A MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY

Please visit https://livestream.com/westlakeumc/SifuentesMemorial at 1:00 PM on Sunday, February 7, 2021 to view the Memorial Serivce.
OBITUARY

Ben Moreno Sifuentes

February 7, 1929December 24, 2020

Ben Moreno Sifuentes passed away peacefully at home on December 24, 2020, surrounded by his beloved family. Ben is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Delia Sifuentes, and their children, Marina Sifuentes and Elizabeth Sifuentes (John Bell) of Austin, and Ben Sifuentes Jr. and Bianca Sifuentes (Charlie Rakosky) of San Antonio. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Marisa S. Davis (Joaquin Ordoñez), Lia S. Davis, Jahan Haj-Ali-Ahmadi and Kayhan Haj-Ali-Ahmadi (Meredith Smith) of Austin, Katerina S. Rakosky of San Antonio, and his great grandsons, Maiel S. Davis Ordoñez and Noé S. Davis Ordoñez. He is also survived by his siblings, Janie Cardenaz, Jesse Martinez, Nash Martinez, Sam Martinez, and Lupe Rosales. He is preceded in death by his mother, Clotilde Sifuentes Martinez and father, Benito Casarez Sifuentes and siblings, Carmen Shepard, Frank Sifuentes, Mary Ruiz, Robert Martinez, Tommy Martinez, Patsy Lujan, and Michael Martinez.

Born in Austin on February 7, 1929, Ben was a child of the Great Depression. At age nine, upon his father’s unexpected death, he became the primary wage earner in his family, holding multiple paper routes and shining shoes along Congress Avenue. As a young boy, Ben was a proud member of Boy Scout Troop 1, an early troop in Austin.

He was a product of Austin’s public schools, attending Zavala Elementary, University Junior High and Austin High School. He served his country in the Army Air Corp and the Texas National Guard.

After graduating from high school in 1948, Ben attended The University of Texas at Austin where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy.

He married Delia Herrera in 1952, and in 1954, upon graduation, he moved his wife and oldest daughter to San Antonio where he practiced pharmacy at Baptist Memorial Hospital, Mission Pharmacal, and Sommers Rexall Drugs.

In 1964, he became the Director of Pharmacy at Southwest Texas Methodist Hospital. In 1971, Ben received his Master of Science Degree at Trinity University and was the first Hispanic graduate from Trinity’s Hospital Administration program.

Ben then went to work for Bexar County Hospital District where he was the Hospital Administrator for Robert B. Green Hospital. He became well-known for his innovative and culturally competent outreach programs to the Mexican-American community in San Antonio. In 1975, he left San Antonio for California where Governor Jerry Brown appointed him as the Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Health for the State of California. He spearheaded a project tying the reimbursement of health care services to the appropriateness of the treatment, a practice now known as procedure coding. In 1977, Ben returned to San Antonio to help build Southwest General Hospital where he was the Hospital Administrator.

He and Delia returned to Austin in 1987, where he opened S&S Pharmacy on James Casey with his daughter, Marina, also a pharmacist. Ben had come full circle returning to what he loved, pharmacy. He practiced as a pharmacist there for 16 years until they sold the pharmacy in 2003.

Ben also served on the Urban Renewal Agency for the City of Austin from 1996-2011, eventually retiring as the Chairperson. He worked on various projects, including the development of the 11th Street Corridor in East Austin.

He enjoyed traveling and going on adventures to discover new places. He loved reading, but most of all, he enjoyed time spent with family. He credited his wife’s dedication and organization to his success and recognized her support made his full life possible.

Ben always said that it was not enough to succeed, we must help others who come after us gain success as well. He insisted that we must share and look out for each other, especially those who were the most in need, something he always told his children. He said The American Dream was for all of us, but we must ensure that the Hispanic community has access to educational opportunities and quality health care. He was committed to advancing education and health equity in the Hispanic community.

Ben was a founding supporter and past board member of the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium. He sponsored over 55 scholarships to Central Texas students from 2004-2015. His legacy will live on in the many Hispanic students he supported and impacted.

A virtual celebration of Ben’s life will be held February 7, 2021 at 1 PM, to view the live stream, please visit https://livestream.com/westlakeumc/SifuentesMemorial. His ashes will be buried at his grandfather’s grave at the Oakwood Cemetery in East Austin. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium.

Services

  • Virtual Memorial Service

    Sunday, February 7, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Ben Moreno Sifuentes

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Jim Johnson

January 3, 2021

In 1987 I was the owner of Dickinson Optical Co. I wanted to move my south Austin store from Manchaca Rd to the rapidly developing South Austin medical center. I quickly found a corner lot across the street from the South Austin hospital. This was exactly what I was looking for. I found a mobile building housing a pharmacy on that site. I entered the building and met Ben Sifuentes for the first time. I inquired what he intended to do with that location. He replied that his daughter Marina was the owner and she intend to build a brick and mortar building for the new S&S pharmacy. I suggested putting Dickinson Optical in one end of the building. We all agreed that would be a smart move. Amazingly, the details and building proceeded quickly and the new Dickinson Optical was one of the nicest and most successful optical companies in Austin. A few years later I developed a throat cancer. While discussing my medical condition with Ben he suggested that I should drink at least a quart of Aloe Vera solution every day. I completed my cancer treatment successfully with amazing few side effects and that was all most 30 years ago. I cherish the personal relationship I had with both Marina and Ben. The Austin newspaper obituary listed many details I had not previously known before about Ben. He was a great man and leader. I want to extend my condolences and blessings to his family.
Jim Johnson

Christine and Mario Del Prado

January 3, 2021

Dear friend, Ben,
Mario & I wish to express our deepest sympathy on the loss of your father.
From what we’ve read in his obituary, he was a remarkable man, as well as a wonderful husband and father.
It is apparent that he will be sorely missed by all of you.
We hope that your understandable sadness will someday be replaced with happiness and joy as you fondly recall the times that you spent with him.

Mark walaski

January 1, 2021

From the Walaski bunch, we are terribly sorry for your loss. You’ve been very good to our family for many years. If you need anything in the slightest, you know not to hesitate to give a call or shoot a text. During this life changing time we hope you can morn the loss of your father.- Mark,Brittney,Ian

Judy Harris

January 1, 2021

Marina,
I am so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. It has been an honor to have known him and your mom and been with them on several trips! He has truly touched and impacted many lives and his legacy will live on. We will all miss him very much as he transition from life on earth to eternal life in Heaven.... Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family .....
With deepest sympathy, ...Judy V. Harris

Daryl & Deborah Harris

January 1, 2021

Ben, we never had the pleasure of meeting your father, but I see so much of the commitment, the drive, the life I read about in his obituary....in my friendship with you. I'm happy that you were able to spend time with him...and I look forward to learning more about your dad in our friendship going forward. Know he is at peace.

ron brandin

January 1, 2021

Ben, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your father. May God give you the strength and courage to bear this pain. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Roy Mireles

January 1, 2021

My condolences
May God watch over your mom
And keep everyone safe
God bless
Roym

Morris Munoz

December 31, 2020

Ben I am so sorry for your great loss. May your father Rest In Peace. My prayers are with you and your family.

Charlie McLennan

December 31, 2020

Ben I am so sorry for your loss and please except my sincere condolences for yourself and your family. Your Father accomplished so much and truly lived “The American Dream”, we should all be so blessed. I know you are walking in his footsteps and hand in hand with him always, may God bless.

Anita Sylvia Garcia

December 31, 2020

My condolences to the family . I worked with Ben at the S&S pharmacy briefly and found him very professional and helpful.
His contributions to the community will be greatly missed.

FROM THE FAMILY