Paula H. Borjon, a loving mother, wife, friend, and Christian, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, after a battle with multiple myeloma, cancer of the blood. Paula was born on April 28, 1942, in El Cedral, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, to Baldomero Hernandez and Amalia Jimenez.
At a young age, Paula and her family moved from San Luis Potosi to Tamaulipas searching for better opportunities. Paula, one of nine siblings, was raised in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, where her father was a merchant and her mother a homemaker. She attended primary and secondary schools in Matamoros, graduating from Preparatoria Ricardo Flores Magón. Shortly after graduating from high school, she began to work at the Matamoros Mexican Customs office specializing in the import-export business where she handled cross-border trade, logistics and planning for Mexican companies transporting goods into the United States. She held that job for a number of years before migrating to the United States to seek a better life. Paula lived in Chicago, Ill., where she held jobs as a cook, maid, newspaper typist and as a clerk while she saved money to return to Matamoros to build a home for her and her siblings after the death of their mother Amalia.
After building the home in Matamoros, she moved to Houston to seek employment there and give it a second try at the American dream. While in Houston, Paula enrolled in accounting and business classes at San Jacinto Community College. While working as an accounts payable clerk for an engineering firm in Houston, she met and fell in love with Jose Guadalupe Borjon. The two were married for more than 40 years and had three children: Jose Guadalupe born in 1982, who died only days after birth, Jose De Jesus born in 1986 and Juan Miguel born in 1987. Upon settling in Brownsville, Texas, in the early-90s, she returned to college and continued her studies at Texas Southmost College and the University of Texas-Pan American at Brownsville. Paula was president of the Parent Teacher Association at Reynaldo G. Garza Elementary School. She earned her U.S. Citizenship in the mid-90s and was a staunch voter who never missed an election. Paula worked for the Brownsville Independent School District for more than 16 years, where she served as a parent trainer and counselor with the Parental Involvement Department. She retired from BISD in 2012 to relax and enjoy life.
As a side job and hobby, for more than 30 years, she was an accountant and tax preparer for friends and family. She helped numerous people with tax services, notary services and translations, many times free of charge, in the Southmost and La Posada neighborhoods in an effort to help families there have better control of their finances and wealth. In the late-90s, Paula was involved with Valley Interfaith, a religious civic engagement group, and for several years helped thousands of people fill out U.S. Citizenship Applications to become Citizens of the United States and gain the right to vote.
She was a devote Roman Catholic and member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Lord of Our Divine Mercy Catholic Church, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church – all in Brownsville. In retirement, she was involved with Comunidad AMA, a religious organization associated with the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, and enjoyed meditation, prayer, and camaraderie with her fellow Comunidad AMA members. Paula was always willing, able and ready to lend a helping hand to any who needed help. She was a person who deeply cared about people and entrusted her life to God.
Among her friends and family, Paula was often the go-to and regularly served as the fixer in all that happened to many people in South Texas.
She is preceded in death by her parents: Baldomero Hernandez and Amalia Jimenez; siblings: Maria Nicolasa Hernandez and Eleuterio Hernandez and son Jose Guadalupe Borjon.
Survivors include her husband Jose Guadalupe Borjon, sons Jose De Jesus and Juan Miguel Borjon; siblings: Maria Macaria Escobedo, Francisco Hernandez, Jose Matilde Hernandez, Maria Celia Fernandez, Baldomero Hernandez and Maria Del Carmen Rivera. She is survived by numerous brothers in law, sisters in law, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, community members at Comunidad AMA and loved ones.
The family wishes to thank the many medical doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and healthcare personnel that helped Paula during the last months of her life as she battled multiple myeloma in Brownsville and Houston.
In particular, the Borjon family expresses sincere thanks and appreciation to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center personnel, including Medical Oncologists Dr. Adan Rios and Dr. Frances Cervoni-Curet for their relentless effort to control the multiple myeloma and for always coming up with yet another plan to save Paula’s life. Special appreciation and thanks to Dr. Min J. Kwak, geriatrician, and to the physical therapists and caregivers at TIRR Memorial Hermann who helped Paula with rehab efforts as the multiple myeloma progressed. All staff at Memorial Hermann went above and beyond the call of duty during a pandemic to help Paula and her family through very difficult times. The Borjon family admires their commitment to healthcare and appreciates the love and compassion they showed towards Paula until the day of her passing.
The family also thanks medical staff at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville, including Manny Vela, Leslie Bingham, Dr. Femi Layiwola, hospitalist, Dr. Beverly Zavaleta, hospitalist, and Dr. Linda Paniagua, emergency medicine, for their dedication and work to help Paula and many other ill people as the COVID-19 pandemic unraveled in the Rio Grande Valley.
Special thanks to Medical Oncologist and Hematologist Dr. Balesh Sharma of Texas Oncology, Dr. Asim Zamir, pediatrician, and Dr. Roberto Robles, cardiologist, for their support, help, and friendship as the Borjon family learned about multiple myeloma and dealt with the illness and its many side effects. Dr. Sharma, Dr. Zamir and Dr. Robles were there every step of the way to guide the Borjon family and provide comfort and support during every stage of the cancer treatments. Finally, the Borjon family thanks Dr. Francis M. Gumbel and medical staff for the many years of serving as Paula’s primary care physician.
Visitations will be from 1-7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home & Crematorium.
Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be recited by Comunidad AMA, Santa Maria Sector, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home & Crematorium.
Funeral Mass will be officiated by Father Francisco Acosta and Deacon Roman Ramos at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 1200 Lincoln St., Brownsville, Texas, 78521.
Burial will follow at Buena Vista Burial Park, 5 McDavitt Blvd., Brownsville, Texas, 78521.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home & Crematorium, 657 Springmart Blvd., Brownsville, Texas, 78526. (956) 350-8485.