Hernandez Jr., Gus On Friday, May 18, 2012, Gus Hernandez, Jr., claimed his eternal salvation following a brief illness. Born in Ennis, Texas, on December 24, 1932, "Coach Hernandez" is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Ruth Maxine Hernandez of McKinney, his daughter Ruth Hernandez Prescott and her husband, Dennis Prescott of Las Cruces, New Mexico, daughter Suzanne Hernandez Smith and her husband, Joey Smith of Madisonville, Texas, and granddaughter Samantha Prescott of Las Cruces and Abilene. Coach Hernandez is also survived by his brothers Rudy Hernandez of Dallas and John Hernandez of Arlington, sisters Caroline Delgado of San Antonio and Lola Rojas of Dallas, brother-in-law Willie Dominguez of Arlington, and many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents G. S. Hernandez, Sr. and Henriatta and sister Dolores Dominguez. He also leaves behind numerous colleagues and friends, including his long-time best friend and coaching companion, Jerry Bomar of Orange Grove. Coach Hernandez graduated from Ennis High School in 1951where he received his varsity letter in football. He followed football to Arlington Junior College where he played offensive lineman for two years. From there, Coach Hernandez worked at the General Motors plant while continuing his work toward his undergraduate degree which he received from North Texas State University. Later, while teaching/ coaching full time, he received his master's degree from East Texas State University. Gus' lengthy teaching and successful coaching careers took him from Kemp, Forney, Stephenville, North Mesquite, Killeen, finally ending his career at Grand Prairie High School. He also served for almost ten years as the Athletic Director of the First Baptist Academy in Dallas. Family, friends, and colleagues knew that three things mattered to Coach - his faith, his family, and his career - in that order. In a quiet unassuming manner, Gus lived his faith everyday. One never doubted whose example he followed in leading his family or the young men and women entrusted to him in the classroom or on the playing fields. He mentored countless individuals and assisted numerous athletes in their transition from high school and college. He never saw his job as being "finished." To the end, he was making plans to coach in an all-star game in South Texas. In short, Coach Hernandez felt God's plan for his life was to teach and lead young people and to demonstrate through his own actions how to lead a Christ-like life. Those who knew Gus know he was amazingly successful in his endeavor. Following his retirement from "active" coaching, Gus was able to turn his attention to the game he loved from one of coach to a fan's perspective. He traveled to countless games every season to watch Samantha's Midway High School Panthers, Suzanne and Joey's Madison-ville Mustangs, Ruth and Dennis' Texas A&M Aggies and Mississippi State Bulldogs, Coach Bomar's teams, and his Dallas Cowboys. In his 77th year, he attended 27 football games! One of his greatest joys was being on the Texas Stadium sideline with Samantha for a high school regional championship game. Football brought the Hernandez family great joy and many life lessons as Coach believed you "won with class and lost with dignity." Gus was baptized at the First Baptist Church of Forney. In 1979, he was ordained as a deacon at Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church. He faithfully served those churches and the First Baptist Churches of Killeen and Grand Prairie in a variety of ways and was an active member of Waddell Street Baptist Church in McKinney and particularly loved his weekly Tuesday morning 6 a.m. breakfast with fellow believers of that church. Though his family will miss him beyond measure, they are encouraged with the knowledge that he has been reunited with his God and family and friends who have gone before. He is in a place free from pain and worry. He has fought the good fight and indeed, won the game. Visitation will be held from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, May 22 at Charles W. Smith Funeral Home, located at 601 S. Tennessee Street in McKinney. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, First Baptist Church McKinney.
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Published in Dallas Morning News from May 21 to May 22, 2012