Francisco Ruiz Pineda
Francisco Ruiz Pineda
April 4, 1943- May 4, 2020
Francisco Ruiz Pineda departed peacefully on May 4, 2020, surrounded by his three daughters. Frank, as he was known to his friends and family, was preceded in death by his wife, Petra Mancias Pineda, his father, Eduardo Pineda and his mother, Paulina Pineda of New Braunfels, and his brothers Onesimo Pineda of New Braunfels, Eduardo Pineda, Jr. of New Braunfels, and Eustacio Pineda of San Antonio.
He is survived by his daughters, Shiela (Kelly) Parker, Christy (Robert) Reyna, and Linda (Nando) Silgero; Frank was a devoted grandfather to Gabby and Kacey Parker, Matthew and Allan Wimberly, Daniel and Tamar Reyna, and Carizma Silgero. His family grew to include two granddaughters-in-law, Shelby Reyna and Christine Wimberly; four great-grandchildren, Noah Barrera, Jeremiah and Elijah Wimberly and his great granddaughter, Scarlett Petra Rose Wimberly.
Additional survivors include his six sisters: Serafina Ledesma of New Braunfels, Angela Gutierrez of Euless, Teresa Martinez of Bay City, Michigan, Maria Sanchez of Bay City, Michigan, Augustina Hernandez of Bastrop, and Guadalupe Saldaña of Kyle. He is also survived by his four brothers: Valente Pineda of New Braunfels, Martin Pineda of Dallas, Jesus Pineda of New Braunfels, and Juan Pineda of New Braunfels.
Francisco “Frank” “Pancho” Pineda was born on April 4, 1943, in the Pineda family homestead in Hunter, Texas, to Paulina and Eduardo Pineda. He was the tenth child of fourteen brothers and sisters, and often enjoyed recollecting his memories as a boy in el rancho en La Mota, located in Hunter, Texas. Frank often told stories of growing up in the 1940s and 50s near his beloved New Braunfels, raised by his Ama, Apa, and his Apa Grande. Frank would recall his mother sewing his shirts from the cloth of flour sacks, causing mischief with his neighborhood friends, the Villanuevas, and learning to swim in the Guadalupe River. His youth was spent in the piscas as part of the thriving Texas migrant community, traveling from New Braunfels to West Texas and Michigan to pick cotton, sugar beets, and cherries. “Those were hard times, but they were the best times,” Frank recalled in the anecdotes of his youth.
Frank’s hopes to enlist in the U.S. Army as a young man were realized when he was called to serve his country on March 12, 1968, during the height of the Vietnam era. For a young man from Texas, Frank enjoyed seeing the world in his Army travels. He would sit and share stories of his training, which always led to being stationed in Germany. Frank fell in love with the culture, especially the steins of beer, plates of wurst, and the beautiful women, which all reminded him of his home in New Braunfels. After proudly serving his country, Frank was Honorably discharged on March 11, 1970.
Frank returned home, and with his rock-n-roll good looks and a brand new white Shelby GT Mustang, he met his dancing partner in life at a local dance hall. He married Petra Mancias Pineda on September 3, 1970, in San Marcos, Texas. Since he and Petra had a short courtship, and legend has it they only knew each other six weeks prior to eloping, he didn’t know that Petra was the only sister to her loving, but over-protective, six brothers. Frank’s easy-going demeanor won over his mother-in-law, and eventually his father and brothers-in-law. In time, he became el cuñado and an honorary Mancias.
Frank and Petra moved to Austin, Texas, where Frank became a Master Plumber, succeeding in owning his own business, Pineda Plumbing & Septic Tanks. Frank and Petra were blessed to welcome their first daughter, Shiela, and five years later they completed their family with Christy and Linda. Frank dreamed of recreating his rancho, and he and Petra bought acreage in what is now Mustang Ridge, where he resided for the remainder of his life. One of Frank’s greatest accomplishments was building his family’s house with his own hands. Frank’s home was a symbol for his life: draw a blueprint, build a solid foundation, finish one room at a time, and always remain flexible, as his wife was known for keeping the house in a constant period of renovation.
Frank will always be remembered as a devoted father. He loved his children, teaching each of them to persevere in times of difficulty. As a father to three girls, Frank wanted nothing more than for his daughters to be taken care of as well as he had cared for them. He was fortunate that each of his sons-in-law, Kelly, Hernando, and Robert, all held him in the highest regard as a role model. He was able to rest knowing that his highest expectations had been met with these good men. In his later life, Frank loved nothing more than holding his grand babies, as he became known as Popo to his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He attended numerous school events, graduations, football and softball games, and cheer camp to watch his grandkids perform.
Francisco Pineda was a patriotic man. His service to his country did not end when he left the military. He kept himself informed about important world issues through the decades, watching on television as the first bomb dropped in the First Gulf War to the tragedy of 9/11. Frank would recap the news of the day, adding his own commentary. Frank reminded us of the importance of being informed and voting as part of our civic duty. Even in his last days, when asked who the president was by his nurse, he would say President Trump. In the end, it was fitting that Frank left the home he loved draped in the American flag.
Frank was a religious man, kneeling and bowing his head in prayer each day. His Bible was tattered and marked with his favorite scriptures, which he recited by memory. He believed that the Lord would provide, and his life is a testament to being a blessed man. He also taught the world to smile and laugh along the way. Not many people will forget Frank Pineda’s smile and laughter. Today, we give Thanks to God, Gracias a Dios, for gracing our world with Francisco Ruiz Pineda.
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