Luis Alonzo Wilmot
1948 – 2019
June 1, 2019 Luis A. Wilmot died peacefully at home in San Antonio, Texas on June 1, 2019 with his wife Luz Maria Prieto and son Luis Prieto Wilmot at his side surrounded by many longtime friends. Luis was born on September 7, 1948 to Luis and Elena Wilmot. His paternal grandparents were LULAC founders Louis Gonzalez Wilmot and Ofelia Loza Wilmot. His maternal grandparents where Manuel Diaz Prado and Manuela Lazarte Prado. Luis graduated from St. Thomas University and Texas Southern University Law School. Shortly after graduating he joined a vibrant staff at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. serving on teams assessing school desegregation. He left the U.S. Commissions on Civil Rights to return to Texas to continue his commitment to equality by joining the Gulf Coast Legal Foundation in Houston in 1977. As the head of GCLF’s Centro para Inmigrantes, he directed the “In re Alien Children” litigation all the way to success at the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982. It remains the law of the land to this day. In 1984, Luis was named Director of Community Services for the Office of People’s Council in the District of Columbia where he established a multidimensional plan to educate residents in decision making empowering them in the regulatory process of utility ratemaking. He also became OPC’s Associate People’s Counsel for Litigation. Returning to Texas in 1991, he was appointed by Governor Ann Richards to serve as Public Counsel for the Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel as well as playing on the governor’s baseball team. He went on to serve as Regional Director of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF) in San Antonio, Texas in 1993. He later served as Texas State Director for AARP (American Association for Retired Persons) where he expanded and diversified the organization’s membership. Named as General Counsel of Texas Dow Employees Credit Union, a job that people in Washington, D.C. watched carefully as it appeared that he might have finally “sold out”. But there he took the time to educate a large underserved community of “unbanked” (people who did not trust banks) making them more likely to receive loans and not be subject to predatory lenders. He retired from his long career in service to his community as Deputy Director, Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration. He will be missed by his wife Luz María, his son Luis, his family and anyone who was lucky enough to have had him in their lives. We invite you to join us at the “Celebration of Life” on Sunday, July 28 2019 at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St. San Antonio, Texas from 1-5pm. Condolences may be sent to www.theangelusfuneralhome. com
Published in Express-News on Jul. 17, 2019.
Below are statements released by MALDEF and AARP. Luis served both entities with great distinction.
MALDEF STATEMENT ON PASSING OF TEXAS ATTORNEY LUIS A. WILMOT
Jun 5, 2019 |
Los Angeles, CA – Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) issued the following statement on the death of Luis A. Wilmot, who served as MALDEF regional counsel in San Antonio between 1993 and 1996:
“MALDEF mourns the passing of Luis Wilmot, a lawyer who worked throughout his legal career to promote rights and equality for all. He did great work while at MALDEF and during the entirety of his service as lawyer and leader. We offer our condolences to his family. Luis left us all too soon, and we will miss his counsel, support, and dedication. In an era when our headlines are filled with scandal, slander, ego, and mendacity, we surely need more lawyers and leaders like Luis. We should all pause to remember Luis and to reflect on the exemplary legal career he pursued.”
St Marys Law School Professor Al Kauffman on the passing of Luis Wilmot:
“Luis was a great friend for 25 years. He was an indefatigable advocate for Latinos. Luis worked on Plyler v Doe toallow undocumented to attend public public school. He was head of the state agency that represented the public in public utility cases. He was a great leader at Maldef, then represented community groups at ATT and served as general counsel to a Savings & Loan. He was also hilarious and loved his precious Luz and “Sito”. QEPD️️️”
AARP Texas Statement on Passing of Luis Wilmot
June 06, 2019
AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson released the following statement today in reaction to the news of the passing of Luis Alonso Wilmot of San Antonio, who served as the AARP Texas Director from 2002 to 2007:
“We grieve the loss of Luis Wilmot, a beloved champion for the needs of others. At AARP, we remember him as a lifelong and passionate advocate who fought with dedication for many civil rights and consumers causes, as well as the needs of older Americans.
“As an attorney, a great communicator, and a descendant of highly regarded civil rights leaders, Luis used his education, personal connections, and talents as a legal mind and people manager in countless ways to improve the lives of ordinary Texans.
We invite you to join us at the Luis Wilmot “Celebration of Life” on Sunday, July 28 2019 at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St. San Antonio, Texas from 1-5pm.
Family condolences: www.theangelusfuneralhome. com