armie also felt that it was important for these young musicians to be proud of, and appreciate, the culture and art of Mariachi Music. The majority of these young men and women today have continued as music educators or have become professional musicians. She was proud to have passed the musical torch to some of the finest young musicians she knew and considered part of her family.
As we honor Armie's memory, let us remember her for the impact she made on our lives. May we carry forward her spirit of love, passion for music, and compassion for her family, friends, and students as we navigate this world without her physical presence. Although our hearts ache with her passing, let us find solace in knowing that she has embarked on her heavenly journey to reunite with her soulmate, Juan, as well as her parents and family members who are all waiting to receive her in heaven.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” - Plato