Abraham Gonzalez, Sr.

&     Gertrudis Salinas

             (my maternal grandparents)

      Abraham Gonzalez, Sr. 


    Born:  February 1, 1900 

      Place:  Rio Grande City in Starr County, Texas. 

      Died: July 31, 1965 McAllen Medical Center Hospital

      Parents were Preciliano Gonzalez and Francisca G. Gonzalez. 

      Siblings: Jesus





      Married: Gertrudis Salinas 

      Born:  November 16, 1895

      Place:  Zapata, Texas

      Died:  August 18, 1985 in Rio Grande City, Texas

      Parents:  Presciliano Salinas and Josefa B. Salinas Serna 



     Children: Abraham, Jr.



     My grandfather owned and operated a gasoline service station in Rio Grande City, Texas. In those days, complete service was offered such as washing windshields, checking oil, gas  up your car, checking the tires, and washing your car. He had a worker that fixed flat tires, changed the oil and did minor car repairs. I remember spending summers at my grandparents home and helping my grandfather at the service station. He didn't really like for me (a girl) to be around a male customer environment but did allow me to help once in a while by filling up cars with gas, cleaning windshields and sweeping the inside office of the service station. There were no credit cards at that time so most customers paid with cash or on credit. My grandfather would write a receipt on what the customer owed  and recorded on a ledger. Many times he had a hard time collecting what was owed to him. He usually said that they needed it more than he did and forgave their debt.

     My grandfather was very involved in serving the less fortunate through his church ministry. He  would ask me to help him fill up candy bags and piñatas for children in neighboring Mexico. He would go on Sundays to the streets of Camargo and Miguel Aleman, Mexico and the children would run to his car when he arrived. They knew he had goodies for them. My grandmother would send old clothes and anything she could to help the families in Mexico. My grandfather would preach the Gospel in Mexico to these families every Sunday.

         He was  a part time protestant minister and preached at different churches. He had loud public speakers over the  service station building and preached the Gospel on Sunday mornings to the  entire community. I remember being in bed and waking up with a voice over a loud speaker blaring, "Buenos Días hermanos! Les habla Abraham Gonzalez este domingo..."  He would read scripture, talk about God and his conversion and play hymns. The service would take about thirty minutes. Once he was done, he would come to have breakfast.  My grandmother had the table ready with a perfect place setting, place mat, napkin, fork/knife/spoon, breakfast plate with his coffee. My memories of him are all of a very respectful, serious, conservative man dedicating his life to serving others. He taught me to sing, "Noche de Paz" when I was five years old. I couldn't read, but he would give me the hymn book and ask me to open it to the page of "Noche de Paz". He knew that my parents were raising me as a Catholic and he respected that by  saying the Bible is the same for all religions.

       My grandparents would drive to Las Escobas Ranch and take us goodies (pan dulce, candy and fruit) on Sundays.   They gave us emotional and spiritual support  very early on when my mom was left a widow at age 40 with five children.  

      My grandfather died a week before my wedding. We honored his wishes and continued with the wedding as planned. My husband and I visited with my grandmother in Rio Grande City every time we passed through to go to Las Escobas Ranch.


Daughter: Margarita Gonzalez de Salinas (Ruben J. Salinas)

Born: June 21, 1921

Died: August 8, 2012

Daughter Francisca Gonzalez de Olivarez (Guadalupe Olivarez)

Born: February 9, 1924

Died: January 29, 2005

Son: Abraham Gonzalez, Jr.

Born: August 9,1926

Died: December 23, 1987

My grandmother Mamá Tulitas with my two oldest boys: Louie & Ruben

About 1975

Mamá Tulitas, Mamá Mague, Quito (my brother), Irma (me)

Nena (my sister), Imelda (cousin), Joel and Quetita Perez( cousins), and my baby brother Richard.My grandfather took this group picture in 1961 at Las Escobas Ranch the year of my father's death.


My grandfather at our house at Las Escobas Ranch about 1961.