OBITUARY

Raul Alfaro

February 17, 1929April 15, 2014
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Born on the 17th of February in 1929, Raul Alfaro was the first of two boys born to Jesus and Eulojia Alfaro. Roy was born in Longview, but was raised in Tyler, Texas, along with his younger brother, Alfonso. It was there in Tyler that Roy and his brother would find themselves beginning journeys each Saturday taking them twenty miles on their bikes or to the swamps to hunt for fish and snakes. These journeys would include a cross county path that would end with the two brothers enjoying movies all day with each other, and with the children’s parents accompanying them at the end of the day. Ralph and Fonso, as they were called by family and friends in East Texas, enjoyed the luxury of freedom and would often times get into trouble. This trouble stemmed from the many inventions and creations that Roy would come up with and Alfonso would join in on. The inventions included a cannon that blew holes into all kinds of things.

Roy attended John Tyler High School and was a varsity football player, starting at Right Tackle for the District Championship team. Among other accomplishments of his youth, Roy cited being the East Texas Marble champion as one of his favorite ones. He also owned a goat that he kept as a pet that he creatively named Billy. Billy and Roy were often seen together on the streets of Tyler. After butting one too many kids, Billy ended up being made into cabrito by Roy’s mother. Roy graduated from Tyler High School in the class of 1947. He earned an Associate’s Degree at Tyler Junior College and then enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. After a few years, he had to take a semester off to help with family finances. While out of school for the semester, he was drafted into the United States Army and sent to Korea in 1950.

Roy had a rather large list of military experience which began long before his draft date. At around age thirteen, he was the elevator operator at a U.S. military hospital in World War Two. His list of duties there also included helping out with scrubbing floors and tools and assisting doctors with baby delivery and brain surgeries. Although, in his personal accounts of the action that took place during this period, he would often times tell his children that he was the one performing the surgeries. In 1951, Roy began his service in Korea. He served two years in combat. This is a time in his life that he rarely talked about except to say that war is such a waste. After coming home in 1953, Roy spent six more years in the Army on reserve before being officially discharged in 1959.

On May 14, 1958, Roy married Anastacia Gonzales and thus begun the next chapter of his life that would last over fifty-five years. They had met two years earlier at a print shop where they both worked. They always lived in Austin. After being married a short time, they purchased the home in South Austin that all of their children were raised in and that they ended up sharing for over 50 years. The two would have five children together: Anna, Debbie, Pat, Martin, and Cathy. They had the first four children in the first five years they were married. Roy was the rock of the family and could always be counted on to lead the way. He was a true old-school patriarch where family responsibilities always came first.

While the children were growing up, Roy often worked two full-time jobs to make ends meet. Roy worked for the State of Texas for thirty years as director of the state print shop at a time when all print jobs had to be manually produced on printing presses. He produced the programs that were to be used at the dinner reception for President John F. Kennedy that was scheduled for the same day that Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. He was always fascinated by printing processes—especially as they became more computerized and intricate. He enjoyed looking at magazines and other printed materials from around the world. After retiring, Roy served on three Travis County Grand Juries. He enjoyed being part of the legal process. It was quite a challenge for him to keep the details of the cases to himself as he had been instructed to do. He was always quite the gossip.

As South Austin grew, so did his friend list and fan base. Everybody in the area knew him, and whenever anyone was having lawnmower problems (or if they needed anything else fixed from bicycles to weed eaters), they knew to bring it to him. He was known as the lawn mower man of South Austin. The amount of customers that he attracted was enough to start a legitimate business, and the quality of work he provided was enough that he could have raised his prices to make more money, but he did it as a hobby, and always charged less than his competitors. Everyone in South Austin knew him as Roy, and everywhere he would go he would see somebody he knew.

Either due to a lack of ability or laziness, Roy never made himself a meal. If his wife was out of town, he would sometimes find himself eating out three times a day. His favorite place in the whole world to go eat was right down the street, Casa Maria Mexican Restaurant. As their most loyal customer for fifteen years, people there would sometimes see him there ten times in one week. Every employee there was always ready to greet Raulito, as he was known there. On most Friday nights and Sundays after church, he would treat his whole family to meals at Casa Maria.

Anyone who knew Roy knew he was as hard headed as they come and that he would never back down from anything. He had to do things his way, or no way at all. Nothing scared or intimidated him, and he was never going to let anything defeat him without giving it his all. This included serious illnesses. His list of victories included conquering cancer three times, surviving a grapefruit sized aneurism, and overcoming a stroke. With each of these illnesses, the doctors gave him very little chance of survival. Even at the age of eighty-four (last year), he moved around like someone who was forty years younger than him, with no sign of slowing down. Until last fall, he continued to drive, run errands, mow the yard, and take care of his family as he had always done. He was also just as stubborn as ever.

Roy always believed that his greatest accomplishment was his family. He was a baseball coach, Indian Guides leader, softball coach, band parent, Tex Ann parent, and assisted with many a school project as his children were growing up. He was responsible for a working guillotine, a scale model Mayan temple, many pinewood derby cars, and some architectural models. His children received many A’s due to his engineering skills. He also drove Ann most places she needed to go and did most of the everyday errands.

His greatest joy later in life was the time that he spent with his two grandchildren. He never missed a baseball game, football game, dance recital, violin recital, orchestra concert, or countless other activities that Justin and Rose were in. He spent as much time with them as he possibly could, calling Rose to tell her a joke he thought of or talking to Justin about sports stats. Justin and Rose were his best friends and he was their biggest fan.

In September of 2013, he became sick to his stomach and was taken to the hospital. As was always the case when he was sick, he thought he either had the flu or had eaten too much salsa. While it seemed to be just minor stomach pains, he required surgery for an intestinal blockage. He made it through the surgery and spent the next seven months fighting to recover, but his body was not able to keep up with his willpower and stubbornness this time. He passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, his family by his side. The family takes comfort in knowing that he was able to get one last shot at “the man” by leaving this world on tax day—his least favorite day of the year. He always had the last word, and he certainly did in this case.

The Alfaro family extends its gratitude and thanks to all of the doctors and nurses that cared for him during his illnesses, especially Magdalena, Cassie, and Graciela as their work allowed him to be home with his family.

Raul was preceded in his departure by his parents Jesus and Eulojia Alfaro and brother and sister-in-law Alfonso and Molly Alfaro. He is survived by his wife Anastacia Alfaro, daughter and son-in-law Anna and Saleem Akhter, daughter Debra Alfaro, son Patrick Alfaro, son and daughter-in-law Martin and Rebekah Alfaro, and daughter and son-in-law Catherine and Robert Wood. He is also survived by his grandchildren Justin and Rose Wood.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday, April 21, 2014 with the rosary service to be recited at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church, 126 W. Oltorf Street. Interment will follow at Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Memorial Park. A reception will be held at the Hampton Inn, 6401 W. US Hwy. 290 following the interment.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation Monday, April 21, 2014
  • Recitation of the Holy Rosary Monday, April 21, 2014
  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Interment
REMEMBERING

Raul Alfaro

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Natalie Garza

November 14, 2014

I always looked forward to our chats at the pharmacy. You always brightened everyone's day. I will strive to follow your example of love and joy.
My condolences to the Alfaro family, who are in my thoughts and prayers.
I am blessed to have met you Mr. Alfaro!

john compton

May 5, 2014

Alfaro Family, my condolences, thoughts and prayers with each of you. Hang in there Pat, your dad was a great man...

Jeanie Hubbard

April 24, 2014

Dear Alfaro family,
I really enjoyed reading the story of Roy. Kudos to Justin for writing such a heartfelt tribute to a great man! You are all in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you now and always.

Maria Moreno

April 23, 2014

Pat it's was great to hear how amazing your dad was. Seems like you did not just lose a dad, but the whole community lost a great friend. My Prayers to you and your family. Your Friend
1 Chronicles 7:22
Their father Ephraim mourned for them many days, and his relatives came to comfort him.
1 Chronicles 7:21-23 Chronicles 7 Other Translations

April 22, 2014

Alfaro family, Thinking of you at this time of grief. Roy was a good friend and neighbor. We saw him all the time. He was a good man, and will be missed by many. Ann, please know we are keeping you and family in prayer. God Bless! Carlos and Connie Navarro

Rosa Moncivais

April 22, 2014

Pat, dear friend.........I just read your father's obituary. I want you to know, that I would have ABSOLUTLY LOVED to have met him. He was an exceptional man and would have been a GREAT HONOR for me to have known him.
My prayers are with you and all your family Pat. Stay strong for your mother and sibilings. From my families to all of yours, Pat, GOD is with you.

Rosa E. Moncivais

Steve Schrader

April 22, 2014

Very sorry to hear of Roy's passing. He was one of the nicest persons I have ever met. God bless the Alfaro family.

Steve Schrader

Raymond Cowan

April 22, 2014

Pat,
You and your family are in our prayers.

April 22, 2014

Dearest Anna:

We are so sorry for your loss. We are glad that you were there for your Dad and for your Mom. You, Saleem, and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We hope that time lessens your pain and reminds you of the wonderful times you spent with him.

All our love & hugs!

Your friends,

Renuka & Stephen

Linda Colonna

April 22, 2014

I am sad for your loss. Roy sounds like he was quite a character and he will be missed by many. Much love to your family during this difficult time.