Javier Escobar, 94, Career Mexican Diplomat and Dallas' First Consul General

Javier Escobar y Cordova lived nearly 50 years in Dallas, the longest the career Mexican diplomat lived in one place.He served around the world, including stints in Dallas, where he was assistant consul, consul and, starting in 1977, the city's first consul general.After retiring in 1989, Escobar continued his public service , visiting the sick and incarcerated as a lay minster.Escobar, 94, died in his sleep at his Dallas home on March 6.A memorial Mass was celebrated Monday at St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas, where he was an active member.During his career, Escobar dealt with international leaders, was decorated by royalty and dined with duchesses, said his son Francisco Escobar of Dallas.King Baudouin of Belgium honored Escobar with the Order of Leopold II and "the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg had an open invitation for him at an annual event," his son said.Escobar met many types of royalty. While posted in Los Angeles, he often could be found in the owner's box whenever Fernando Valenzuela of Mexico was pitching for the Dodgers."My dad had stories you wouldn't believe," his son said.Escobar was born in Mexico City as the seventh of 14 children. The Catholic bishop of Puebla took refuge in his family's home during religious persecution in the 1920s. The bishop administered the sacraments in secret in the Escobar home.Early experiences instilled in Escobar a lifelong passion for defending and supporting the Catholic church. He took communion to inmates as a lay minister and visited the sick on a weekly basis.Escobar earned his bachelor's and law degrees in Mexico City. He practiced law for about a year before joining the diplomatic service.He was a vice consul in Austin, became assistant consul in Dallas in 1949, and later was acting consul in Dallas for six months. In 1954, he was named consul of New York.After his New York assignment, Escobar served in Milan and the Belgian cities of Antwerp and Brussels, where he was first secretary at the Mexican embassy."That was the only time he worked in an embassy," his son said.In 1965, Escobar returned to Dallas as consul and served until 1977, when he was assigned to Boston.His time in Massachusetts was brief. That same year, Escobar was named Mexico's first consul general for North Texas and a realigned region that included Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri."It was a promotion for him, and it was a promotion for Dallas, because it had not ever been a consulate general," his son said.Escobar became consul general in Los Angeles in 1979 and later held the same post in San Diego. In 1989, after retiring, he returned to Dallas.Escobar loved the arts and was a founding member of ACAL de Mexico (the Cultural Alliance of Arts and Letters) and a supporter of the Meadows Museum, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Opera.An avid golfer, Escobar called friends the day before he died, telling them he would meet them on the back nine at Luna Vista Golf Course the next day, his son said.Muriel Wicks Escobar, his wife of 65 years, died in 2014.In addition to Francisco Escobar, survivors include three other sons, Javier Escobar Jr. of Geneva, Switzerland, Federico Escobar of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Pablo Escobar of Raleigh, N.C.; three daughters, Teresa Escobar Fisher of Poway, Calif., Anna Maria Escobar Miles of Pacific Palisades, Calif., and Monica Escobar Trevino of Dallas; two sisters, Maria de la Paz Escobar Garcia Cantu and Paulina Escobar Martin, both of Mexico City; two brothers, Andres Escobar y Cordova and Federico Escobar y Cordova, both of Mexico City; 19 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.Memorials may be made to a charity of choice.  Continue reading...

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