Irma F. Reyes, 88, of San Antonio, Texas was called home by the Lord passing away peacefully with her family by her side on February 21’2022.
She was born April 26’1933, adopted at the age of 2 years old, and raised by her loving adopted parents, Antonio & Inez Garza Felix. Irma Beatriz Felix grew up in Rio Verde, St. Luis Potosi, Mexico until she returned home to San Antonio where she met and married (1959) her husband, Jesse Reyes Jr, who preceded her passing in 2015.
Irma is survived by her two sons, Roger and David Reyes, stepchildren Daniel Reyes, Dee Garza, and adopted family members David and Tamara Dennis, along with 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
As a devoted mother to her children, she involved them in various youth activities including the scouting program as well as serving as volunteer supporting their involvement and ambitions while serving the community. In 1971, in a BSA historical first, she implemented several scouting exchange programs involving youths and scout leaders from the United States and Mexico thus advancing international relations between both countries and resulting in being recognized and awarded the Boy Scouts of America highest honor for volunteer service.
Irma’s developed skills to reach across borders and coordinate visitor exchange programs led to the appointment as an account executive of International Relations for the City of San Antonio. Eventually, her passion for facilitating and advancing global foreign relations led to her becoming a recognized authority on developing professional and personal relationships with such organizations as the United States Department of State, National Council for International Visitors, US agency for International Development, US Information Services, and countless NGO’s such as the Fulbright Student Exchanges and World Affairs Council to name a few.
In 1989, she founded and chartered the nationally recognized San Antonio Council for International Visitors. Under her guidance, direction, and a result of almost 40 years of selfless devoted volunteer service, the SACIV organization has facilitated over 6000 international visitors to San Antonio and the South Texas region. Known as ‘citizen diplomacy’, it was Irma Reyes dream as a private citizen to reach out to the world and promote United States foreign relations exchanges while showcasing Texas with the flair of San Antonio hospitality.
For her devotion to this type of international relation’s program, she was recognized by President Bill Clinton (1994), Texas Governor Ann Richards (1995), Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, several Mayors, City Council members, and multiple US government and military officials for her role in contributing to the international exchange community and facilitating the recognition of the country, state, and city of San Antonio on a global scale. Today, the San Antonio Council for International Visitors boast of a full-time staff and dozens of volunteers sharing Irma’s dream of ‘Citizen Diplomacy’. It goes without saying that Irma Reyes touched the lives of 1000’s of individuals and it would be no surprise that she had friends in almost every country in the world involved with the NCIC/SACIV program, including a few Prime Ministers, various Royal Family members, and countless program visitors who participating as emerging geo-political global leaders and influencers. For her unyielding dedication to this organization, the SACIV has honored her by establishing the ‘Irma Reyes Citizen Diplomacy Scholarship’.
In addition, Irma Reyes lifetime commitment of service to her community included serving on boards and supporting organizations such as the International committee of the Boy Scouts of America, City of San Antonio Cable Advisory Committee, First Friday Forum, Woodlawn Lake Community Association, Free Trade Alliance, SA Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Westside Chamber of Commerce, Japanese-American Society, World Affairs Council, Catholic Charities, GED Leadership Committee,& San Antonio Citizen Police Academy Alumni to name a few. She has received numerous community service awards and recognition coverage by local and state media outlets on her lifetime accomplishments.
In her remembrance, please consider supporting the annual ‘Irma Reyes Citizen Diplomacy Scholarship’ at firstname.lastname@example.org (210) 580-1548