January 7, 1934 – May 11, 2023
Javier Camba Jr, 89, passed away May 11, 2023, in Granbury with his family by his side. He was born January 7, 1934 in Havana, Cuba to Javier Camba Sr and Benigna Alonso Camba. He married the love of his life, Maria Luisa Vargas, in Havana on October 27, 1957.
Javier began working for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in Havana. In 1967, the family immigrated to the United States with the help of KLM. They lived in Miami, FL for 3 years where Javier became a flight dispatcher. His career then took them to Houston, TX where they built a life and planted roots. He retired as Station Manager at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport after 45 years with KLM and Northwest Airlines. His contributions to the development and growth of Houston’s airport system was recognized by the Mayor with a proclamation of a “Javier Camba Day” on the final day of his career. Not one to slow down, retirement allowed him to engage in civic arenas and apply many of the skills he developed in his professional life. He served on the board of his neighborhood’s Homeowner’s Association, as a member of the Interfaith Chapel Board at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and organized a Scholarship Golf Tournament for airport employees’ children year after year. Following Hurricane Harvey, Javier and Mary relocated to Cresson, TX to be near their son and his family. They loved having kids, grandkids, and a great-grandkid right down the road, watching deer and turkeys in the backyard, seeing the colorful springtime wildflowers, and experiencing the lower humidity of North Texas.
The Cambas were dedicated members of St. James Catholic Church in Spring, TX for 46 years. They taught youth classes and attended a morning prayer & breakfast group. With a loving and long-standing marriage of their own, they were passionate about setting up future couples to have the same. Javier and Mary served many years as premarital counselors for their church, preparing engaged couples for marriage. They enjoyed keeping in touch with those they had counseled and seeing their families grow.
Javier was a skilled hobbyist woodworker, with a shop named “The New Cuban Workshop” after the Norm Abram show. He crafted furniture for his home and toys that delighted his grandchildren (and now great-granddaughter), including a Barbie house, knight’s castle, pedal airplane, and rocking horse.
Javier loved all things aviation. When his son decided to become a private pilot in college, he did as well. He was a member of the Southwest Flying Club where he served as Maintenance Director and participated in Angel Flights. He and his son enjoyed flying together and even took several cross-country trips from Houston to Miami. A highlight of the summer for him was attending the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) annual fly-in and airshow in Oshkosh, WI for many years with his family.
Javier was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 65 years, Mary. Javier is survived by his son and daughter-in-love, Javier III and Denise; his granddaughter and grandson-in love, Sarah and Nick Lynn; grandson, Javier IV; and great-granddaughter, Eliza Lynn. The family wishes to express their appreciation for the excellent and tender loving care of Javier by Bobbie Smith over the past year and the Courtyards at Lake Granbury Magnolia Trails staff for the past month.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Javier to EAA.org Young Eagles, to inspire the next generation of aviators.
Services will be held on Monday, May 15, 2023 at the Acton Cemetery. Viewing will be at 10:30 with the service to follow at 10:45. .