OBITUARY

Pete Gil

February 26, 1929May 3, 2021

Pete Gil, born February 26, 1929, in Austin, passed away peacefully on May 3, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jose Gil and Theresa Rodriguez Gil; his brothers, Paul Gil, Narcisco Gil, Simon Gil and Otis Gil; his sisters, Ruth Gil, Sally Sanchez, and Julia Gil; his second wife, Frances Smith Guerrero Gil; his third wife, Frances Rocha; and his youngest daughter, Elizabeth Chavera.

Pete is survived by his oldest daughter, Vickie Johns and her husband, Glen; his son, Michael Gil; his grandchildren, Beth Shields and her husband Jeff; Matthew Johns and his wife Chelsea; Zachary Gil and Hannah Gil; his great-grandchildren, Dylan Weum and Skylar Weum; Alden Johns and Emilia Johns. Pete is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins in his large extended family that he loved dearly.

Pete was the youngest of five brothers and three sisters. His parents passed when he was a very young boy. All of the family worked hard and took care of each other. He began working at an early age. This included some migrant work. He thought harvesting sugar beets was the hardest work. As a young teen, Pete became a lifeguard at Zaragoza Park. He also began boxing training under the tutelage of Louis Munoz. Pete set a goal of being a Golden Gloves champion. He also met a beautiful, young girl at Zaragoza Park. He set another goal, to make their relationship lasting. Pete won the Golden Gloves welter weight title in Ft. Worth on February 14, 1949. He was 19 years old. About two years later, he married that young girl, Lupe Herrera.

Pete boxed professionally for a few years, rather successfully. But after starting a family, he joined his brothers in the Gil Construction Company. He was a talented bricklayer and stone mason. In the early 1960’s, his National Guard unit, the 49th Armored Division, was called up and he was stationed at Ft. Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska. His marriage did not survive this change. This was a very difficult time, but Pete came through it. He remarried a remarkable, accomplished, high energy woman, Frances Smith Guerrero. They had a 33 year marriage that was loving, interesting, and supportive. They made many good friends at Ft. Richardson and later at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Frances was a gourmet cook and they entertained often. They both loved to talk and to laugh and enjoy life. When Pete became eligible to retire from the military, they were ready to come home to Austin, to family and friends and live in their house on Woodview.

Pete enrolled at Austin Community College and earned his Criminal Justice Associate Degree. Pete started his next career as a Travis County Deputy Sheriff. The next years were very good. They had their family near. There were some great Gil family reunions at Richard Moya Park. Later, Frances’ health began to decline and when Pete became eligible to retire, he did. He stayed by Frances’ side. After a couple of years, Frances passed.

Some time went by and Pete met a lovely widow at the Austin Senior Activity Center, Frances Rocha. It was a sweet pairing. They met at the perfect time in each other’s lives. Pete and Frances enjoyed a serene, happy life. They were regulars at Amaya’s, their favorite restaurant. They took senior bus tours to the Coushatta Casino with Pete’s niece, Theresa and her husband. Pete had a beautiful relationship with Frances’ son, Ben Rocha and his wife, Irene and with Frances’ daughter, Maria and her husband, Mario. After about 17 years, Frances’ health rapidly declined and she passed.

At age 89, Pete and his son, Michael, a retired nurse, began to live together. Michael became Pete’s full-time caregiver, cook, companion, and partner in outings to get a meal or maybe a beer, and he was a loving son. After almost two and a half years, Pete who had always been strong and vigorous, began to rapidly decline. Maybe it was more of a winding down. There was a short stay at a hospital, a transition to skilled nursing and long term care then hospice care. Two months and seven days after his 92nd birthday, Pete transitioned one last time. His daughter, Vickie was with him that last hour.

The family would like to thank the doctors Pete saw over his lifespan. He had some health issues over the years, but always continued on. We send a special thank you to Dr. Steve Hardeman, who provided great care the last years of his life. We would like to thank the nurses and staff at New Hope Manor in Cedar Park. They gave him excellent care and also kindness. They shared laughter and smiles with him. Thank you to the staff at New Century Hospice.

Services for Pete will be Tuesday, May 11th at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 North Lamar Boulevard. There will be a viewing between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM. A rosary will begin at 6:00 PM followed by family and friends sharing testimonials.

To leave condolences for the family, please visit http://www.cookwaldenfuneralhome.com

Services

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, May 11, 2021

  • Rosary Service

    Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Memories

Pete Gil

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Emilio Cantu

May 12, 2021

One memory that I have had of Pete is that in 1957, during the National Guard Summer Camp At Fort Hood, when The Diamonds recorded the song "Little Darlin" Pete was going around saying the words, " Little Darling, I Need You, Hold My Hand".
Even though I have not seen him all these years, I remember him every time I hear the song. May the Good Lord have him by his side.

Emilio Cantu

May 11, 2021

I Met Pete as my Platoon Sgt. when I joined the 49th armored Div. 249th QM. battalion Natl. Guard Unit in 1955. Paul Gil jr. introduced me to Pete. I was in Pete's unit for 4 years until I got assigned my own unit.
Pete used to sit with us and watch us play the guitar and sing songs in the evenings after dinner at the yearly Summer Camps.
May you Rest In Peace Old Friend.

Zachery Martinez

May 11, 2021

Saddened to hear of our big cousin passing. Prayers for him and the family. Rest easy now Champ. An Austin Boxing Great.
--Zack Martinez

eddie castillo

May 11, 2021

i am so sorry for your lose.

Mike Sanchez

May 11, 2021

I was lucky enough to spend time with Pete due to his friendship with my dad Ray Sanchez. Pete and dad were good friends. There was not a time that I spent with Pete that he wasn’t just so much fun to be around. I know that he will be missed, but also remembered. May his memory stay in your hearts.
Mike Sanchez

Gloria Gil Garcia

May 10, 2021

We'll miss you Uncle Pete!

Lawrence Gonzales

May 10, 2021

Uncle Pete, like all your siblings, you had a gift for brightening the lives of those around you with wit and humor. You even had an impact on my driving as my grandfather would often say, "my brother Pete always says the sign says STOP, not ROLL." Thank you for this and all the other lessons you shared and may God bless you and the family as they mourn your loss.

David Yeager

May 10, 2021

Although I had not seen Pete in many years, I remember working with him on several occasions at TCSO. He enjoyed laughing when circumstances allowed, but could be a tough person to reckon with when he needed to be. A good man!

Andy Forsythe

May 9, 2021

Pete was a great presence in the Travis County courtrooms for many years. He knew everybody, especially from the East Side, and in a low confidential voice would share a story or two. He had a calm, quiet demeanor, but behind that square jaw was the former Golden Gloves champ and pro fighter, and you had the feeling that if any trouble broke out in the courtroom, Pete could handle it all by himself. And to top it off, he was the nicest guy you could meet.

RIP, Pete.

AARON CARPENTER

May 6, 2021

My condolences to all of the family and friends of Uncle Pete -- it is very apparent that he meant so much to a great many people, and that he was very influential throughout his life. May you experience loving memories of him and thoughts of comfort during this time of grief. - Aaron D. Carpenter

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