TRUAN, CARLOS FLORES (1935 ~ 2012). The following is an obituary for former state Senator Carlos Truan. The obituary was written by the Truan family and was reprinted in a variety of state newspapers.
Carlos Flores Truan, a lifelong champion of education and the environment, represented the people of South Texas for 26 years in the Texas Senate and 8 years in the Texas House of Representatives. In 1995, he became the first Hispanic to serve as Dean of the Texas Senate.
Born June 9, 1935, in Kingsville, Texas, Truan labored throughout his life to improve public education; increase opportunities for higher education in South Texas and to protect the natural environment. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1968 and the Texas Senate in 1976. In 1986, he was honored to serve as Governor for a Day.
A political maverick unyielding in representing working people, Truan participated in two historic political rebellions in the Texas Legislature. In 1971, he was in the "Dirty Thirty," a group of 30 House members who fought leadership and won an investigation into the "Sharpstown Scandal," a banking scandal involving high-ranking state officials. In 1979, Truan joined the "Killer Bees,” a group of 12 senators who left the Capitol building for several days in a successful effort to prevent the Texas Senate from reaching the quorum necessary to pass legislation that would have manipulated the 1980 presidential election.
Crediting his mother's dedication to education for his success, Truan always worked to improve education for all Texas students. At a time when teachers could be prosecuted for speaking or teaching a language other than English on a school campus, he won passage of the Texas Bilingual Education Act of 1969. Truan also passed the Texas Adult Education Act of 1973, establishing the GED program. Recalling his own childhood needs, he passed legislation establishing a school lunch program in Texas to help children from low-income families receive a nutritious meal at school.
Truan's support of the merger of several South Texas universities into the University of Texas and Texas A&M University Systems was considered critical to expanding opportunity for higher education in South Texas.
Protecting and preserving the natural environment was a high priority for Truan. He won passage of bills regulating fresh water flows into bays and estuaries, protection of red fish and brown shrimp, and pushed for regulation over the disposal of low-level radioactive waste threatening drinking water supplies in South Texas. He sponsored the Texas Open Beaches Act, helped create the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation and worked to include Corpus Christi Bay in the National Estuary Program.
He credits his mother's advice to get a good education and work hard as his guiding principles. In 1959 he graduated from Texas A&I University, now Texas A&M-Kingsville, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business. He also began his career with New York Life Insurance in 1959, where he retired as a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table.
Active in his community, Truan was a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the American G.I. Forum, the Texas Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission, Kiwanis International and the Knights of Columbus.
As much as Truan loved serving the people of South Texas, he treasured his family even more. Truan married Elvira Munguia in 1963 and they raised four children, all of whom graduated from Texas Universities.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Santos Flores Truan; his father, Charles Truan; a sister and three brothers. He is survived by his wife Elvira; four children, Carlos Jr. , Veronica (Parrish Palmer), Rene (Tammy Truan), and Maria Luisa; 5 grandchildren, Aaron Palmer, Mikaela Palmer, Cameron Truan, Emily Truan, Kirsten Wall (Austin Wall), and great-grandchild Karley Wall.
The Truan family would like to thank a lifelong friend, Mary Helen Rodriguez for her love and support throughout the years. The family would also like to thank the staff at Spohn Shoreline Hospital for their outstanding care and compassion, especially Dr. Paul Heath, Dr. Jacklyn Cohn, Dr. Edward Massin of Houston, and his personal nurse Samantha Barrera.
Visitation will begin at 6:00 p.m., Monday, April 16, 2012 at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, with a Rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. that evening with eulogies to follow.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church.
A private burial service will follow at the Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made to the Senator Carlos Truan Memorial Fund at any IBC Bank in Corpus Christi.