Memorial held for longtime high school counselor
By DAVID J. HARDIN
Family, friends, and the Copperas Cove community came together to remember the life of Belinda Marquez Juarez on Thursday afternoon at Copperas Cove High School’s Lea Ledger Auditorium.
Juarez ended her battle with a rare cancer on May 31, with her family by her side.
Rebecca Bentley, a friend of the Juarez family, spoke on their behalf and acted as the funeral celebrant throughout the service, as well as introduced a few friends and colleagues who wanted to share their memories.
Juarez was a counselor at Copperas Cove High School for the past 18 years, having come to the area when her hsuband was transferred to Fort Hood. The Texas State University alumnus began her career in education teaching elementary school in Lubbock, after which she also taught in Odessa, San Antonio and McCamey. She also went on to earn her master’s degree in counseling from Sul Ross University in Alpine.
While in Copperas Cove, Juarez served as the high school students' teacher, counselor, mentor, and some have called her a surrogate parent and friend. She was a parishioner of Holy Family Catholic Church where she served as a CCD teacher, volunteered for various fundraisers and activities and was devoted in her faith in Jesus Christ.
“Belinda was one of the most humble people that I have ever met,” said Copperas Cove ISD trustee Mike Wilburn. “She was an inspiration to me, and when you say her name warm thoughts come to your mind. In the 18 years that I have known Belinda, I have never heard her say an unkind word.
Let us not forgot the students that she loved, guided, mentored and directed, and whom she poured her life out for, her children and her students.”
CCISD superintendent Joseph Burns also said a few words about Juarez.
“Belinda would want us to remember her during the best of times and the fun times. She loved her family so much, and her students at Copperas Cove High School. She was a great problem solver and in essence served as the students' mother at school.
Today as we depart this place we would be remiss if we didn’t recall the love, the laughter, and the joy that was Belinda Juarez.”
Holy Family Catholic Church Deacon Jim DiSimoni gave a blessing and offered his condolences to the Juarez family on behalf of Father Patrick Ebner and the Holy Family community.
“Today we remember a woman who was a daughter, sister, a wife, mother, friend, an educator, and a beloved child of God. Although Belinda will be not be physically present at the Expo center on Friday night for the Copperas Cove High School graduation, her spirit will be there, and in all of the hearts of those whom she came in contact.”
M.J. Gavi was a student of Belinda’s and sought her help in dealing with the fact that both of her parents were deployed and weren’t around.
Gavi said that one of the greatest pieces of advice Juarez gave her was to “try and enjoy life a little bit better, because what is the point of living every day pissed off and angry, when you are not enjoying yourself?”
She said that Belinda’s wisdom helped her to stop being angry all the time and helped her start to be happier, friendly and more sociable.
“My life is better, I have made more friends, and get along with my mom better,” said Gavi.
Juarez' son, Eric, said every year she tried to give him a surprise birthday party, but because it was every year it wasn’t really a surprise, and he said it was one of ways she showed him her love.
“I will miss you. You always motivated me when I could not motivate myself, and you will always be the super mom to Marissa and I,” he said. “Yu spoiled us rotten with your love, and your love will be with us always.”
For those that desire to do so, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Copperas Cove Education Foundation in memory of Belinda Juarez, P.O. Box 943, Copperas Cove, Texas 76522 or online at www.ccisd.com.