Our father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, “Tio,” and friend M. Luis Cisneros embarked on his final adventure on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011.
Born to Monico Cisneros and Dolores Ocanas Garcia on June 21, 1931, “Louis” spent his life in service – to his family, to his nation and to his community. His path led him to fearlessly face every challenge, to fiercely defend his truths and to succeed at every venture he attempted.
After graduating from Lockhart High School in 1950, he married his lifelong love, Manuela “Meme” Recio, and embarked on a life of partnership and dedication. After briefly playing professional baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he began his military service, enlisting in the US Army in 1952, when he was drafted into service to his nation. That service continued for nearly 30 years, before he retired in 1982 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
During his military service, he earned dozens of awards, including: the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, an Air Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, a Korean Service Medal with two campaign stars, a Vietnam Service Medal with two campaign stars, the National Defense Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, the Republic of Vietnam Staff Honor Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Service Medal, a Parachutist Badge, a Combat Infantryman Badge, a General Staff Information Badge – Army General Staff, the Pentagon, a Meritorious Unit Commendation and a Good Conduct Medal (awarded for enlisted service).
While serving in the military, he also pursued his education, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education from Southwest Texas State Teachers’ College in 1957, with a major in Business Administration and a minor in History. He also earned a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University in 1976, and an Associate of Applied Science in Real Estate in 1984.
After his retirement, he returned to his hometown, in hopes of continuing his service, this time to his “people,” the friends and neighbors in Lockhart who had shaped his life, and whom he hoped to repay for helping him on his path to success.
In 1985, he was elected to the Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees, where he served until 1990. That year, he was elected as Lockhart’s first Hispanic mayor, a position he held until 1996. Not yet finished with public service, he was then appointed, and later elected, as Caldwell County Justice of the Peace, Precinct One, the position he held until his retirement in 2010. During his years in public office, he also served on dozens of elected and appointed boards and commissions, asking himself each day, “What can I do to serve someone else today?”
Of all his titles, he cherished most the title of “educator,” having served as a professor of Business Management at Austin Community College, and as the chair of the Business Division of the Cypress Creek and Northridge Campuses of ACC.
Socially, he was a life member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a member of the Catholic Veterans of America, Lions International, the Lockhart Pan American Golf Association, and the Sibert Masonic Lodge.
He leaves to cherish his memory and his legacy his wife of 59 years, Manuela Recio Cisneros; his children: Louis A. Cisneros, Anna Marie Cisneros Schwertfeger, Elizabeth Recio Cisneros, Dolores Kay Cisneros O’Connor, Carl M. Cisneros and Lisa Anselma Cisneros Barnes; his grandchildren: Christian Lee Cisneros, Joseph Luis Edward Cisneros, Matthew Alan Cisneros, Alison Nicole Schwertfeger, Lindsay Michelle Schwertfeger, Travis William Schwertfeger, Victor Jonathan Yanez, David Aaron Yanez, Lauren Davida Yanez, Patrick Ryan O’Connor, Kaitlin Marie O’Connor, Pierce Alan O’Connor, Antonio Luis Cisneros, Laura Patricia Cisneros, Erica Michelle Cisneros, Monica Manuela Barnes Runge and Nicholas Michael Barnes; his great-grandchildren: Isaac Xaiver Yanez, Tyler Nicholas Runge, Jayden Wade Yanez, David Victor Yanez, Braden Victor Runge, Julius Avery Yanez, Aaliyah Justine Yanez, Hollisten Kade Cisneros, Mattison Rene Cisneros, Michael Gonzales and Nathaniel Gonzales; dozens of nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and -nephews; and a host of loving friends.
Services for Mr. Cisneros are scheduled this week. The family planned to receive visitors from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Eeds Funeral Home, with recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, at 2 p.m. at St. Mary’s of the Visitation Catholic Church, 214 W. Pecan St., in Lockhart. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery.
After the services have concluded, the family will receive callers at a reception at St. Mary’s Parish Hall.
Honored to serve as pallbearers are: Christian L. Cisneros, Nicholas M. Barnes, Victor J. Yanez, Patrick R. O’Connor, Antonio L. Cisneros and Travis W. Schwertfeger. Honorary pallbearers are: Joseph Luis Edward Cisneros, Matthew Alan Cisneros, David Aaron Yanez and Pierce Alan O’Connor.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial contribution to Healthy Child Healthy World, 12300 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 320, Los Angeles, Calif., 90025, or online at www.healthychild.org.
All arrangements with Eeds Funeral Home, 408 S. Main St., Lockhart, Texas (512) 398-2343.