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Rodolfo Zepeda


1930 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Rodolfo Zepeda Obituary
Rodolfo Munoz Zepeda, dutiful son, loving brother, devoted husband, proud dad, stepdad, granddad and 'buelo, shed his earthly bonds Friday, March 14, 2014, surrounded by the love of his family, near and far. Service: 11 a.m. Friday, March 21, at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, 7341 Glenview Drive, North Richland Hills. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Vintage Flying Museum or a . Known as Rorro to his hometown family and friends, Rudy was born to Roman and Tomasa Munoz Zepeda on Nov. 6, 1930, in Sanderson. He was the first grandchild of Juan and Juanita Zepeda, founders of El Buen Pastor Methodist Church, who themselves had 13 children. Little Rorro was jealously regarded by aunts and uncles, some barely older than he. His younger sister Azucena and brother Roman joined the family, supported by their father's employment with Southern Pacific Railroad. He was also a carpenter and built their home, still standing a few blocks from their school. Their father was cruelly taken from them after suffering for years from a head trauma on the job, and Tomasa struggled singlehandedly to raise her little family, with the support and encouragement of many nearby family members. Months before graduation from high school, Rudy enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, 8th Radio Squadron, and spent four years, during the Korean War, training and working as a radio operator, technician, then instructor. He later received his diploma from Sanderson High School. He returned to Sanderson and married high school classmate Rita Silvas and went to work for the Texas Department of Transportation as a surveyor. Two sons were born, Rudy and Richard. Rita perished in a tragic automobile accident when the boys were very young, and Rudy moved to Fort Worth to accept a job with the Fort Worth District, Army Corps of Engineers. While there he met his future wife, Elenor. Rudy and Elenor's family -- "his, mine and ours" -- settled in North Richland Hills. They were married almost 50 years. Until this day their home is the base of operations for family gatherings. Rudy was a Catholic, a man of unquestioning faith, and a staunch patriot. He was proud of his service to his country. He was a ham radio operator (general class license K5VTK). He was a loyal if sometimes frustrated fan of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers. He collected and restored old radios, had scores of gimme caps, rocks, arrowheads, little toy cars, vintage beer cans and many other garage sale finds. He was famous for his smoked brisket and pork ribs. He built model airplanes and ships, now treasured by his grandsons. He owned several motorboats in succession, loved to take his family to Grapevine Lake for holidays and weekends, and was thrilled to pull skiers all day long. After retiring he bought an RV, and he and Elenor traveled to many states, from the East Coast to the West Coast, sometimes taking grandkids along, other times meeting friends. One of their most frequented destinations was South Fork, Colo. He consented to accompany Elenor on one cruise to Alaska in order to visit his old air base, Elmendorf. He had been a longtime member of the Vintage Flying Museum and enjoyed conducting tours of its World War II airplanes. Survivors: Cherishing his memory are his wife, Elenor Larson Zepeda; children and stepchildren, Rudy and wife, Kathy, Melanie and husband, Tom Menard, Richard, Alison Peltz, Donna and husband, Troy Lee, Jo and husband, Mark Runnels; sister, Susie and husband, Marciano Diaz; brother, Roman; grandchildren, Rudy Shane Zepeda and wife, Brittany, Jessica Silva and partner, J.D. Davis, Jared Silva and wife, Jennifer, Adam Zepeda, Sam Howell and wife, Dana, Amber Lee, Natalie Runnels, Daniel Howell, Andrew Lee, Marie Menard, Garrett Runnels, Aaron Peltz; great-grandchildren, Kayden Zepeda and Bentley Zepeda; and many extended family and beloved friends.
Published in Star-Telegram on Mar. 19, 2014
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