Mr. Salinas was born in Mineral on May 28, 1935. He attended A.C. Jones High School and excelled in academics and football, graduating in 1954. He attended Texas A&M University where he was a civil engineering major and a member of the Aggie Corps of Cadets. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Okla., where he was a sharpshooter and expert marksman. Honorably discharged in 1961, he returned to Houston to work for the Texas Highway Department while also completing his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering at the University of Houston. He held numerous positions within the Houston district of the Texas Department of Transportation, retiring on Dec. 31, 1997, after 40 years of service. During his tenure at the Highway Department, he served on numerous committees in organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. He was also active in his neighborhood Civic Club and his church, where he was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Manuel and Lupe Salinas.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Rosemary; children, Vera (Jurgen) Schroder, Carolyn (Scott) Dalglish, Janet (Gus) Meza and Jesse Jr.; grandchildren, Karl, Kristofer and Kirsten Schroder, Shawn and Mackenzie Dalglish, Mireya and Aitana Meza, and Brittney and Kelsey Salinas; brothers, Manuel Jr., Salvador, Robert and Joe Salinas; sisters, Janie Gonzales, Mary Kershaw, Olga Rubio and Patsy Salazar; and many nephews and nieces.
Visitation was held Wednesday, Jan. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the American Heritage Funeral Home chapel in Houston. A rosary followed from 7 to 8 p.m.
The funeral service was conducted Thursday, Jan. 31, at 10 a.m. at the same location. Interment was at 11:30 a.m. at Houston National Cemetery.
Memorial donations can be made in the name of J. R. Salinas to the Houston Area Parkinson Society, 2700 Southwest Frwy. Ste 296, Houston, TX 77098 or www.hapsonline.org.
Arrangements were under the direction of American Heritage Funeral Home, Houston.