Elsa- Ernestina “Tina” Fuentes tells us a story about a beautiful time, in a simple home, with her lovely family of “the three of us.” Tina is 4 years old, Joel, her hermanito, is 3. – Mamá Gregoria, a single mother, sells enchiladas throughout town to provide for her children. Christmas time, Tina’s favorite time of the year, is here again. Tina and Joel play inside their tiny one-room house waiting on Mamá to get home. From time to time, the neighbor knocks from the other side of the wall. “Estan bien?” She yells through the wall. “Si!” Tina and Joel yell back. “The people looked after us.” Tina says. Late in the day, Mamá walks in, carrying a tree she cut down from the park and sets it in the middle of the room. Tina and Joel marvel at the tree. Mamá takes out a tiny doll and a tiny toy car and hangs them on the tree. “This is our Christmas tree.” Excitement and joy fill Tina and Joel’s hearts as everyday Mamá brings another tiny toy and hangs them on the tree. Christmas is here, the tree full of dolls, cars, and toys. “This was our Santa Claus.” Tina recalls. Tina and Joel run to the tree, grab every doll, car, and toy and play with them. Mamá watches proudly. – A slight tremble in her voice, Tina explains, “That was his last Christmas.” Tina remembers her hermanito.
On December 25, 2020, Christmas Day, Tina gained her wings and went to her mamá and hermanito. Joel holds a tiny car in his right hand, on his left a tiny doll for Tina. The tree behind him is full of tiny toys. Christmas time, Tina’s favorite time of the year, is here again.
Tina was born in Encantada Ranch in San Benito, Texas on May 31, 1937 to her loving mamá, Gregoria Guzman and father Dustano Muñiz. She was a caring older sister to her hermanito, Joel Muñiz. Francisco Ortiz helped raise her as a caring and loving stepfather.
Tina was a loving mother, her efforts supported by Ramiro. All who came to know Tina felt her motherly love and affection. Tina’s home was always open to family, friends, and anyone in need. As an associate of the Hidalgo County Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, Tina visited families throughout the Greater Delta Area to help mothers and fathers learn about nutritionally sound diets. A young Junior and Rudy were lucky enough to be her taste testers. To this day, you can hear “I remember as a chavalito being happy to see Mrs. Fuentes visit our house. I knew we were going to have a great dinner.” This is how Tina came to be known to the community.
As a top Tupperware distributor, Tina came to know many more people from communities near and far. Her demonstrations legendary. People felt her spirit, her excitement, and her sincerity. Boxes upon boxes of merchandise filled her house. Family and friends became her helpers, receiving and distributing the orders. “Garza, three tumblers.” She would read. “Check! Got it.” Was the response. Tina’s tireless work ethic led her to owning and running two distribution centers, one in Laredo and one in San Antonio.
Tina’s faith was strong. As a CCD teacher she guided many children to their First Communion. Her efforts as a church organizer led to the expansion of the Santa Cruz Catholic Church on La Quince. Tina’s compassion and empathy were guided by the teachings of the Bible and she strongly believed in passing on her beliefs to her family and friends.
Tina loved her animals: goats, cows, horses, pigs, turkeys, chickens, dogs, and cats. She would bring them to her home, El Rancho. “Ramiro, I bought 12 calves, come get them.” Ramiro would.
Tina’s life led her from San Benito to Doctor Arroyo, Durango, and Monterey. To Edinburg, Houston, Weslaco, Elsa, Laredo, San Antonio, and Rosenberg, Texas. Wherever she was, wherever she lived, she brought her stories, her compassion, and her love.
Tina is wearing her Sunday dress. She wants you to know she tried her best. Her intentions were based in love. Tina is proud of her children and grand thru great-great grandchildren. Tina is getting her home ready with Christmas lights and a Christmas tree.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her brother: Joel Muniz; her granddaughter Jessica Christine Aguilar; her son in law Richard Martinez (spouse of Imeda Martinez).
Left to cherish her memories is her loving Husband Ramiro G. Fuentes; her sons: Ramiro (San Juanita) Fuentes, Rudy Fuentes; her daughters: Imelda Martinez, Alma (Francisco) Meza, Johanna Fuentes, Balinda (Andy Morales) Fuentes; 19 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Visitation for Mrs. Fuentes is scheduled for Tuesday, December 29, 2020 from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm with a Holy Rosary at 6:00 pm at Salinas Funeral Home- Chapel of the Angels in Elsa. Funeral Services are scheduled for Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 10:00 am at Salinas Funeral Home- Chapel of the Angels in Elsa. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Edinburg, Texas. Serving as Pallbearers are: Lupe Ybarra, Gregorio Medina III, Michael Rodriguez, Daniel de Leon, Francisco Cerda, Joey Medina. Honorary Pallbearers: Ramiro Fuentes Jr., Ramiro Rene Medina.
Funeral Services have been entrusted to Salinas Funeral Home of Elsa.
To send flowers to Ernestina's family, please visit our floral store.