‘She was my best friend’: Leon Valley Elementary cafeteria manager dies of COVID-19

Michelle Villarreal was cafeteria manager at Leon Valley Elementary School

SAN ANTONIO – Condolences have been pouring in for a Leon Valley Elementary School cafeteria manager who died of COVID-19.

Michelle Villarreal, has worked at the school since she was hired in January 2010, Northside ISD officials said. Her husband, Marcos Villarreal, told KSAT that his wife died on July 24.

“She loved those kids,” Marcos Villarreal said of the children at the school. “She always talked about them.”

Marcos and Michelle Villarreal were married for 27 years and had two kids.

“She was my best friend,” Marcos Villarreal said. “She’s not gonna get to see my daughter graduate from college or my kids get married.”

Marcos Villarreal said he’s thankful for the outpouring support from the community.

“The people that have been messaging me -- I thank every single one of them for supporting us, for helping us in need,” Villarreal said.

Michelle Villarreal was featured in a Northside ISD video about the district’s efforts to distribute free meals to families soon after the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools in San Antonio.

In the video, Michelle Villarreal talked about why she wanted to help prepare the meals for the children.

“It’s important just to give back to our community, because we have family and grandchildren and children ourselves and we want to make sure they get fed,” she said. “We’re making little adults into our next future presidents hopefully and it’s important to not only give them the education, but their nourishment as well.”

A district spokesperson said Michelle Villarreal last worked on campus in March during the spring food distribution. She was last on campus for a day in mid-June.

“She was a beautiful person that has put a light on a lot of people’s lives,” Marcos Villarreal said.

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About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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