POSTED: Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 5:30pm
UPDATED: Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 1:40pm
The church choir honored Raymond Telles' memory with song and guests sang along, and prayed with gratitude for his long and dedicated life.
Telles' grandson, Raymond Jimenez, and his two daughters,Cynthia and Patricia, shared tender memories of the man they say loved unconditionally.
"My father was a very humble man and his mission was to do good for others and to make things better for others as well, here in El Paso, in Costa Rica, and wherever he went," said Patricia.
Raymond Telles was the first Hispanic mayor of a major U.S. city, when he served El Paso from 1957 to 1961. President John F. Kennedy later appointed Telles as Ambassador to Costa Rica, where there's a town and streets named after him.
Later, Telles was advisor to many presidents in Washington D.C. but most importantly, just like Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, Telles broke a color barrier in politics.
"He opened the way for so many people in not just El Segundo Barrio but in the Hispanic community. He is revered throughout our community, plus throughout Latin America," said former Congressman, Silvestre Reyes.
Mayor John Cook remembers Telles as a mentor.
"I would go back to 2005, when I was knocking on doors, asking people to vote for me and one of the doors I knocked on was Ambassador Telles, and he said 'So, you want to be the Mayor?' and I said, 'Yes, sir.' and he said 'Do you want any advice?' and I said, 'Of course!' and he said 'Always be true to yourself and you'll never make mistakes,'" recalled Mayor Cook.
Telles' family helped build San Ignacio Church. Mr. Telles also got married there, and he also wanted to come back there one last time. Today his family honored that request.