Gilbert Leal Sr. (Beto), beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his wife and children at the age of 86 after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was born on January 19, 1935 to Consuelo and Eduardo Leal in San Perlita, TX. The Leal family moved to Sarita, TX when Beto was 6 years old after his infant sister and mother’s passing in 1941. His father was left to raise his 3 boys, Edward, Beto, and Antonio and eventually settled in Kingsville, TX where Beto met the love of his life, Esther Canales in 1950. He attended H.M. King High School and was a member of the band. After high school, Esther and Beto married in 1953. His high school band experience sparked a passion for music that would prove to be the catalyst for his own orchestra. In 1964, The Beto Leal Orchestra was founded. For many years, people from all over South Texas celebrated to the music of Beto Leal and his Orchestra. Several generations of musicians were mentored, lead, and inspired by him while attending Texas A& I University and led them to pursue their own musical careers. One of his proudest moments was when he and his orchestra were inducted into the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame in Alice, TX.
Beto’s primary occupation included 38 years of service for the HEB Grocery Company as a Department Meat Manager at the Kingsville, Robstown, and Alice stores. Before retiring in 1991, he accomplished a lifetime of awards and accolades. He was instrumental in the formation of generational leaders that are still leading HEB stores today. Beto loved to relax with friends and family while barbequing and watching his Dallas Cowboys.
He is preceded in death by his infant son Rolando, his parents, siblings, and step mother, Otilia Leal.
Mr. Leal is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Esther and sons Gilbert Leal (Norma), Roland Leal (Rey), daughters, Martha Diaz (Dudley) of Corpus Christi, Linda Marichalar (Mario) from Kingsville and Thelma Hernandez (Art) from San Antonio, as well as a sister Maria Inez Limon (Isidro) from San Antonio, TX. Beto also considered Rolando Molina from Kingsville to be his 7th
He was blessed with seven grandchildren, Nicole Gunn (Greg), Crystal Diaz-Espinoza (Mito), Alex Marichalar (Olga), Brandon Diaz (Felicia), Olivia Anderson (Corbin), Claudia Richter (Andrew), Rebekah Leal (Emily), and nine great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
The family will have a private service due to the Covid Pandemic. Plans for a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.