Margarita Tovar & Dariana Tamez
Organ & Tissue Donor
July 11, 1989 – Sept. 11, 2017
Jorge Tamez was born a servant leader. He was constantly supporting and encouraging everyone around him – whether helping with financial needs or just lifting everyone’s spirits with his charisma, jokes and music. His motto was “¡Ánimo raza!” which means, “Cheer up, people!”
Jorge was also incredibly driven, managing Ilgen Electric – a million-dollar electrical wiring company, by age 24. But his family always came first: He guided his sister through school and life, helped his mother through her small business startup and also encouraged his father to start his own truck driving company.
Jorge’s wife, Margarita Tovar, was married to him for three years.
“We met each other at the age of 22,” she said. “Our passion for music and horses built a strong bond between us, but it was our drive to serve people around us that made us fall in love.”
Dariana Tamez was his only sibling.
“I looked up to him like a little girl looks up to her dad,” she said. “I ended up being so much like him, from liking the same music to sharing an office and being his little personal secretary.”
Jorge believed God was in every living thing, from the humans around him to the butterflies in the sky. Jorge loved animals, especially horses. He ultimately gave his life to help the beautiful creatures. During the Hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston, Jorge was swimming through the high waters to rescue some horses in a nearby stable when a colony of fire ants, linked together to form a raft in the flood, collided with him. The ants instinctually attacked, and Jorge had an allergic reaction. He passed away in the intensive care unit just over a week later, leaving a huge hole in the heart of each person who knew him.
Yet, the selfless man was registered as an organ and tissue donor – a choice that removed a burden from his family, who says they would’ve had trouble making the decision to donate during their time of grief. Jorge was probably influenced by sister-in-law, Veronica Tovar, who works as a certified surgical tech at LifeGift.
Jorge was able to give his heart, liver, kidneys, eyes, lymph nodes and other tissue to save lives.
So far, Jorge’s family has corresponded with his heart recipient and his liver recipient. Both recipients have used their gift by serving in their churches and communities in need.
Dariana and Margarita also live and give by helping others the way Jorge did in life.
“He inspired me by helping others and not expecting something in return,” Dariana said. “He made me realize that this world has so much to offer.”
“He believed in me,” Margarita said. “And in moments of trial, I always remember his words of encouragement and how someone like him was able to love me unconditionally. The only thing I can do is persevere in gratitude to him and to God by serving our communities and continue paying it forward.”
Both are moving forward with their dreams the way Jorge always encouraged them to. Dariana is a secretary at Ilgen Electric, currently finishing her associate’s degree and pursuing a bachelor’s in international marketing. Margarita serves the Fifth Ward community as an assistant principal in Houston ISD. She’s a member of the Association of Hispanic School Administrators and is pursuing her doctoral degree in educational administration. Jorge always dreamed of helping the youth through a mentoring program – now his wife will carry on that legacy in her own work.
Jorge Tamez, organ and tissue donor