Aurora Z Cantu

June 24, 1925 ~ July 25, 2020 (age 95)


Aurora Z. Cantu, 95, of Corpus Christi, Texas, passed away on Saturday, July 25, 2020, surrounded by her loving and devoted children.

Aurora was born on June 24, 1925, the seventh of nine children, to Caritina Zulaica Cantu and Tomás Cantu, Sr., in Robstown, Texas.  She was known by many names: Yoya, Mom, Mum, Tia, Titi, Yoya, Grandma, Grandma Yoya, Yoyo, Abuelita, and GG.   

She attended Corpus Christi High School, graduating as valedictorian of her senior class. She also served as President of the Hi-Fairness Girls Club.

Aurora inherited her family’s strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of 5, she developed her salesmanship abilities by selling bird eggs to tourists in Ojo de Agua, Tecámac, Mexico. When Aurora was 12 years old, she received her first bicycle, which she used to make deliveries for her father’s tortilla factories. At 17 years old, she worked in her father’s grocery store and butcher shop.          

While raising her children as a single mom, Aurora opened and managed her own furniture store. Central Furniture remained in business for over 40 years.  She also owned and managed several houses and apartment buildings. In her leisure time, Aurora loved to play poker and Scrabble. She also enjoyed traveling to visit her family, as well as to Wendover, Nevada, as a part of the gambling trips she organized for a local travel agency, well into her 90s. Aurora was a constant source of encouragement and support to all who knew her. She was a long-time member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Corpus Christi.

She is preceded in death by her parents, eight siblings, and numerous nieces and nephews, as well as by Maria A. Laughlin, a close family friend of over 50 years. She is survived by her children, Leonor “Lee” Aguirre, Richard “Dickie” Barrera, and Dr. Rodolfo “Rudy” Barrera (Estrella); five grandchildren: Kim Campbell (Kirsten), Joe Aguirre Jr. (Rachel), Nadia Barrera-Ramirez (Ben), Michael Barrera (Stacy), and Miranda Barrera Zwern (Brian); nine great-grandchildren, Joeben “LJ” Aguirre III (Margaret), Felicity Woodson, Aliyah Aurora Aguirre, Aubree Aguirre, Liam Zwern, Emmi Aurora Zwern, Lily Zwern, Jackie Ramirez, and Aurora Ramirez; one great-great-grandchild, Sophia Garcia; and an abundance of family and friends.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude for the wonderful and loving care of our beloved GG to Margaret and LJ Aguirre and the staff at Serenity and Grace Hospice.

Visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 2, 2020, at Seaside Funeral Home Chapel. A Funeral Service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, August 3, 2020, at Seaside Funeral Home Chapel.  Interment will follow at Seaside Memorial Park. In response to Covid-19, Seaside will also offer live streaming of the funeral service.  

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association ( or the casino or local poker game of your choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Aurora Z Cantu, please visit our floral store.


August 2, 2020

12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Seaside Funeral Home

August 3, 2020

11:30 AM
Seaside Chapel

Video is available for this event


Seaside Memorial Park
4357 Ocean Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78412

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