Filemon Vela Sr.

IntroUnited States federal judge
Was Lawyer 
From United States of America 
Type Law 
Birth 1 May 1935 
Death 13 April 2004 

(aged 69 years)

Filemon Bartolome Vela (May 1, 1935 – April 13, 2004) was a United States federal judge.
Born in Harlingen, Texas, Vela was a private in the United States Army from 1957 to 1959, and received a J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1962. He was in private practice in Harlingen from 1962 to 1963, and then in Brownsville, Texas from 1963 to 1974. He was a city commissioner in Brownsville from 1971 to 1973. He was a judge on the 107th Judicial District, Cameron and Willacy Counties, Texas from 1975 to 1980.
On January 22, 1980, Vela was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas vacated by Reynaldo G. Garza. Vela was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 18, 1980, and received his commission the same day. He assumed senior status on May 1, 2000, serving in that capacity until his death, in Harlingen, Texas.
Vela was married to Blanca Vela, who served as the first female Mayor of Brownsville, Texas, from 1999 to 2003. Their three children include Filemon Bartolome Vela Jr., who was elected to the United States Congress in 2012.