Joe Roy Valdez

This interview was conducted by Laura Isabel Valdez on March 12, 2009 in San Antonio, TX. as part of Palo Alto College’s History 1302 – Spring 2009 class.


My Father Joe Roy Valdez was born on October 2, 1947 at Nix Hospital to Jose and Henrietta Castillo Valdez in San Antonio, Texas where he was raised. He has one sister name Rose Jackson who is married to Gary Jackson. He graduated from Central High school in 1966. Went to St. Marys University and received his bachelors in 1970. Mr. Valdez joined the military in 1971 by choice he joine as an officer; so he can still attend school. Later on he attended UT Health Science Center School of Nursing and received his BSN in 1976. He then transferred to Trinity University where he received his master’s degree in 1981 for nursing. My father married my mother Diana Valdez in 1981 where they had three children Joseph, John, and Laura Valdez. Joe Valdez became an Administrator and a Nurse at the State Hospital in 1993 where he has been working for for 16 years. Joe and Diana ended their marriage in 2000. He then met his second wife and married Kathy Wiker in 2004. In 2004 him and his second wife had their first child together Matthew Wiker Valdez. His political status is Republican and he is a wealthy in his socio-economic status. His religion is Catholic.


What are your earliest childhood memories?
Growing up on the westside attending Crockett elementry, having visiting my grandmother. Only remembered or knew my grandmother Maria Isabel De la Pena Valdez lived to be about 93 years old.

What was it like growing up as a child?
You were seen but not heard very harshly by my parents. I was raised in a strict Catholic Environment.

What wars were happeneing while growing up?
Korean Conflict and the Peace agreement, signed the North Koreans and U.S.My father and I walked everywhere or rode the bus, did not have transportation. Vietnam in 1973 in sevice druing the conflit. 1959 i was 12 years old and it ended when i was 24 years old.

What schools did you attend?
Attended public school at Crockett Elementry, from kinder to 6th grade. In 7thand 8th grade i attended Sacred Heart. Went to Central Catholic High School in 1963. My college years I attended St. Mary’s University, U.T. Health Science Center School of Nursing to recieve my BSN,and Trinity University to recieve my Masters.

Why did they send you to Catholic School?
Best education were to be reccieved was at a Catholic School. Also the public schools had gang activity in the late 60’s and my parents wanted to me to have the best education.

What jobs did your parents work at?
My mother was a stay at home mom. My father worked 40yrs as a mastered tailor at a store that no long exists called Frank Brothers.

Did your family ever go on any family vacations?
Yes we were limited went to Galveston or Texas City,Texas, Alivin and Lamar, Texas. These are all places where my mothers families lived.

Did you have any favorite teachers while attending schools?
Only two teachers, Principle at Crockett Elementry. Sadie Ray Powell encouraged me to do better, didn’t knock any students down, didn’t teach, but was the Principle. Nun in the 7th grade, Sister Scholastica. Also on that encouraged students to do better, and praised the students.

Where you in any school activities?
Yes, in highschool I was in ROTC, drill team, Senior commander of the freshman drill team know as the lloyd Rifles. Also Varsity team called Charmmin guard and both teams were winning teams. In 1966 the freshman team beat the Varsity team in a drill competion at a Parade. Also on the Student Council, Booster club. At St.Marys belonged to ROTC for 4 years I was a philler alterly. In the Rahochi Fraternity.

What jobs did you work while growing up?
Through highschool my father didn’t allow us to work only had to work at school, needed to be top 10% or top 5% of our class. My first job ever was pumping gas at the gas station. Where when a car pulls up you go and pump their gas. I did that job for about 3 weeks. My dad didn’t want me to work anymore so I had to quit.I was about 17 years old when i worked at the gas station.

How has San Antonio changed in the past couple of years?
Size of the city, growing up less than half a million people; now were almost about a million in a half of people. Neighborhood that I grew up were dirt streets not paved but roads. When it would rain the roads were muddy. There was not a highway express system. Everyone would practically ride the bus, or walked. At night you can sit outside without the fear or someone shooting at you. You can leave your door unlocked at night while you were sleeping and nobody would come in and do anything. The City council know as the Government League rather that the Council people voted from a district. They were voted coming on at large, usually had one or no hispanics. Run by non hispanics. Never had a black on the city council. Rode the bus, certain bus lines you couldn’t sit in the front of the bus, had to sit in the middle of the bus. The difference between the North, South, West, and East side of San Antonio. Where you lived in the westside you stayed out of the other sides of town. While growing up there was only 48 states. Alaska and Hawaii didn’t exist.

Growing up how has the civilization changed?
The town has got bigger. Their are mall franchise and a medical school, which we didn’t have while growing up. It was built in 1968 or 1970. People are more friendly and open to except you as who you are, then rather where you come from. Back then you were labeled as either a Mexican, negro, eastsider’s, southsider’s, county, hick, or if you were from the north side you had money.

What were prices like back then?
Compared today they seem cheaper, but actually were expensive. People who ran gas stations would check air in the tires, open up the hood of your car to make sure your batter, radiator, and oil were all good to go. Cleaned your windows and pumped your gas. When you would pay them they would give you gold stars and each time you had so many, they would give you plates.

Do you still talk to some of your old friends?
Most of them are dying off. The ones i grew up with are still somewhat in the neighborhood. Run into this one guy i went to elementry with and he was shocked because i knew him by name.

What would you do for fun?
Watch t.v. On Sundays if my Father didn’t work we would take the bus to the zoo or museum, or park. If it was an extra special day he would take us to the movies, which ment paying for a ticket, soda, and popcorn, at the price of $1.50

What do you miss most about growing up?
Quiet, not as hectic, don’t have to run all over the palce to all these meetings. I attend six or seven meetings a month.

How has your community changed from growing up on Monterrey St?
The 2200 block has not changed from when i was growing up. Majority of people won their homes, but a lot of homes have been converted into apartments. Different values, because when i was growing up few hispanics lived there, their were moslty germans and anglos. Now in the neighborhood are hispanics. Most of them don’t own their homes so they don’t take ccare of their property.

Since you’ve attended Central Highschool how has it changed?
Gotten to be very expensive. When i was attending my father only paid $25 a month on a monthly basis. Now the tuition is 9,000 a year and you have to pay it up front by getting a loan or having the money. The tuition payment is almost as much as a house payment.

How did you and your family spend your holidays?
Either go to the park or stay at home. Watch t.v. , not rich , poor so very hard to do anything. Only on christmas and new year’s my aunt would visit from mexico and everyone would get together at my grandmothers house because it was big. Celebrating by the women baking cookeis and buemelos and making tamales. Everyone would stop and 10pm to get dressed and bunch in to two or three cars and attend midnight mass at the Our Lady of Guadelupe. Then we would come back and eat what was cooked and open presents. Did exactly the same thing for New Year’s expect for attending church. Celebrated by shooting off fireworks and the kids that were under 18 can have one glass of wine more like a shot of the Christ of Blook.

Why did you choose to join the army?
I had no choice, either i drafted or join. My case I joined the army, but as an officer than as an listed man. Hat to fulfill my duty. When you turned 18 you had to go down to the postoffice and their was a recurit their. Selective service office and rigistered. You either had a letter or number in the lottery system and that would choose if you were ready to be drafted.

How did you like attending St. marys University?
I attended st. marys university for four years. I enjoyed very much of it. I participated in ROTC and joined a fraternity called RHOCHI.

How did it make a difference in your life by going to college to further your eductation?
Allow me to get a better job, allowed me to things other people couldn’t do. Opened alot of doors politically, professionally, and business.

What made you decide to go to st. Mary’s University? Why did you choose St. Marys?
Is a marianist University basically becuase it a catholic school.

Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview?
NO you pretty much covered everything, the only thing is there has been a lot of changes to computers and technologies. Had to use phone booth to call someone and it would cost 25 cents which was a lot. Their was Sputnik Satellite, operated and orbited by the Russians. The Berlin wall that was built and then torn down. A lot of history basically took place.


By interviewing my father i found out a great deal of History. He made my eyes open wide when he was talking to me about how safe it was while you sleeping. Also how friendly the gas station is about checking out your engine; which to me is pretty neat. Crazy to find out that my fathers neighborhood was owned by many germans back then because now when you drive down the block of Monterrey there are plenty of mexicans only. I’ve learned he grew up in a strict family where education was very important to have. Learning about history and hearing about his past he enjoyed letting me hear it. His eyes would start to water when he would mostly talk about his parents but other than that he had a great time talking to me and laughing. My father loved talking about how important education is because he went through all his years of college to get to where he is now. It opened a better opportunity for him in his life and career. Knowing that my father never worked because his father wanted him to concentrate on school suprised me in every way. I always thought he had some sord of job, but its amazing how some parents only want their kids to be focused on school rather than making money even if their poor.


  • 1947-born in San Anotino, Texas at Nix Hospital
  • 1966-graduated from Central high School
  • 1970-graduated with Bachlors at St. Mary’s
  • 1971-joined military
  • 1976-graduated from School of Nursing
  • 1981-graduated from Trinity with Masters
  • 1981-married first wife (Diana B. Valdez)
  • 1983-first child born (Joseph Andrew Valdez)
  • 1985-second child born (John Anthony Valdez)
  • 1988 third child born (Laura Isabel Valdez)
  • 11.1993-Hired at State Hospital
  • 12.2000-divorced from first wife (Diana Valdez)
  • 13.2004-Married to second wife (Kathy Wiker)
  • 14.2004-fourth child born (Matthew Valdez Wiker)
  • 15.2009-Interviewed by Laura Valdez

Annotated Bibliography

  • Central High School
    is a website leading you to get to know about the school. Tells you the information on the cost,students, and curricular activities. It’s a college preparatory school educating in the Marianist tradition.
  • Texas City, Texas This site shows you various photographs of the town, and places around the city. Shows a map, and gives directions on getting to the town. The reviews were done by Jessica and the Map was done by John Anthony. copyrighted in 2009 google-map data C.2009 may abc, tele atlas.
  • 2200 block of Monterey Street 78207 Gives and actual view of the House. Shows the whole description and all your neighbors around you. Shows a map and gives directions.Copyrighted in 2009 google-map data copyright 2009 map abc, tele atlas.
  • Sputnik Satellite Has an annotated background and bibliography information on the History of Sputnick. History changed in October 4, 1957. The soviet union launced Sputnick I. Shows many different pictures and the scientist who had the meetings. Has detailed information about the Satellite and other’s satellite information. Updated on February 2, 2005.
  • Photographs on this website were provided by Joe Valdez. My Father provided me with some pictures that he could find because all his other pictures are at his father’s house which my Aunt Rose has the key.Mostly in the pictures is my father and his wife and my brother Matthew. The photos were taken at his house in Schertz,Texas.


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