Jesse Tafalla, Sr.
December 21, 1843 – June 30, 2012
"We have to tell the whole story of our community: the good, the bad and the ugly."
- Jesse Tafalla
Jesse Tafalla, Sr. was a civic leader and community activist who spent most of life working towards the equal rights of Latinos. He was also passionate about the arts in the community and played an integral role in making the Latino Cultural Center a reality. Although ill in the final months of his life, he remained active in the community, including being the President of the Dallas Mexican American Historical League, where he was also a founding member. Some of Mr. Tafalla's many accomplishments included the following: former Deputy Director of Elderly of LULAC District III, founding member and President of DMAHL (Dallas Mexican-American Historical League), former President and board member of Teatro Dallas, steering committee member of the capitol program of the Latino Cultural Center, former member of the City of Dallas' Office of Cultural
Affairs, former Vice Chair of the City of Dallas' Senior Affairs Committee, former member of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Family of the Year award from the Dallas Concilio and City of Dallas proclamation for his years of involvement with Dallas' Hispanic arts community. Jesse was a member of the Hispanic Organization of Genealogy and Research (HOJAR de Dallas) and actively supported the research of Hispanic family history. He was also a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Council #5538. Jesse Tafalla, Sr. was born on December 21, 1942 and passed away on June 30, 2012 of cancer. He was 69 years old. He was born in Dallas and grew up in a Hispanic community known as "El Pozo." He graduated from Crozier Tech High School in 1961. He married his high school sweetheart Nellie Tafalla, with whom he celebrated 50 years of marriage. He is survived by his wife Nellie and his children Jesse Tafalla, Jr, Louis Edward Tafalla and spouse Shary Tafalla, Rosie Bersterman and spouse Joe Bersterman, Terry Tafalla and Jose Armando Tafalla. He has six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Nellie Ortez and spouse Jesse Ortez, his brothers, Paul Tafalla and spouse Lucie, and Rufus Tafalla and spouse Maria.