Oscar Enrique Cantu (’74)

Born to Ben and Lily Cantu, June 21, 1950 in Raymondville, TX Returned to the Lord April 4, 2020 Remembering a life of service Supremely comfortable behind the lens, and not in front of it, Oscar has provided some of our most beautiful memories to be cherished forever. In the days before digital photography he built his own darkroom, first in his parent’s house and later as half of his own two-car garage. He loved to capture, and share memories at events large and small and we all loved him for it. He loved the outdoors, not for hunting, for sport or for adventure, but for viewing nature in awe, and yes; for photography. He shared his art, freely; never seeking payment, reward or recognition. While photography is often what we remember, his real passion was for God and family. He loved his family: Mother and Father: Ben and Lily Cantu (preceded by), Wife: Lee Cantu, Son & Daughter: Dwain & Robyn Lawrence, Grandchildren: Ashley & Christian Kalisek, Dena & Aaron Barcuch, Jessica, Sisters and Brothers: Dora & Ruben Garza, Delia “Dee” & Gerald Stowers, David “Neto” & Irene “Nena” Cantu, Amelia & Jay Poore, Hector & Olivia Cantu, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nephews, Nieces, and the list goes on. He loved us deeply, took care of us in his quiet way and asked for nothing in return. He gave his life to Christ and never looked back. He was an active member of Houston First Church of God. He loved his Church family like they were his own and showed Christlike love to all of God’s children. He served many ministry roles over the years: Elder, treasurer, greeter, and many more. If you ever met him, he probably invited you to Church. Ever the accountant, end of month Church treasury activities were often at the forefront of his mind and activities. He served in humility, never seeking attention for himself but always shining God’s love on those around him. His service on this earth was widespread. He embraced the opportunity to work hard to show God’s love in many places: in the US, Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, and others. He worked with the homeless, built houses, built Churches, repaired and renovated houses and Churches, worked on medical facilities in the poor places of the world and much more. As a couple he and his wife hosted mission workers and visitors from all over the world. He loved to help others and yearned to share God’s word and love with as many people as he could. Always, he sought glory for God, never for himself. It is comforting for us to know, as his life on this earth drew to a close he was in prayer and communion with our Lord. He taught us by example. He loved us without end. He loved God with all his heart. He prayed unceasing. A loose chronology and celebration of a life worth living The youngest of six; Oscar was born to Ben and Lily Cantu, not in a hospital but delivered by midwife in the family home. Graduated Lamar HS (Houston) 1968. Oscar began his college studies at University of Houston as a chemistry major. Before he completed his degree, he enlisted in the Army. He served during and in the Vietnam conflict. While in Vietnam he was part of the 101’st Airborne division, it was here he began learning payroll and accounting on a corporate scale. Returning from Vietnam; he enrolled again at the University of Houston and went on to Graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, 1975. He was the first member of his family to earn a degree Living in Houston there were ample oil and refinery companies, Shell and Exxon, etc, to which Oscar would apply for a position. He was not hired for any of these positions, and at times was told they were looking for younger men of less education. He was able to secure a position with Biehl & company at the Houston Ship Channel. This was a highly demanding job performing any necessary ship/maritime services for international ships. He was often tasked with Payroll activities (including delivery), for these ships. Oscar went from Biehl & co and began the job which would be his career until he retired at the age of 56. He spent 31 years with the Internal Revenue Service. Starting out as a Tax Auditor he would advance grades and roles and retired a Revenue Agent, a role he held for many years. Very early, in his IRS career, Oscar met the love of his life, Lee Lawrence. There were married on March 22, 1980. Together, they raised a son, had 3 grandchildren, and loved countless family and friends. They shared their love of Christ and served together in their local Church as well as on International missions. They had a love of the outdoors, which was shared from everything from growing flowers to camping to hiking to international vacations. Oscar and Lee would celebrate more than 40 years of life and love together.

Submission Rules…

By submitting a class note, you agree:

  • All Class Notes are visible to the general public. Do not submit anything you wish to keep private.
  • The University of Houston reserves the right to edit all submissions.
  • No Advertising or any form of commercial solicitation is permitted.
  • Unauthorized copyrighted material will be deleted.

Learn More