HOUSTON (AP) — Benito Juarez Cavazos had come to Texas illegally from Mexico on his own as a young teen and was in the process 28 years later of getting his green card when he was swept away in the floodwaters left by Harvey.
Cavazos, 42, had recently received a work permit and Social Security card and was scheduled for an appointment toward getting permanent residency the day after he apparently drowned, his cousins said Friday at a memorial service for the auto body shop worker.
“When he received the Social Security card, he was so excited” because he felt it would prevent him from being deported, Maria Cavazos said. “That was his sense of protection.”
His close-knit family in the U.S. and friends mourned his loss and remembered him as a happy-go-lucky guy who was always smiling, never missed a party where beer was served and would give a friend his last dollar.
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The service for Cavazos was one of the first for Harvey’s 42 known victims.
It’s been four days since volunteer rescuers Ben Vizueth and Gustavo Rodriguez went missing in Harvey’s murky floodwaters when their boat hit submerged power lines and everyone was pitched overboard.
The bodies of two other men on the boat at the time — Vizueth’s brother, 45-year-old Yahir Rubio-Vizuet, and 33-year-old Jorge Perez — were found floating in the water soon after. Two journalists for the British newspaper The Daily Mail were aboard and survived.
Vizueth’s wife, Perla Jaquez, trudged through a wooded area filled with downed trees and debris Thursday with other volunteers looking for the missing men.
“There’s still a lot of faith and a lot of hope that we can recover them,” she said in a Facebook Live video.
The funeral of 82-year-old Ola Mae Winfrey-Crooks was scheduled Saturday. She drowned when her car was swept off a farm-to-market road at the San Jacinto River near her home north of Houston. Authorities say it appears Crooks was trying to cross the bridge and the swift water carried her vehicle off the road and into the floodwaters.
A memorial also was being held Saturday for 58-year-old Ruben Jordan, a former football and track coach at Clear Creek High School who disappeared while driving during the storm.
Al and JoDell Pasek want to scatter the ashes of their son, 25-year-old Andrew Pasek, at Mount Rushmore, where they had long planned to take a family trip.
Andrew was on…