WESLACO, Texas (KVEO) — A local leader who spent 12 years as mayor of Weslaco in two separate stints has died.
On Friday, the City of Weslaco announced that former mayor Joe V. Sanchez passed away. Officials did not list an age or cause of death for Sanchez.
Sanchez served as Weslaco’s mayor from 1975 to 1981 and again from 2001 to 2007. During his two stints as mayor, Weslaco was recognized as an All-American City.
Sanchez’s work as mayor and his contributions as an educator and school administrator for the Weslaco Independent School District led to the city naming the town’s library after him as the Mayor Joe V. Sanchez Library.
According to the city, Sanchez grew up as a farmworker and later authored three books on the subject, one of which is titled VIPs of the Barrio.
Sanchez also served in the U.S. Military.
His impact on education continued as the director of the Hidalgo County Head Start Program.
He would later help establish the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) at the University of Texas-Pan American, now UTRGV, and the University of Houston.
Sanchez’s commitment to education left a lasting impression on the Weslaco community and the Rio Grande Valley as a whole.