Sept. 1, 1934 – May 29, 2012
"Amazing, Remarkable, Incredible, Strong, and Beautiful Woman”
Long time resident Nora Rosales Benavides passed away on May 29, 2012, at 3:33 am at her home in Beeville, Texas.
She is preceded in death by her parents Alejandro Gomez Rosales and Margarita Huizar Sotelo. She is also preceded in death by two brothers, Ricardo S. Rosales from El Paso and Abelardo Rosales from Campbellton; two sisters, Hortencia Mary Rosales from Pasadena, TX. and Gloria Rosales Tapia of Deer Park, TX.
She is survived by her brother, Michael (Shirley) Rosales Sr., Baltazar (Hermina) Rosales, Alicia (Reyes) DeLeon, all of Indio, Calif., Alejandro Rosales Jr. from San Gabriel, Calif., She is survived by her Husband of 58 years, Frank Nunez Benavides of Beeville, son Frank Benavides Jr. also of Beeville, son George (Maryann) Benavides of Austin, son Larry (Leticia) Benavides of Austin, daughter Nora Alice Benavides, daughter Tiesha Benavides (Chris) Cantu both of Beeville. Grandchildren include Frank Benavides III Wife Roxanna, Juliana Elise Benavides, Joshua Martin Benavides, Larry Alex Benavides Jr., Michael Andrew Benavides all of Austin, Czrina (Chris) Ybarra, Richard (Vanessa) Sauceda Jr., both of Beeville. Great grandchildren include Chelsea Lynn, Christopher Ryan Cantu, Estrella Maria, Kendall Pearl Benavides, Caileigh Alicia, Cayla Liselle, Christi’Ani Leigh, Christopher Lee Ybarra, Osias Baldemar Sauceda.
She was born Elnora Sotelo Rosales on Sept. 1, 1934, in Campbellton, Texas. She was the 2nd oldest child of nine children born to Alejandro Gomez Rosales and Margarita Huizar Sotelo. They moved to Pettus, Texas in 1942, because her father was working for Southern Union Gas at the time and traveled with the company. In 1945, she started working at the city Café in Pettus for Mom and Pop Carroll. She was 11 years old at the time and having to stand on 2 coke boxes in order to wash dishes. She never did know their names - only by Mom & Pop Carroll. With the closing of the City Café around 1948, she started working for the highway café which was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Hagemann. She didn’t have to walk very far because the café was right in front of her house. Her work shift started at 4:30 am until 8:00 am, which was right before she had to go to school at Pettus High School until 3:30 pm. She quit school her sophomore year to help support the family and, by doing so, allowed her older brother, Michael Rosales, to be able to complete his senior year at Pettus High. As was common back then for families to do, one of her chores was helping with the family wash. In order to do so, she had to miss one day of school every week to wash clothes on the washboard and tub.
In 1951, she met Pop, our dad Francisco "Frank" Benavides at a dance hall in Beeville. The following day, he reported for duty with the United States Army in Sinton. From there, he was sent to Corpus Christi for processing, then to San Antonio and then to Fort Meade, Maryland, for Basic training. On June 18, 1953, he returned to Beeville to ask for her hand in marriage, and they were married on December 20, 1953, after only meeting her one time; it was truly Love at first sight. Mom worked for several restaurants in Beeville, always dreaming to one day own her own restaurant. She worked several other jobs, including the Beeville Memorial hospital as a Nurse’s Aid. She always worked 2 to 3 jobs, since she was married and never complained about working; that was her passion, and she had a very strong work ethic. She never did understand why some people didn’t like to work; she thought that it was an honor to be able to and that God had blessed her to give her the ability to work.
At the age of 59, her dream came true of owning her Mexican Restaurant in 1993, when most people are thinking about retiring she was just getting started. After 48 years of working at every aspect of the restaurant business, she finally had her chance of owning her own business. On Aug. 1, 1993, she officially became the owner of Mi Familia Mexican Restaurant with Pop. Her dream was about to be real on Oct 8, 1993, which was the scheduled grand opening. We have always known of our mother as a pillar of strength, and it became very apparent at the time that she was busy with preparations for the grand opening. A tragic accident occurred that claimed the lives of her mother and one of her sisters on Oct. 1, 1993, which was a week before the scheduled grand opening. Mom, the cornerstone of our family, managed to keep the family moving forward and opened the restaurant as scheduled, dedicating its opening to her mother, Margarita Sotelo Rosales, and sister, Gloria Rosales Tapia, both of whom just loved her cooking. She served thousands of customers over the 66 years of her working in the restaurant business and enjoyed every minute of it. She sold her business, after 17 years in business on Jan 17, 2011, so she could finally retire.
Nora was a very religious person and believed in being a person of giving and not of taking, and her home was always open to everyone. The restaurant gave her a place where she could talk to people and serve them. She truly enjoyed visiting with her family and friends. On behalf of the Benavides family, we would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support, gifts of food, prayers, phone calls, emails, texts. We would also like to personally thank Rosie Gonzales and Stella Reyna for always checking on mom and taking her to all of her appointments in town and out. In addition, we would like to thank Mary Arredondo and all the hospice nurses at Exclusive Home Health & Hospice that cared for our mom during this time. And finally, we would like to thank mom’s lifetime friend, Amelia Padilla, for always being there for our mother, rain or shine.
Pallbearers were Larry Benavides, Michael Benavides, Juliana Benavides, Joshua Benavides, Frank Benavides III, Richard Sauceda Jr. Interment was held at Beeville Memorial Park.
Mom’s family has been a part of Texas before it was Texas and was very proud of her ancestry. Her Canary Island ancestors came to Texas when it was Tejas on July 9, 1731, and have lived in Texas for over 280 years. She was a member of the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association and would go to the annual reunion Memorial Service held inside the Alamo in San Antonio every March. This tradition was only for Descendants of Alamo Heroes and Survivors of the famous Alamo battle of March 6, 1836. Her ancestor was Jose Gregorio Esparza, one of the 7 Tejanos that fought and died for Texas independence; her family were also survivors of the Alamo with her 3rd great-grandmother and children surviving the Alamo Battle. Another ancestor is Pedro Huizar, the sculptor of the Rose window at the San Jose Mission which was her 4th great-grandfather. Her rich heritage will be passed on to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and now they will be able to also talk about their famous ancestor Nora Rosales Benavides, who was able to change hundreds of people lives with her love, kindness and undying faith.
The Benavides Family