Gilbert Molina Pena

Gilbert Molina Pena, Age 67 of Falls City, TX passed away on April 27, 2020 in Corpus Christi, TX. Gilbert was born on October 1, 1952 in Hobson, TX to the late Pedro and Aurora Molina Pena. He was a loving son brother and a member of the Elim Pentecostal Church.

Gilbert is preceded in death by his parents Pedro and Aurora Molina Pena; sisters, Emma Galvan and Susie Pena; brothers, Danny Pena and Ray Pena.

Gilbert is survived by his sisters, Linda Pena of Falls City, TX; Anita Galvan of Denver City, TX; brother, Samuel Pena of San Antonio, TX; and numerous nieces nephews and nieces.

Visitation will begin Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 2PM with a Prayer Service at 8PM in the Eckols Chapel with the Rev. Honorio Velasquez officiating. Graveside Services with Interment in the Falls City Cemetery will be Friday, May 1, 2020 at 10AM with the Rev. Honorio officiating in Falls City, TX.

James Frank Altamirano

James “Chapo” Frank Altamirano, born in Yorktown, TX to Janie Zapata Altamirano and late Frank Altamirano passed away on April 23, 2020 at the age of 59 at his residence in Runge, TX surrounded by family. James was preceded in death by his daughter Ashley.He is survived by his mother: Janie Altamirano of Kenedy, TX, his companion: Pauline DeLosSantos, Runge, TX; daughter: Alex Altamirano; sons: Brian Hernandez and Christopher Villarreal,  both of Runge, TX; grandchildren; 1 great grandchild; Sister: Ruby (Eugene) Villanueva of Kenedy, TX; brothers: Ernest Altamirano, Pasadena, TX, Frank Altamirano and Jason Altamirano both of Beeville, numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives. Visitation with Social Distancing  in Place will be held on Sunday, April 26, 2020 from 2 to 9:00p.m. at Eckols Chapel. Rosary to be recited at 7:00p.m. with Social Distancing in place at Eckols Chapel .  James loved to cook, garden and listened to a variety of music. He is best known for his taste in hats-especially the Fedora! He will be greatly missed. James wishes were to be cremated and there will be a Graveside Service on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 11:00a.m. in the Runge Latin Cemetery. Traditional flower arrangements are welcome or you may donate to the charity of your choice.

Lina V. Rodriguez

Lina V. Rodriguez, Age 95 of Panna Maria, TX passed away on Sunday, April 19, 2020 at her residence.

Lina was born on October 24, 1924 in Skidmore, TX to the late Camillo and Herlinda Geurrero Villarreal. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great grandmother, great-great-great grandmother and a member of Elim Pentecostal Church.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Andres Romo Rodriguez; parents, and a sister Elida Ramirez.

She is survived by her daughters, Estella Villarreal of Karnes City, Diana Rodriguez Panna Maria, Mary Alice Hall of Heavener, Oklahoma; sons, Andres Rodriguez, Jr. of Carrizo, Jerry Rodriguez of Orange, Juan M. Rodriguez of Karnes City; sisters, Elisa Villarreal of Beeville, Lydia Ortiz of Beeville, Esther Gonzales of Beeville; brother, Aldolfo Villarreal of Skidmore; 16 Grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, 35 great-great grandchildren, and 11 great-great-great grandchildren.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, April 21, 2020 from 10AM to 2PM in the Eckols Chapel. Graveside Services with Interment will be at the Los Cinco Rodriguez Cemetery near New Bremen, TX.

John W. Berry

John Wilson Berry was born on Wednesday, November 11, 1942 to John William Berry and Nina Wilson Berry in Denver, Colorado. His father was a registered pharmacist and blinded vet from World War 2. John’s mother, Nina worked for Gary Pogue Seed Company helping to support her family after their move to Kenedy, Texas when John was a little baby.

John grew up on a farm outside Kenedy and learned how to pick cotton and had many jobs as he grew up always learning more and more skills while helping his dad after his mother, Nina drowned in a flood during John’s Junior year of High School. John graduated Kenedy High School in 1961 and afterwards went off to law school graduating at the University of Texas. John worked his way through law school while teaching in Kenedy and Falls City. He always made it a point to come home on weekends and take care of his blinded father which won much respect from so many.

On Saturday, April 3rd, 1971, John married Judy Mixon,and together they had 5 precious children, James Clay (Jim), Jennifer Angela, John Michael Mixon, Julie Ann-Marie and Jessica Elizabeth. Together they set out to raise their children under the Lord Jesus Christ and kept Jesus in first place.
Before marrying Judy, John took over Pryer Hammack’s unexpired term in office as Karnes County Attorney, a position John served in for 26 years. After his retirement as County Attorney, John served at the Kenedy Law office at 623 West Main up until his illness, which prevented him from doing so. John helped all churches assisting them with wisdom and doing things freely to help so many who came to him for legal advice. His love touched many lives and was always an inspiration to others.

John served in many positions helping in Christian ministry the best way he knew how. He was a deacon serving at First Baptist Kenedy for a number of years, he served as assistant pastor in at South Texas Christian Center in downtown Kenedy, teaching Sunday school in many churches and at Rest Homes to men on Sunday Mornings before Church.

At home, John served his wife Judy, always putting her first, followed by his five children. When his son, John Michael died and went to heaven in 2002, it was quite a blow to everyone but his strong deep faith kept his wife and 4 children going during this very heavy storm. John worked hard to send his children to college and always sought ways to help them out no matter what the circumstances. Happiest of memories happened when his daughter, Jennifer married Lee Azopardi, followed by his middle daughter, Julie marrying Kevin Friesen and lastly Jessica marrying Mark Walker. Nine precious grandchildren came from these unions which served as great joy to all in the family. In order of birth they are twins, Owen and John Michael, twins, Ben and Savannah, Wilson, Nathaniel, Clark, Gavin Finn and Bella Klay, and step grandchildren, Erica and Tyler.

John will always be remembered as a man of deep conviction who read his Bible daily, prayed much and always helped anyone in need. He was also a pilot as his brother, Clay, and he got their license to fly while going to law school. His friends were many, his help to all great. When pancreatic cancer stuck him in late September of 2019, he never gave up. He continued praying, taking communion daily and attending church at The Word Fellowship. His faith grew stronger as we daily anointed him praying healing Scriptures constantly. Things got more difficult as the months wore on in spite of doing all we could through medicine and the Lord’s constant help. After the first hospitalization in late December the doctors said he had 2 months to live but we prayed believing God it was not so. Once more in the middle of February, it became apparent his kidneys were shutting down which then made things even harder as his liver functions failed also. John bore up under all this never complaining and was always cheerful. Finally on Monday, April 13, he was once more went to the emergency room hoping to get some necessary IVs to strengthen him and give him energy. Instead it was thought best to take him to a big hospital where he could be attended to in order to recover. John called to say he was coming home on Wednesday, but a call came from his doctor that his oxygen levels dropped during the night and he died shortly after 9am.  John was healed and went home to be with His Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He is free from all suffering and pain and is walking on streets of gold in heaven, seeing his precious son, John Michael after 18 years of separation. We rejoice with him in all this knowing the Lord took him home during the week of Passover on Wednesday, April 15th. It must be noted that my husband died just after I celebrated my 75th birthday and our 49th wedding anniversary, as if he was waiting for these two important events to take place.  John’s life was always one of serving and he served his family and friends marvelously and will forever be missed.

John died at age 77 and is survived by his loving wife, Judy, children Jim, Jennifer (Lee), Julie (Kevin), and Jessica (Mark) and grandchildren Owen and Johnny, Ben & Savannah, Wilson, Nathaniel, Clark, Gavin and Bella Klay, nieces Nena, Sherrill, Candy, nephews John J, Greg and James, Brother-in-law, Jim, sisters-in-law, Janice and Bronnie, precious cousins and thousands of friends.

John was proceeded in death, by his son, John Michael Mixon Berry, his father and mother, Johnny and Nina Berry and his brother Clay C. Berry. John’s gift to all was his love to all of you and his greatest desire would be for you to follow him some day into the very gates of heaven. If you want to give a gift, he would ask that you give your heart to Jesus and make Him your Lord and Saviour. Scripture says there is no greater joy in heaven than over one sinner who repents. We are all sinners in need of a loving heavenly Saviour and Jesus is waiting for you to ask Him into your heart! God bless you dearly.! John is hearing these words by Jesus: ”Well done Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Saviour,” and we pray that you will hear these words too!

Graveside Services will be held Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 3:00 P.M. in the Kenedy Cemetery with the Rev. Jim Pogue officiating.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to the South Texas Children’s Home or your local church of choice.





Bill D. Thornton

Bill D. Thornton passed peacefully into Heaven to join his beloved wife Jonelle on April 9, 2020 with his family by his side at his home in Helena, TX.

Born in Sulphur Springs, TX on May 28, 1937, to Frances and Dozier Thornton, Bill was proud of his heritage. His grandparents, Mary and Sam Houston Carmack, and Alma and Emmett Thornton, were all born into pioneering families of Hopkins County. Bill lettered in football and track at Sulphur Springs High School-Class of 1955. He attended Southwestern University, where he was introduced to two of his great passions: Jonelle Wheatley, the prettiest girl he had ever seen, and boxing. In Fact, it was a family favorite to hear Bill recount how he literally fought a potential suitor to win over Jonelle. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and graduated with a degree in business in 1959. He then went on to earn a graduate degree from The School of Banking at LSU.

Bill and Jonelle were married in 1961 and had three sons, Brian, Steven and Matthew. After serving in the military as a platoon sergeant during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Bill began a long and distinguished career in banking. First as a bank examiner in Austin, then Vice President of the First State Bank in Killeen, and then as Senior Vice President of the Texas Bank in Temple. One day, when he walked into work with a broken nose and his eye swollen shut, his boss told him that it was time to decide between banking and boxing He retired from boxing with a record of 58 wins and 4 losses. Bill enjoyed his time as a boxing referee and was proud to have been chosen to referee the Golden Gloves National Championship in Fort Worth. While in Temple, Bill was elected City Commissioner, was named the Jaycees Man of the Year, was President of the Kiwanis Club, and held offices in many other civic and church organizations.

The Thorntons moved to Raymondville in 1974 when Bill was hired as President of the Raymondville Bank of Texas. Bill and Jonelle both fondly remembered their time in Raymondville, where Bill served as City Commissioner, Director of the Texas State Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Free Enterprise Committee, and was the first Willacy County resident to be elected President of the Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce in its 35 year history in 1978.

He made another move in 1980 where he was hired to be President of the Mid Valley State Bank in Weslaco. Later that year, he accepted an invitation from Governor Bill Clements to serve as the first non-lawyer on the state Bar of Texas Board of Directors.

In 1985, Bill made yet another career move when he became President and CEO of the First National Bank of South Padre Island. He loved being able to get out on the bay for a quick fishing trip before work. While on the island, Bill was elected Alderman several times and sat on numerous boards. he enjoyed his time as both a  high school and college football referee, and upon retiring from refereeing, the Texas High School Coaches Association presented him with a Award of Merit. Upon retiring from the bank, Bill was awarded the ‘Key to the city’ of South Padre Island.

When he wasn’t hard at work at the bank or volunteering in the community, Bill loved to travel the world with Jonelle. He was also sure to instill in his three boys his love for animals-from hissing cockroaches to English mastiffs- and all things outdoors.

Bill and Jonelle’s final “career” move was to their ranch in Helena, TX, where they were soon recognized with the the Good Neighbor Award by the Karnes County Historical Society. They raised longhorn and watusi cattle and enjoyed watching wildlife explore the pastures around their home. Nothing made them happier than sharing La Bolsa Ranch-and all their critters-with family and friends.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, Jonelle, and sons Brian and Matt.

He is survived by his son Steve (Lorie) Thornton; grandchildren, Jennifer (David ) Pierson, Phillip and Dylan Loveland, and Wyatt Aikman-Thornton; great-grandchildren, Rebecca, Madeline, and Conley Pierson; sister, Judith (Joseph) Wood; nieces and nephews, Catherine (Michael) Clark, Thornton and Julie Wood; great-nieces, Elizabeth and Emily Clark; aunt, Jennet Doss; and his loyal English mastiff, Buddy.

A celebration of  life will be arranged at a later date. Schlitz beer will be provided to all attending! In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Karnes County Humane Organization.

Diana Caballero Monsivais

Diana C. Monsivais, Age 75 years, 5 months and 8 days of Kenedy, Texas passed away on April 5, 2020 in Pasadena, Texas. Diana was born to Pablo Caballero and Maria Perez Caballero on October 28, 1944 in Kenedy, TX. She married Juan M. Monsivais, Jr on February 25, 1961 in Kenedy, Texas. She is preceded in death by her husband, Juan M. Monsivais, Jr., her parents, Pablo and Maria Perez Caballero, brother, Gilberto Caballero, sister, Flora Medina, son, Juan Monsivais, III, daughter, Leticia Morin, 2 great-granddaughters, Majestic Baldaramos and Aleria Leticia Alvarez. Diana is survived by her children, sons, Israel (Charlee) Monsivais of Adkins, Texas, Stephen (Sheryll) Monsivais of Kenedy, Texas, Tony Monsivais of Floresville, Texas; daughter, Vivian (Ambrosio) Carranza of Pasadena, Texas. She is also survived by companion Ramon Guerra of Kenedy, Texas, her 10 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins who will all cherish her.

Public viewing will be held on Friday, April 10, 2020 from 10AM to 7PM with a Holy Rosary to be recited at 7PM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel. Graveside Services with Interment will be Saturday, April 11, 2020 at 10AM in the Loma Alta Cemetery.

Serving as Pallbearers: Eric Monsivais, Michael Anthony Maldonado, Joshua Monsivais, PJ Baldaramos, Amanda Lyssy and Carlos Reyes.

Honorary Pallbearers: Ambrosio Carranza and Rafael Morin, Jr.