Antonia D. Avila

May 10, 1925March 4, 2018
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Antonia D. Avila, 92 years old of Houston, Texas, passed away March 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. She was the daughter of Ascencion and Tomasita Aguirre Duron.

She was a member of the Iglesia Bautista Memorial in Waelder, Texas. Antonia is survived by her husband Juan Avila, sons Manuel Avila of Waco, Robert Avila Sr. and wife Irene of Rockdale, and Benito Avila of Austin, daughters Estella Thurmond of Austin, Domitila Vigil and husband Louis of San Antonio, Ester Avila of Houston, Guadalupe Avila of Houston, Rebecca Jamo and husband Bob of Chappaqua, NY, Linda Avila and husband David of San Antonio, brother Braulio Duron of Mina, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, sister Pola Gaitan of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, grandchildren Melissa Luna, Teresa Moran, Raquel Santos, Robert Avila Jr., Priscilla Avila, Michael Thurmond, Kelly Thurmond, Travis Torres, Connie Torres, Lucas Ramirez, Alexandra Arguijo, fifteen great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents, son Patricio Avila, three brothers, and two sisters. Acting as pallbearers are Manuel Avila, Robert Avila, Benito Avila, Louis Vigil, Bob Jamo, Michael Thurmond, Travis Torres, and Lucas Ramirez. Visitation is scheduled for 9:00am with funeral services following at 10:00am on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the First Baptist Church in Waelder with Reverend Juan Ruiz officiating, Burial will follow at the Iglesia Bautista Cemetery in Waelder.

The family wishes to express special thanks to Diana Iglesias who was Antonia’s care provider and friend. Also the members of Iglesia Bautista Memorial for all their prayers and support.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Iglesia Bautista Memorial In Memory of Antonia Avila PO Box 337 Waelder, TX 78959.

Words of comfort can be expressed online at - Buffington Funeral Home 424 Saint Peter Street Gonzales, Texas 78629 830-672-3322 -


  • Juan Avila, Husband
  • Ascencion Duron, Father
  • Tomasita Aguirre, Mother
  • Manuel Avila, Son
  • Robert Avila Sr., Son
  • Irene Avila, Daughter-in-law
  • Benito Avila, Son
  • Patricio Avila, Son
  • Estella Thurmond, Daughter
  • Domitila Vigil, Daughter
  • Louis Vigil, Son-in-law
  • Ester Avila, Daughter
  • Guadalupe Avila, Daughter
  • Rebecca Jamo, Daughter
  • Bob Jamo, Son-in-law
  • Linda Avila, Daughter
  • David Avila, Son-in-law
  • Braulio Duron, Brother
  • Pola Gaitan, Sister
  • Melissa Luna, Grandchild
  • Teresa Moran, Grandchild
  • Raquel Santos, Grandchild
  • Robert Avila Jr., Grandchild
  • Priscilla Avila, Grandchild
  • Michael Thurmond, Grandchild
  • Kelly Thurmond, Grandchild
  • Travis Torres, Grandchild
  • Connie Torres, Grandchild
  • Lucas Ramirez, Grandchild
  • Alexandra Arguijo, Grandchild
  • Mrs. Avila also leaves behind 15 Great-grandchildren and 8 Great-Great-grandchildren to cherish her memory.
    Antonia was preceded in death by 3 brothers and 2 sisters.

  • Manuel Avila
  • Robert Avila
  • Benito Avila
  • Louis Vigil
  • Bob Jamo
  • Michael Thurmond
  • Travis Torres
  • Lucas Ramirez

  • Iglesia Bautista Memorial



  • Visitation Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, March 10, 2018


  • Interment

Antonia D. Avila

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Rob and Karen Warren

March 8, 2018

Dear Becky, Bob and Family,
We send you our deepest sympathies at this sad time, and are so sorry for the loss of your lovely mom. She brought this world such an amazing family. Please know we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers as you celebrate your mom's beautiful life.
With love,
Karen, Rob and Family

Peter Koepke

March 7, 2018

Dear Becky, Bob and Family
We send our deep sympathy for you all in the loss of your mother. She looks so strong and beautiful. You are in our hearts.
Peter Koepke



Quiet, reserved and logical are characteristics that friends and family might use to describe Antonia D. Avila. She was a natural person. The type of person who could comfortably get lost in her thoughts. Antonia had tremendous problem solving abilities. She was hardworking and always focused on details. She was a person who loved to imagine the possibilities of life.

She was the daughter of Ascension and Tomasita Aguirre Duron. She was raised in Mina, Nueva Leon, Mexico. Antonia did not have to surround herself with people to be content. She was the type of person who enjoyed being alone but also appreciated being around family, She could be content for hours in some activity or loved to hear updates on family members’ lives.

Antonia was adaptable and had good listening skills which she would use to her advantage when it came to family life. She grew up with seven siblings who were four brothers Julian, Felipe, Nicolas, and Braulio, and three sisters Maximina, Juana, and Apolonia. She rarely shied away from family discussions. She would debate with her siblings but if it turned into an argument, Antonia would often turn it into an agreement. In general, the family got along well and shared many memorable experiences.

She was always curious about what made things work, and she would excel at the things that called for more than “brain" power. She delighted in the projects that required planning, assessment and solution. Antonia did not receive a formal education because she grew up in Mexico and had to work to help support her family, however, she did have the knowledge to teach her children right from wrong. She helped discipline them when they needed it but yet had a beautiful and unique mother’s love. The knowledge she had was obtained by attending church every week. She practiced what was being taught in Sunday school and she was led by hearing the pastor’s message. This was the best education she could have received because she was able to counsel her children in dealing with situations they would face in their lives. She did encourage all of her children to get the education that she didn’t have the opportunity to get.

Although Antonia had a small group of friends, they were a close knit group and she enjoyed spending time with them. She liked to be able to engage them in discussions on the many topics she found interesting. Those who knew her well would describe Antonia as a good listener who could bring out a type of understanding from those around her that even surprised them. She was passionate in her commitments and would never intentionally hurt anyone. Later in life, she became friends with Conchita Flores, Eusebia Ramirez, Elena Rios, Luisa Vargas, and Diana Iglesias.

Antonia finally found connection and fulfillment when on May 21, 1943, she exchanged wedding vows with Juan Avila at the Catholic Church of Mina, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Juan was influential in Antonia's life and brought love and dedication to her life. They became one and Antonia grew, blossomed and became more balanced because of their love and compassion.

Antonia and her husband Juan were born and raised in Mexico. In 1950, Antonia and Juan decided to take a leap of faith and go to the United States to provide a better life for their children Estella, Manuel and Tila. They came across the border illegally where they met a man named Elmer Barker. Juan began working for Mr. Barker making $3 a day plus room and board. The house they lived in was not insulated so it was very cold and they lived in very poor conditions.
During this time they had another child, Robert. One day, the border patrol encountered them and told them that they would have to return to Mexico. At the border, the agent told them that their baby boy, Robert, was a U.S. citizen and had the right to stay in the U.S. They told Antonia that she could leave him in Texas but she told them that she was NOT going to leave her baby behind.
So, they returned to Mexico and were informed that they could not apply for a green card until five years had passed. Their baby boy became very ill and when Mr. Barker went to see them, he told them that the child needed medical attention quick. Juan knew that they could not return to the U.S. for five years, but again, because they wanted to save their son’s life, they crossed the border to get him medical attention and then returned to Mexico. Robert received the medicine he needed and Antonia did all that was needed to get him well. Mr. Barker worked on getting their immigration paperwork in order so that they could apply for a passport and eventually permanent resident status.

Antonia was a homemaker who took care of and loved her family. Antonia was blessed with ten children, Patricio, Estella, Manuel, Domitila, Robert, Ester, Benito, Guadalupe, Rebecca, and Linda. They were also blessed with eleven grandchildren, Melissa, Teresa, Raquel, Priscilla, Kelly, Connie, Alexandra, Bobby, Michael, Travis, and Lucas. Antonia's sense of fun was often unleashed in her puns and witty, intelligent one-liners. The children always knew how much Antonia loved them. She loved her grandchildren dearly.

Antonia’s primary occupation was a child care provider. Antonia enjoyed taking care of children while their parents worked. At times, she also cared for her grandchildren while their parents worked. Antonia took pride in what she would instill in the children and grandchildren left in her care.

Hobbies were more than fun for Antonia. Knowing how things worked was more incentive than just completing the task. Her favorite pursuits were sewing, cultivating plants, and harvesting vegetables.

Friends and acquaintances usually viewed Antonia as the brains behind the operation and using this talent, she contributed a great deal to the organizations to which she belonged. Her own ability to adapt helped those around her to come up with creative approaches to a variety of situations. Antonia worked hard once she became committed to a goal, and she was a strong contributor whenever it came to the planning process. Throughout her later years, Antonia was an active member of the Women's Missionary Union at her churches and was a member of the Prayer Warriors at Iglesia Bautista Memorial. She became a valued and a contributing member of each volunteer organization.

Antonia's strong sense of faith helped her remain focused on the needs and concerns of others. These values brought her strength and helped to reinforce the importance of both her faith and the practice of her religion. She was a member Iglesia Bautista Memorial in Waelder, Texas for 33 years.

Antonia was not a woman who did things because she expected a reward in return. In fact, accepting recognition from others was sometimes difficult for her. People who served with Antonia recognized her quiet strength and her practical, logical, and sensitive abilities. Still, she was awarded numerous honors throughout her life. Some of her most prestigious awards included an award from Iglesia Bautista Memorial for being a faithful member for over 30 years.

Travel was a luxury for Antonia and something that she took great pleasure in doing. She was fond of dealing with the actual organizing and planning family vacations. Her favorite vacation was visiting her family in Mexico.

Antonia especially enjoyed time with her pets. She could spend hours in private thought, and her faithful companions would just sit by her side. One of Antonia's favorites was Chula, a Samoyed dog. They were best friends for 10 years. Her pet family was rounded out by her parakeets. In retirement, she continued her sewing and gardening.

Antonia D. Avila passed away on March 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Antonia fought bravely against declining health due to dementia which ultimately led to heart failure. She is survived by her husband Juan, children, Estella, Manuel, Tila, Robert, Ester, Ben, Lupe, Becky, and Linda, her sister Apolonia, her brother Braulio, 15 great grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren. Services were held at First Baptist Church in Waelder, Texas. Antonia was laid to rest in Iglesia Bautista Memorial Cemetery in Waelder, Texas.

Those who knew and loved Antonia will miss her quiet gentleness, her soft but stern voice and her ability to always make whoever she encountered feel special. She leaves all those who knew and loved her with many beautiful and wonderful memories.