Lieutenant Gabriel Chapa Jr. was honored Monday morning by local law enforcement and the Alice community for the years of service he provided to Alice as he took a final ride through town on his way to his final resting place.
Chapa, 91, passed away Thursday, June 1 after a 70-year marriage to Lydia Perez Chapa and 37-years as an Alice police officer.
He was slowly escorted by Alice police, Jim Wells County Sheriff deputies and Department of Public Safety troopers. As Chapa passed through downtown Alice, Alice PD had several units parked facing the street with their emergency lights flashing and a moment of silence from personnel as other members of the community stood outside their offices to their respects to a man who vowed to serve and protect them without question.
Chapa served in the United States Navy.
At Chapa's funeral, a dispatcher made Chapa's "last call" as his widow was presented with the United States flag that had draped over his casket.
Chapa was remembered by members of the community for his patriotism and dedication to his country, community, church and his family. He was very active in the community of Alice, he was a member of the Evening Lions Club, a Life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8621 and the American Legion as a District Commander.
He was personally invited to the White House by the former President Ronald Reagan. He was a parishioner of the St. Joseph Catholic Church where he was a member of the Mutualistas and Cursistas. He was also a member of Police Officers Association, he along with Servando Lopez developed and started the Alice Burial Association. He was very instrumental in the name changing process for the Plaza Park to the United Veterans Plaza here in Alice. He was also an avid Dallas Cowboys and Alice Coyotes fan.
Chapa left behind his wife, two sons, two grandsons and an inspiration to many in law enforcement who had a chance to work with him.