Domingo Arenas ended his earthly journey on November 6, 2019, surrounded by his loving children. Born April 13, 1930, Domingo Arenas is the third-born son and fourth child Celestina and Juan Arenas, Sr. He was a lifelong resident of Kenedy, Karnes County, Texas until his move to Austin in 2017.
A veteran of the Korean War, Domingo served as a Staff Sergeant in the 7th Infantry Division, Military Police and was stationed at Camp Casey, near Seoul. After returning to civilian life, Domingo joined the Army Reserves, where he remained active until 1965. He is a Veterans of Foreign Wars member since 1957, and is a V.F.W. Life Member. He is the former Quartermaster for V.F.W. Post 8572 in Karnes City, Texas.
In May 1955, he married Olivia Carabajal, from Goliad, Texas. He and Olivia raised four children: Rossana, John, George and Gina. Together, they instilled in them their values of honor, respect, loyalty, and commitment to family. In 2005, Domingo and Olivia celebrated a Golden Wedding anniversary. Olivia passed away on August 12, 2007.
At age 15, Domingo began a career as a butcher working for local grocer C.C. Roos. He enlisted in the Army in 1954, and upon his discharge from military service, Domingo returned to his job at Roos Grocery. He was employed there until 1963, when he went to work for another family owned grocery store, “Hubbard’s” (on the Hill). During his employment with the Hubbard’s, Domingo earned an Accounting Certification and moved from Market Manager to Store Manager. Domingo worked diligently for his family. As his children were growing up he moonlighted at various evening jobs in order to make ends meet. His family always came first.
In 1978, Domingo went to work for ConocoPhillips at its uranium processing mill, the “Conquista Project”, near Falls City. With two children in college, he took on a second job in 1979 as the Facilities Maintenance Director for Kenedy I.S.D. In 1988, new federal standards for radiation control prompted the closure of the Conquista Project. Domingo, however, remained employed as the night security manager until the mine was decommissioned in 1991. Having worked tirelessly at two full-time jobs for more than decade, he retired from Kenedy I.S.D. in 1995.
Not one to ever be kept idle, Domingo began a post-retirement career in 1997 with Wal-Mart, Inc. He worked his way from retail associate to garden center manager. In his final years with Wal-Mart he was a “Greeter” and embraced his joy of welcoming customers with his cheerful disposition and charismatic personality. Amidst health issues at age 85, he was compelled to retire in 2015. He never referred to his Greeter position as work. Instead he would tell you with a great big smile that he got to say hello to all his friends and welcome new faces every day. Now, that was a dream job!
Domingo Arenas has been committed to public service his entire life. His children affectionately refer to him as “Mr. Kenedy”. Involved in all aspects of Kenedy community life, he maintained special regard to youth and education. Domingo set precedent in 1971 when he became the first Hispanic elected to serve on the Kenedy Independent School Board. He served as School Board Secretary from 1975 to 1977. Rossana and John were not only proud to boast their father’s signature on their high school diplomas, but honored to have him hand them that diploma! He stepped down from the School Board in 1981, two years before his youngest child Gina’s high school graduation in 1983.
Domingo remained active in the community until he left Kenedy in May 2017 to live with his daughter Rossana. He served as a member of the Karnes County Economic & Community Development Corporation, where he participated in maintaining the economic viability of his hometown. He frequently volunteered for fundraisers in both Kenedy and Karnes City and actively participated in BBQ benefits with his Knights of Columbus group. Always a proud and distinguished veteran, he attended monthly V.F.W. meetings and participates in numerous veteran events.
He is survived by his daughter Rossana Barrios, husband Joe and son Nico Barrios; son George Arenas, wife Rosy and their son Andres and daughter Gaby; his daughter Regina Esteves, husband Carlos, daughter Catarina, and his first-born grandson, Christopher Arenas. Domingo’s surviving siblings are brother Vicente Arenas, Sr., wife Victoria of Kenedy, Texas, and Aurora Galvan of Port Lavaca, Texas. He is survived by his numerous nieces and nephews as well, whom he loved dearly.
Visitation will be Monday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. with a rosary beginning at 7 that evening at Cook Walden, and the funeral Mass is at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at St. Catherine of Sienaw Catholic Church, 4800 Convict Hill Road, Austin, Texas. A Christian burial will follow at Cook Walden Forest Oaks Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association. https://act.alz.org.