SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Hundreds gathered at San Fernando Cathedral Thursday morning to bid a final farewell to longtime Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller celebrated the Mass of the Resurrection for Elizondo who passed away last week at the age of 83.

“Above all, we thank God for the blessing that Paul has been for our community,” said the Archbishop.

Elizondo was a former state representative, Marine, musician and educator. The Paul Elizondo Orchestra performed at hundreds of weddings and community events across the city of San Antonio and beyond.

“Perhaps his vocation as a musician sums up his personal philosophy best,” said Garcia-Siller. “As a popular saxophonist, he said, ‘We play for all walks of life. We play with passion and from the heart.'”

At a rosary Wednesday night, several former members of the Paul Elizondo Orchestra gathered to play “Las Golondrinas” (The Swallows). It’s a Mexican farewell song, and Elizondo’s orchestra made it the final tune at every event they played.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff noted the many projects Elizondo worked on during his time on Commissioners Court, which spanned more than three decades. He helped secure $500 million for the county’s flood control program, renovation of the Robert B. Green hospital and the creation of the Texas Diabetes Institute.

“Most important to Paul, was the Alameda Theatre and San Pedro Creek. He was born near the creek and grew up attending performances at the Alameda,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

A 10-story officer tower is named after him.

“In generations to come, we’ll always remember you. We miss you terribly, but you will remain in our hearts,” said Wolff, fighting back tears.

He noted that Elizondo was his best friend for the last 17 1/2 years.

“He was a loyal friend, a rare relationship to hold on to during a political life fraught with battles, controversies and jealousies that leave a field of broken friendships,” said Wolff.

Elizondo is survived by his wife, Irene, and their three sons, Richard, David and John Andrew.

The Rosary and the Mass were broadcast live on Catholic Television of San Antonio, Spectrum Cable Channel 15. You can view the events on Catholic TV’s Facebook page.

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