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03 Dec

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Myrna L. Grabinger

December 7, 1936-November 21, 2021

Myrna L. Grabinger, age 84, passed away on Sunday, November 21, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. She was born December 7, 1936 in Alice, Texas to Lilia Vedia and Martin Lopez.

Myrna grew up in Alice where she graduated high school and went on to study Elementary Education in San Antonio at the University of the Incarnate Word. There she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1970. Myrna highly valued education and earned a Master of Education degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in 1977 while raising three young children. She spent most of her career teaching and educating young minds at Stafford Elementary from which she retired in 1991.

She was a bright, energetic, and adventurous soul and enjoyed socializing, dancing, and traveling. As a member of the Red Hats Society, she participated in many Church events. Myrna’s love for travel took her many places. One of her favorites was Estes Park which she discovered while living in Colorado. The mountains, river, and wildlife brought her peace and joy.

Myrna was the heart of her family as was evident in the ways she brought them together, whether near or far, by encouraging and planning gatherings. Of utmost importance to her were her faith and her family. Her grandkids were her sunshine and she lit up with pride in their presence.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lilia and Martin; her brothers, Martin, Cesar, and Homero; and sisters, Sylvia and Jilma. Myrna is survived by her husband of 50 years, Ronald Grabinger; children, Sylvia Yvette Silva-Cantu, Keith Grabinger and wife Betsy, and Trisha Grabinger; grandchildren, Lauren Silva, Jeremy Cantu, Amy Cantu, Hudson Grabinger, Grayson Grabinger, Madeline Twyman, and Margaret Twyman; brothers, Mario Lopez of Palm Coast, Florida and Arturo Lopez of El Paso, Texas; as well as numerous extended family members and a lifetime of friends.

The family will receive friends for visitation from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Sunday, December 12, 2021, at Porter Loring Mortuary North.

7:00 P.M. ROSARY

12:00 P.M. MASS

2:00 to 4:00 P.M. RECEPTION

30 Nov

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Captain Donald Prieto Garrido

October 16, 1927-November 21, 2021

Captain Donald Prieto Garrido (USNR) passed away on November 21, 2021, at the age of 94.

Donald was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 16, 1927, to Velma (Prieto) Garrido and Salvador Garrido. He began his sea-bound career as a Merchant Marine at the age of 15 aboard the S.S. War Admiral. For his service during World War II and the Korean War, Donald was awarded various service medals. He rose to the rank of Captain with the U.S. Navy. He was awarded the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his participation in the rescue of the Italian Ship S.S. Tripolitania.

Donald was raised as a Master Mason in Zeredatha Lodge No. 131 in Jersey City, N.J. in 1952. During his 69 years of active Masonry, he served as Worshipful Master of Cibolo Lodge No. 151, presiding officer in all three York Rite Bodies, presiding officer in all four Scottish Rite Bodies, and Wolcott Foundation Trustee. He was decorated a 33rd degree Mason and elected to the rank of Grand Cross of the Court of Honour. He was a Past Potentate of Abou Saad Temple in the Canal Zone, Panama, and was very active in the High Twelve International. Donald received the Golden Trowel Award in 2019.

A job opportunity led Donald to the Republic of Panama and he called Panama home for most of his life. He rose to the position of Chief Pilot with the Panama Canal Commission and retired in 1994 after 32 years of service. Donald completed his education at Florida State University.

 Donald served as the Chairman of the Crippled and Burned Children’s Committee for Central and South America. He helped coordinate for hundreds of children from impoverished areas to receive prosthetics and burn treatment in Texas.

Donald and his wife, Lydia, retired in San Antonio, Texas. They enjoyed traveling, family time, good friends, and dim sum most Sundays.

Donald will always be remembered as the beloved husband of 51 years of Lydia Garrido; loving father of Darnella Behrens (Jürgen), Kira Fischer (Hans Peter), Lydia Robledo (Victor), and Ronald Garrido (Elizabeth); loyal brother of Wendy Rein, and Harold Pluche; proud grandfather “Papa” of Barbara Bohne, Viola Seibert, Helena Behrens, Matthias Kelle, Lorena Robledo, Joaquin Robledo, Aaron Garrido, Celeste Garrido, and Andrew Garrido; great-grandfather of Alexander Bohne, Juri Seibert, and Mira Seibert.

The family wishes to express loving gratitude towards Angel Estrada, Sarah Nieves, Margarita Alvarez, and Rhoda Tapawan for their compassionate caregiving.

A viewing for family and friends will be held at Porter Loring Mortuary North on December 13 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., followed by a rosary service.

A funeral Mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala Rd, on December 14, at 11:30 a.m. Donald will be laid to rest at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery with military honors.

To honor his generous spirit, the family requests that donations be made in Donald’s name to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children at https://donate.lovetotherescue.org, in lieu of flowers.

30 Nov

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Leonard Michael Rucinski

May 2, 1943-November 18, 2021

Leonard Michael Rucinski, age 78, passed away on November 18, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. He was born to Wanda Rydell and Edward Leonard Rucinski on May 2, 1943. Leonard grew up in Chicago, Illinois. and was a die-hard Bears fan. At age 17 he enlisted in the Navy and served four years as a Fire Control Technician aboard the U.S.S. Roberts. He was proud to be a veteran and someone who truly loved his country. After discharge, he went to work for Jewel Foods, where he met his wife, Mickie. Following a brief courtship, they were married and have enjoyed 56 years of marriage. He had an amazing career at Pitney Bowes Corporation in sales management, retiring after 30 years. Shortly after retiring, he and Mickie moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas where they enjoyed several activities, but his greatest enjoyment was being an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He had many interests throughout his life, showing Great Danes, coaching his three sons in football and baseball, volunteering to be Santa Claus for ill children, and later loved attending many of his grandkids’ events. He was passionate about family and was loved by all who had a chance to meet him.

Leonard Rucinski was preceded in death by his mother, Wanda; father, Edward; Dad, Joseph Sowa. He is survived by wife, Marguerite “Mickie”; sons, Edward (Shari), Joseph (Cyndi), Len (Margot); nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; siblings, Dennis (Trish) Sowa, Sharon (Bob) Sowa Freer.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at Porter Loring Mortuary North, with a service to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society here: https://www.cancer.org/.

01 Nov

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Alma Winfield Sanz

February 22, 1931-October 20, 2021

Alma Winfield Sanz, age 90, of San Antonio, Texas passed away on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Alma was born on February 22, 1931.

A lifelong resident of San Antonio, Alma graduated from Fox Tech High School in 1949 and went on to work as an administrative assistant for the Internal Revenue Service. There, she met her future husband, IRS agent Ralph August Sanz.

The pair wed in 1959 and Alma took time off to raise their three children before returning to work, first for the San Antonio Ballet Company and later for the U.S. Air Force.

Throughout her life, Alma was known for her warm heart and generous spirit. Though not rich, she was acutely aware that there were many who were less fortunate, and she happily shared what she had. Strangers were always welcome at her table, and she never met a stray she wouldn’t take in. From her childhood cat Snowball to her final beloved dog, Tiny, all her pets were well-loved and deeply treasured.

Alma is preceded in death by her loving husband, Ralph, and their infant daughter Linda. She is survived by her three children, Cynthia Carstens (Jeff Carstens), Laurie LaPenotiere-Woolard (Scott Woolard), and Larry Sanz, along with her three grandchildren, Colin LaPenotiere and Jordan and Sydney Sanz.

A visitation for Alma will be held Wednesday, November 10, 2021 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala Rd, San Antonio, Texas 78249. A rosary service will occur on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 7:00 PM, 4201 De Zavala Rd, San Antonio, Texas 78249. A funeral Mass will occur on Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 11:00 AM, 4201 De Zavala Rd, San Antonio, Texas 78249. A graveside service will occur on Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 12:30 PM at San Fernando #2 Cemetery, 746 Castroville Rd, San Antonio, Texas 78237.

17 Oct

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Thomas Dougherty Higgins, Jr.

July 6, 1929-September 28, 2021

Thomas Dougherty Higgins, Jr., was born in San Antonio, Texas on July 6, 1929. Tom graduated from Central Catholic High School in San Antonio, received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from St. Mary University in San Antonio, Texas and a Masters degree in chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin, Texas.

Tom had a career in scientific research for Monsanto Co. for 36 years. He was enlisted in the Army Air Corps-Air Force in 1946 and served in Shanghai, China. Tom was an Emeritus member of the American Chemical Society and had a passion for Ballroom dancing.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria; daughters, Susan Schmitz and Patrice Higgins; and grandchildren, Brian Schmitz and Camille Schmitz. Tom is preceded by his parents, Thomas and Josephine Higgins.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at 9643 Ferndale Rd, Dallas, TX 75238 at 10 am on October 28. The committal service will be at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, TX 78209 at 1:15 pm on November 3 followed by a prayer service at 3 pm at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church at 4201 De Zavala Rd, San Antonio, TX 78249.

13 Oct

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Angela Diaz McConnell

August 8, 1948-September 12, 2021

Angela de Jesus Díaz Serna McConnell was born on August 8, 1948, in Medellín, Colombia. At an early age, she felt a calling to religious life and developed a close relationship with our Lord. Then she met John McConnell, and they fell in love. She married John Miner McConnell on July 17, 1971 at Santa Teresita Catholic Church in Medellín, Colombia. They settled down in Miami, Florida and raised three daughters: Bridget, Eileen, and Maureen. They moved to Texas in 1977, living first in Corpus Christi, and then moving to San Antonio in 1988.

Angela was always a devout Catholic and involved in multiple church ministries, such as being a Eucharistic minister and taking communion to residents at the nearby nursing home. She got an Associate’s degree in computer science and also worked as a language interpreter for the courts. After John’s death from leukemia in June 1994, she became a Nationally Certified Catholic Chaplain. Being a hospital chaplain gave her great joy because it combined her love for her Christian faith along with being of service to others and putting her faith into action. As a widow, she again felt a calling to religious life. She joined a Spanish community of religious women in 2017 and began working for a non-profit Christian charity called PRODEIN. In that role, she served the Quechua indigenous people in Perú before moving to Spain and working in Trujillo and Madrid.

Angela passed away on September 12, 2021 in Madrid, Spain after a fierce battle with COVID-19. She is survived by her daughters, six grandchildren (John, Dylan, Megan, Erin, David, and Tristan), and eleven siblings. Her loved ones know she is happy in Heaven with the Lord and all her loved ones who preceded her in death, including her parents and three siblings (Jorge, Estella, and Miriam). A Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church at 11 am on Friday, October 15, 2021.

09 Sep

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Daniel Gallegos

October 20, 1936-August 19, 2021

Daniel Gallegos was called by our Lord on Thursday, August 19, 2021. He was born to and preceded in death by his parents, Daniel Gallegos, Sr. and Manuela Mota Gallegos and brother, Joe Anthony Gallegos.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 57 years, Elida (Lou) Rosel Gallegos. Left to cherish his life are daughters, Danielle Gallegos Washatka and Margot B. Gallegos–Steinberg and son, Michael A. Gallegos. Also, his pride and joy, grandsons – Jack Gallegos (his Shadow), Quentin Steinberg, Dylan Steinberg, Devin Gallegos and Brian Gallegos, as well as granddaughters Mikaela Gallegos and Ellie Gallegos. Daniel is also survived by his sisters, Carmen Raymond and Maria Michelle Gallegos. And also to cherish his memory are his dear “circle of friends”, and many nephews and nieces.

Daniel is a former member and founder of St. Matthew Catholic Church, where he served as President of the St. Vincent de Paul, Men’s Club, and Knights of Columbus Council 4140. Daniel was currently a member of the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 15240.

Daniel was a graduate of Tech High School, Class of 1956 and nicknamed Houdini. He was a proud member of the United States Air Force with 20 years combined service with the Air Force, Army and Marine Reserves.

He retired from Civil Service at Kelly Air Force Base after 30 years of service. He always said his best assignment was with the 2866th GEEIA Squadron because it gave him the opportunity to travel to different countries while performing his job as an Equipment Specialist and Radar Installation Officer.

Daniel will be remembered as a quiet and soft-spoken man, who was always kind and caring and a friend to many. His greatest joy was spending time with his family. Daniel was a traveling man, and he had a passion for cruising even while in a wheelchair after foot surgery, his grandsons, Jack, QQ and Dyn made the trip enjoyable for him, always assuring his safety and comfort.

And, Daniel always said that he lived a long and happy life. He leaves a legacy of kindness and love to be cherished by his family, especially the grandchildren.

Papa, you will remain in our hearts forever.

The Rosary will begin at 11:00 A.M. followed by the Funeral Mass at 11:30 A.M on Friday, September 10, 2021 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala Road. A Celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Private interment with Military Honors will begin at 9:15 A.M. on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Road.

01 Sep

To Celebrate a Life of Love: John Kleffner

May 15, 1930-August 21, 2021

John was called home to join the God he so faithfully believed in on August 21, 2021, surrounded by his children and loving companion at home in Helotes, TX. John was born in Howells, NE on May 15, 1930. He graduated from Conception High School in 1948 and studied four more years at Conception College, then spent a year at St. Paul’s Seminary in Minnesota. He was drafted into the Army and served 2 years. John attended Creighton University where he earned his BA in Education in 1957 and his MS in History in 1959. It was at Creighton where he met his first wife, Mary Ann Janda, studying German in the library.

John began his educational career at Papillion High School. He accepted a position in Oklahoma City to be the Vice-Superintendent of Catholic schools and then served as Superintendent. While in Oklahoma, John earned an Ed.D. in Education at the University of Oklahoma. An opportunity at Our Lady of the Lake University took John and the family to San Antonio in 1970, where he very happily lived, without ever having to pick up a snow shovel again. He took a position at the UT Dental school in 1973 and for many years thrived on his work, writing, and delivering workshops to teach clinicians how to be effective instructors.

John loved being an incarnate soul on this earth. He lived life enthusiastically with a joyful, grateful heart. He loved his family, loved to read and learn, loved to visit with people and always said, “God has been so good to me.” He loved being surrounded by his kids and grandkids. He enjoyed family celebrations, always recognizing the gift of family and God’s many blessings.

John prayed for his family and the world daily and lived a life of service. John was also a devoted volunteer. He was a volunteer at Christus Hospice for 26 years, where he sat with patients so they would not be alone, and then helping as an office volunteer. He was a volunteer with St Vincent De Paul for 17 years and organized the collection of food and delivery of Thanksgiving hampers for several years, always with efficiency and compassion.

John is survived by his children, Eileen, Theresa Funari, Daniel, Anne, and Chris; his grandchildren, Ashli Funari, Kellie, Cory and Maggie Martin, Robert Sinfield, Carson, Madeline and Reagan Kleffner; great-granddaughter, Addison Funari; brother, Don Kleffner (Janelle); sister, Lavina Mestl (Eugene); loving companion, Barbara Bauml; and will be missed by many nieces, nephews, and friends. John was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and Leo Kleffner; his siblings, Stan Kleffner, Mildred Knobbe, Catherine Meister; his wife, Colleen J. Kleffner.

VISITATION is 6 pm on September 2 with ROSARY at 7 pm, Mission Park Funeral Home, 3401 Cherry Ridge.

FUNERAL MASS is September 3 at 11 am at Our Lady of Guadalupe, 13715 Riggs Rd, Helotes, with the burial to follow at Helotes Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christus Hospice or Catholic Charities.

23 Aug

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Burt Kahn

August 18, 1933-August 12, 2021

Burton Maurice Kahn passed away on August 12, 2021 after a long illness. He was born on August 18, 1933 to the late David & Ethel (Goldstein) Kahn in Brooklyn, New York.

Burton is survived by his loving wife, Alicia Hinojosa; three children, Howard Kahn and his wife Judie of Houston, TX,  Julie and her husband Robert McCall of Acton, MA, and Bruce and his wife Shari of Fairfield, CT; his sister, Sonya Ferraro of Trumbull, CT;  five grandchildren Adam (Cassy), Joshua (Meezah) and Ethan McCall, and Olivia and Solomon Kahn, great-grandfather of James McCall.

After growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Burton headed to Cambridge, Massachusetts to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he graduated as a civil engineer in 1955. This was one of his life’s greatest achievements. After serving in the army in California, in 1958, Burton moved to Connecticut where he became a professional engineer and built many buildings in the Hartford area. In the late 1970s when building in the northeast halted, he ventured to Houston, Texas where there was a building boom. In 1982, he moved to San Antonio to work at Brooks Air Force Base. Burton met the love of his life, Alicia Hinojosa, in San Antonio, whom he married in 2007.

Burton had a zest for life. He loved sailing, the opera, billiards, mathematics, and structural design for which he held two U.S. patents. He also mixed terrific margaritas.

18 Aug

To Celebrate a Life of Love: Joseph James Moffett

December 3, 1952-August 5, 2021

On August 5, 2021, Joseph James Moffett, 68, an aviation enthusiast, received his own wings when the Lord called him home.

Joe was preceded in death by his father, James Patrick Moffett. He leaves behind his devoted wife of 45 years, Sally; daughters, Maureen and Allison Baird (Shawn); son, James (Leah); as well as nine grandchildren: MacKenzie, Madison, Savannah, Mollie Jo, Meghan, Logan, Soraya, Landon, and Joshua. He is also survived by his mother, Helen M. Moffett, and nine siblings: Robert (Laurel), Mary Ellen Rizzo (Sal), Thomas (Joan), Anne Miskin (Michael), Patrick, Margaret Fredian (Justin), Theresa Eiden (Paul), James (Cheryl), and Michael (Nicole); as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Many wonderful friends will also miss him.

Joe was born on December 3, 1952, in Rochester, New York, to James Patrick Moffett and Helen Margaret (Hodes) Moffett. He grew up in Rochester, New York, and Bernardsville, New Jersey. Family, the Church, and sports were integral parts of his early years. He played football, basketball, ice hockey, and golf. Joe studied electrical engineering, business administration, and accounting at Rochester Institute of Technology. He was a Phi Sigma Kappa member and an All-Conference football player. Later, he would earn his Masters at Oxford University.

Joe worked for 46 years in the medical device sales and marketing industry earning patents for new products as well as awards for tops sales. He worked for large and small companies including three start-up companies which gave him his greatest challenges. He was dedicated to his work and to his teams, inspiring those around him to push the bounds of possibility to improve what was possible at the bedside.

In his years on Earth, Joe enjoyed life to the fullest and approached life with a “work hard play hard” philosophy. A beloved husband, father, and grandfather, he was fun-loving, competitive, and generous, the rock of our family and a mentor to many. Joe never backed down from a challenge that he could reasonably overcome and that resounded in all the things that he enjoyed (sports, flying, and woodworking) as well as his career. He wasn’t one to hold back but instead “left it all on the field.” He taught his children perseverance, the value of being a hard-working, honest citizen, and loving your family. Joe had a deep faith in God. We will all greatly miss his hearty contagious laugh, sense of humor, big heart, and unwavering support.

Calling hours will be held at St Francis of Assisi in San Antonio, TX on Friday, August 20, 2021, from 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm. There will be a Celebration of Life from 4:30-5 pm and 7-7:30 pm to allow family and friends to share their memories of Joe. The Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at 10:00 am with light refreshments to follow. For those who may not be able to join, Mass will be streamed live. Private interment will be later at the convenience of his family.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Joe’s honor to Angel Flight Oklahoma, at www.angelflight.com, or Shriners Hospitals for Children at www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

To leave condolences for the family and to view a video of Joe’s life, please visit www.ebensberger-fisher.com. Arrangements with Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home of Boerne.