Former Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo was eulogized Wednesday night as a former Marine who stayed true to the Corps motto 'Always Faithful,' in his work, in his dedication to music, and in his love for his family, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Elizondo died last week at the age of 83 after more than thirty years on Commissioners Court.
Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller will officiate at Elizondo's funeral today, and friends and family will then proceed to San Fernando Cemetery for burial.
"If we look carefully," former Mayor Henry Cisneros said of Elizondo, "we can see that at the core of it all was a continuous, never wavering commitment to give his life's energy to helping people. What is clear is that he led with his heart and his soul."
County Judge Nelson Wolff, who referred to Elizondo as 'my best friend for 17 years,' recalled his love of music. Elizondo was a music teacher in local school districts for thirty years, and was a saxophone master and the leader of a jazz band which was seen by tens of thousands of people at events across the region.
He recalled traveling with Elizondo on county business.
"At the end of the day, we would go to music shops and antiquarian book stores," he recalled. "At night, he hit the jazz clubs of Blue Note, Birdland, and Dizzy's. One night when Tracy and I got out of the car, Paul said 'see you later. The musicians want me to come back and jam with them.' He stayed up all night, and the next day he came to our meeting on time and as alert as a bird."
Wolff specifically cited Elizondo's support for the arts during his years on Commissioners Court, citing his tireless commitment to turning the old Municipal Auditorium into the world class Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
Wolff called Elizondo's health problems late in life 'inspiring.'
"To paraphrase Paul Simon--—We ask where have you gone, Paul Elizondo, our county turns its lonely eyes to you," Wolff said. "Your soul has gone to heaven and your body will be buried at San Fernando, but the third phase of death, to be forgotten, will not come to you because we, along with Irene, David, John and Richard, and generations to come, will always remember you. We will miss you terribly, but you will remain in our hearts."
PHOTO: CHRISTIAN ARCHER