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Mission Funeral Home co-founder Lois Villaseñor remembered after COVID-19 death

Villaseñor is remembered as a pioneer for the Texas funeral industry and as a figure in the historic East Austin community.
Credit: Olga Campos Benz

AUSTIN, Texas — Lois Villaseñor, the co-founder and co-owner of Mission Funeral Home (MFH), was laid to rest on Thursday at age 87 due to complications related to COVID-19.

Villaseñor died on July 28. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Thursday with interment at the Texas State Cemetery.

Those close to her say she will be remembered as a pioneer for her contributions to the Texas funeral industry and Austin's Hispanic community.

Longtime family friend Texas State Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) spoke, saying Villaseñor helped build East Austin long before experiencing the drastic changes brought about in recent years.

"Her death presented a unique and sensitive challenge for her son, Charles Villaseñor II, and the staff of MFH, as they continue to work round-the-clock to meet the funeral needs of families whose loved ones have also lost the battle of life to COVID," said Olga Campos Benz, a local freelance media and PR consultant. "These deaths continue to come in at a staggering rate despite the leveling-off of the local hospitalization rate. Despite his own grief, Mr. Villaseñor's priority is to continue to care for grieving families who are facing a heartfelt loss during the current pandemic crisis. Mission Funeral Homes has been serving families in Austin for more than 60 years."

Villaseñor's obituary can be read here.