Mr. De La Cruz was born in Beeville on April 7, 1941, to Eligio and Estella De La Cruz. He graduated from A.C. Jones High School and served in the U.S. Air Force.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Jose Eligio; and a brother, Gregorio Mireles.
Survivors include the mothers of his five children, Mary D. Reyes and Herlinda De La Cruz; children, Daniel (Lilly) De La Cruz Jr., Maria (Oscar) Cantu, Denise (Polo) Santos, Daniel (Natalie) De La Cruz III and Laura (Leo) De La Cruz; 16 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.
Visitation was held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, at Guardian Funeral Home in Corpus Christi. A rosary was recited that evening at 7 o’clock.
Services were held there at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7. Burial followed at Evergreen cemetery in Skidmore with military honors.
Pallbearers were Oscar Cantu, John Anthony De La Cruz, Cipriano Flores, Daniel De La Cruz, Pete Hernandez and Mathew Silvas.
Arrangements were under the direction of Guardian Funeral Home, Corpus Christi.