Cover photo for Maria O. Stahl's Obituary
Maria O. Stahl Profile Photo
1935 Maria o. 2020

Maria O. Stahl

January 3, 1935 — December 25, 2020

Maria del Refugio Ortiz Stahl has entered into eternal rest, joining her dear parents, Juan C. and Julia A. Ortiz, who preceded her in death. She passed peacefully in her sleep on Christmas morning, 2020, in Lewisville, Texas.

Maria is survived by her three children, Teresa Stahl (Rick Morales), Anthony (Marta) Stahl, and Richard L. Stahl; siblings, Antonia Ortiz, Juan L. Ortiz, Julia O. (Kurt) Hartzog, and Gil (Elvira) Ortiz; grandchildren, Bobby Stahl (Roza Do) and son, Benito Ortiz Stahl, Valerie Castellano, David Castellano, Jr., Monica Stahl, Anthony Stahl, Jr., and Mark Stahl. Maria’s spirit will also live on in the memories of extended relatives, her friends and colleagues, and many others she touched in her lifetime.

Our dear “Cookie”, as she was known to many, was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. A 1953 graduate of Martin High School, Maria went on to complete her studies at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. While the arts may have been her true calling (she possessed a particular gift for drawing), Maria pursued certification as a teacher and she would go on to spend more than 40 years as an educator in Saginaw, Michigan and Laredo, Texas. The bulk of her service, however, was at her beloved Martin High School, where she taught English and Special Education for more than two decades.

Maria’s strong resolve, sharp wit, and commitment to impeccable grammar were exceeded only by her faith and desire to embody the values and teachings of Christ. She opened her home to strangers and was known to feed people that she would encounter living on the streets. Maria was a devoted fan of Texas sports and she put the full weight of her faith and prayer behind the Spurs, Cowboys, and Rangers. She loved music and dancing, making pilgrimages to sites of religious significance, and visiting casinos with some of her closest friends; she almost always broke even.

In retirement, Maria loved walking for exercise (as a way to counter her life-long affair with pan dulce y cafecito), staying connected to friends, and being present in the lives of her cherished grandchildren. Though the last few years of Cookie’s life were marked by battles with Parkinson’s disease, she never lost her ability to express herself using only a look, and she could muster a smile til the end.

Her family asks that you remember her as she would want to be remembered: as an educator and child of God whose profound love for family, friends, and former students well exceeded the availability of words.

She will be deeply missed.

A vigil of the deceased will be recited on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. at the Hillside Funeral Home chapel. Visitation will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 10:45 a.m. from Hillside Funeral Home to St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Vigil will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m.

Interment will follow to family plot of the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

Due to ongoing COVID-19, the family kindly asks all those wishing to express condolences in person to wear face masks and maintain social distancing orders. In accordance with the city ordinance, the number of visitors will be limited. We continue to ask that those at risk or those not feeling well stay home and reach out to the family through our website

Arrangements are under the direction of Hillside Funeral Home, 310 Hillside Road.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maria O. Stahl, please visit our flower store.


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