World War II
| Vidal M. Treviño (District 80)|
Alonzo Jamison, Jr. (District 59)
April 11, 1920
Laredo, Texas, US (1920-04-11)
Elizabeth Josephine Neel Ligarde (married 1946-1973, her death)
J. C. "Pepe" Martin, Jr. (brother-in-law)
15 February 1986, San Antonio, Texas, United States
United States Army Air Corps
University of Texas at Austin, Holding Institute, University of Texas School of Law, Martin High School
Honoré Ligarde (April 11, 1920 – February 15, 1986) was a banker, lawyer, and businessman from his native Laredo, Texas, who served as a Democrat from 1963 to 1973 in the Texas House of Representatives for Webb County in the southern portion of his state.
Honoré Ligarde Wikipedia
Ligarde, of French descent, was a son of Amédée Ligarde and the former Sara Valeria Saenz. He graduated from the Holding Institute in Laredo and Martin High School, when it was still known as Laredo High School. He played basketball and graduated in 1937. He was a decorated captain-navigator on a Martin B-26 Marauder bomber in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He received a Silver Star while taking part in missions over North Africa and Italy. He procured a degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and after his military service graduated from the University of Texas School of Law.
In 1962, Ligarde was the president of Washington's Birthday Celebration in Laredo and was elected to succeed the one-term Representative Vidal M. Treviño, who did not seek reelection in order to return full-time to educational administration. Ligarde represented House District 69 from 1963 to 1967 and District 59 from 1967 to 1973. He did not seek a sixth term in 1972 but instead ran unsuccessfully for the Texas State Senate. He was succeeded in the House by Laredo Democrat Billy Hall, and the district was renumbered as 43; coincidentally, Hall had once worked for Ligarde at a Laredo bank. Ligarde's former House district in now numbered as 42 and has been represented since 2001 by another Laredo Democrat, Richard Raymond.
Ligarde also served one term as Webb County commissioner and at one point was the chairman of the Webb County Democratic Executive Committee. He was for a time the attorney for the Laredo Independent School District and was the president of the Laredo Development Foundation, vice president of Laredo and Union national banks, and an organizer and president of the International Bank of Commerce. For fifteen years he was vice president of Amadee Frocks clothing manufacturer, which employed more than two hundred Laredo workers.
Ligarde was married to the former Betty Jo Neel (1925-1973), the daughter of attorney Culbertson "Bertie" Neel and the former Bess Angelina Mann (1899-1995), a native of Tyler County, Texas, who for four decades was a charter member of the Laredo chapter of the Society of Martha Washington and a pianist and organist for the First Baptist Church of Laredo. The Neels divorced in 1935. Bess Neel resided with the Ligardes until after the death of Betty Jo. She then moved to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to live with her other daughter, Ruth Annette Miller. Bess Neel is interred at the Laredo City Cemetery.
Ligarde had two children, Janelle Alise Ligarde and Amédée Gerardo Ligarde, who was living in Mexico City in 1995. In 1949, Honoré and Betty Ligarde lost a two-year son, Honoré Richard Ligarde. Ligarde's sister, Anita (1915-2004), was married to long-term Laredo Mayor J. C. "Pepe" Martin, Jr., who left office in 1978, said of his brother-in-law: "He was such a fair person, very even minded ... He always helped you to take things lightly when the world seemed to be caving in on you, and he was never bashful abut telling people how he felt about something."
Vidal Treviño called Ligarde "one of the kindest individuals I've known in my life. ... He was a champion of the underdog. His greatest asset was his love for all human beings." Ligarde's law partner, Abe S. Wilson, said "his ethics were above reproach. He was also a man of principle. he supported several causes politically that were not popular, and he stuck by his convictions." Former County Judge Alberto Santos, who worked with Ligarde in banking, said he loved him "like a brother." The Laredo Morning Times referred to Ligarde editorially as "another of its native heroes. He was not the hero of athletic records, of combat medals, or of massive wealth. He was just an unusually brilliant, caring individual, and a good friend - the kind one loves and misses when they are gone.
Honoré Ligarde Elementary School at 2800 South Canada Avenue in Laredo is named in his honor.