Our beloved Dad, Horacio Oliveira, 94, passed peacefully in his sleep on July 2, 2020. He finally got his wish of joining our beautiful mother in heaven. With his passing, our family group, as we knew it, is also gone. New traditions will arise, but when both parents are gone, only beautiful memories survive. Our only consolation is the firm belief that we will meet again in heaven where the family chain will again be connected.
What memories we have! Our father was so kind and gentle. He was strict when he needed to be and gently, but firmly, taught us by example to love each other. He spent many evenings visiting friends in hospitals and attending funerals. He felt it was his responsibility. He served his country with great pride, and he particularly honored his fellow veterans that preceded him in death by formally saluting them at their caskets to pay his respect for their service. His mind and body were tough, but his heart was soft and caring. Even amidst family tragedies, he always had a beautiful sense of humor that brought hope and gladness to everyone he met.
Dad was born and raised in Benavides, TX, and graduated from there in 1943. When WWII broke out, he enlisted in the Army as part of the 11th Airborne. He was one of very few that did three combat glider jumps behind enemy lines. After being wounded and spending time in a field hospital on Biak Island, New Guinea, he earned a Purple Heart, plus many other medals of honor. Because of his wonderful humility, he never spoke of his valor and heroism. We only found out about it after going through his paperwork.
He returned from the war to marry his bride, Delia Salinas, in Ramirez, TX. They moved to Austin where he attended the University of Texas on the GI Bill earning dual degrees in Petroleum Engineering and Geology. It was not easy in those days for Hispanics to break into the world of engineering, but he worked hard to support his ever-growing family and finally landed a job with the Civil Engineering Department at the City of Corpus Christi. In his spare time and always preferring to work outdoors, he studied hard to become licensed as a Registered Professional Land Surveyor. It paid off; he was the first Hispanic in Texas to pass the RPLS exam and soon started his secondary business of Oliveira Land Surveying Company. He worked seven days a week, five at City Hall and the other two for his own company. Eventually, Dad was named head of the Land Surveying Department for the City of Corpus Christi. He retired from that job after 35 years with the City, but continued to work at his own business, which he managed until his death. Always concerned for the employees, Dad and four others, formed the City Employees Credit Union, because they saw a need for a credit union for City workers. They founded this enterprise with several hundred dollars of their own. Eventually the Credit Union grew to what it is now: Two branches with the new name of Texas Bridge Credit Union.
Dad’s beautiful heart was broken for the first time when his oldest and only granddaughter, Cathy Hernandez Lowe, passed away in 2000. Then he died a little more when his beloved son, Lacho Oliveira, Jr., passed away in November 2017. Then the final blow was when his beautiful wife, Delia, died three months later in February 2018. Being the ultimate protector, he always tried to smile, but he was never the same after losing those three. The light in his eyes was extinguished. His eyes would light up when he saw us, his daughters and grandchildren, but the memories would eventually take over, and the sadness crept in. Others who preceded him in death were his parents, Corando and Maria de Jesus Oliveira; his brother, Armando Oliveira; his son-in-law, Rolando Garza; his daughter-in-law, Margaret Oliveira; and his children, Javier and John Albert, who died a few days after birth.
He is lovingly survived by his daughters, Dolores (Pete) Gonzalez, Noela Oliveira Garza, and Denise Oliveira, all of Corpus Christi. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Marcos (Denise) Oliveira, Dusty (Cecy) Oliveira, Chuck Oliveira, Michael (Debbie) Hernandez, John Eric (Robin) Hernandez, Steven Garza, Chris Garza, Sergio Gonzalez, Javier McCaskill, Cody McCaskill, and Andy McCaskill; as well as nine great-grandchildren. Dad is also survived by his beloved little sister, Lydia Oliveira Olivarez, from Benavides, Texas. A special thanks to grandson, Steven Garza, who devoted so much of his time to his grandfather in his final years. He and his grandpa had many an adventure and shared many laughs together these past two years.
Funeral services will be held, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, all the services will be private, including rosary, funeral mass, and burial. Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary will be livestreamed, and the Oliveira family strongly encourages all family members and friends to join us in prayer via that platform (OneRoom, link below) at 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2020.
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