May 25, 1940-August 28, 2020
Andres Olivares Torres died at 1 p.m. Friday, August 28, 2020 after a brief illness. He was at home, accompanied by his daughter, Beatriz Olivares, his son, Adrian Olivares, and his friends Lucy and Paco.
He leaves behind three children and their mother, seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild, three sisters, three brothers, many nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews and many, many others who have loved him, who miss him, and who will remember him.
He was born in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico on May 25, 1940, the second child of Alfonso Olivares Olivares and Beatriz Torres Reyes. When he was twelve years old, he moved with his family to Reynosa, where he attended secundaria (middle school) at Secundaria Jose de Escandon. He then returned to Tampico to attend technical school, where he received a diploma in architectural drafting, but his dream since he was a child had been to be a medical doctor.
He wanted to learn English, so he entered Valley Baptist Academy in Harlingen, Texas, in 1958. He received his high school diploma in 1960. While at the Academy, he made a radical change in his religious orientation, greatly influenced by his English teacher, Marvin Thompson. He accepted Jesus and was baptized at a Baptist church. His parents forbade him to come home for several years. When he was not boarding at the academy or in college, he lived with the Thompsons
Andres received a scholarship to attend East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, Texas, where he enrolled as a freshman biology major in the fall of 1960. While there, he met Mohammed (David) Amad, who had been adopted in Jerusalem, Jordan, by Dr. and Mrs. T. A. Patterson. Dr. Patterson was the head of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Andres was still not welcome at home, so when David invited him to come visit during a break, the Pattersons invited him to stay with them, where he became friends with their son Paige. During this time, Andres met Dr. Maurice Futrell, a devout Christian who was a professor of plant pathology at Texas A & M. With Dr. Futrell’s help, Andres received a full tuition scholarship to major in Animal Science at A & M and Dr. Futrell offered him a job in the Plant Pathology Lab. He was active in the Baptist Student Union and the choral group Singing Cadets, who sang locally and on tour. One memorable performance was at the “Miss Teenage America” Contest in 1963. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in May, 1964.
I met Andres at a Baptist Student Union spring retreat in Palestine, Texas, in April, 1962. Featured in the program, he spoke about his upcoming summer as a student summer missionary to Juarez, Mexico. We had our first date on December 2 that same year and were married at Highland Heights Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, Texas, on October 17, 1964. Marvin Thompson performed the ceremony. I’m not sure when he reconciled with his parents, but at Christmas break, 1962, he went home to Reynosa. His parents, his Uncle Agustin and Aunt Lupe, and sister Angelica came to Wichita Falls for our wedding, but Angelica, at the last minute could not bring herself to enter the protestant church and see her brother married in such a place, so she stayed at the hotel.
He had enrolled in a master’s program during the summer and was still working in the plant pathology lab, so our first home as a married couple was in College Station. After he decided to try once more to get into medical school, we moved to Angleton, Texas, where we both worked for Dow Chemical Company for a few months. Meanwhile, he was accepted for medical school at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara and as an alternate at Baylor University Medical School.
The Autonoma acceptance was firm, the Baylor one was not, so we moved to Guadalajara in August, 1965. He received his medical degree in 1970, then finished internship and social service requirements in 1973. Meanwhile, three children had been born: Ruben in 1967, Beatriz in 1969, and Adrian in 1971.
He was a founding member of the Iglesia Evangelica Unida in Guadalajara, which began as a home group in the late 60s and early 70s.
He passed the foreign medical graduate exam and applied to the national matching program for a residency in the US. He was chosen by Metropolitan Hospital in New York starting in July, 1973, but with the stress of trying to move a family to New York, the long commute to the hospital, combined with the pressures of the internship, he started to have health problems, and in September he resigned. We lived with his parents in Reynosa for ten months. He worked as a family doctor at the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social. In April, 1974, we moved back to Guadalajara, where he had been accepted as a resident in ophthalmology by the same IMSS. He finished the residency in 1978 and continued as a specialist in that hospital system until his retirement in 2000.
He had been an active retiree, remaining in Guadalajara, traveling, painting, reading, and enjoying life.
Our marriage ended in 1984, with the divorce finalized in 1991. We remained friends, however, and had no acrimonious custody or property disputes. He was there for graduations, weddings, football games, births of grandchildren, and regular visits just to see everybody. The separation and divorce were painful, of course, but of the many days that passed from our first meeting in April, 1962, until yesterday, August 28, 2020, there were far more days of joy and peace than there were of turmoil and sadness.