Ramón C. Samilpa Sr. Ramón C. Samilpa Sr. of Austin was called by our Heavenly Father January 5, 2013. He was born September 3, 1919. His family being from Guanajuato, Mexico, he was the youngest of 6 children and the first to be born in the United States. PFC Samilpa served in Company M, 159th Infantry, U.S. Army from 1939-1945. He served as a Marksman Sharp Shooter, Truckdriver, and 81mm Mortar Ammo-Water Handler. During World War II he was stationed in the Aleutian Islands and was then sent in the second wave to the front lines at the Battle of the Bulge. He also toured the Pacific and was part of the first contingency that would have been sent to Japan had they not surrendered. At the end of the war he was stationed in Europe. He received several medals for his service including the American Theater Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Star, Expeditionary Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. He was proud of his Mexican heritage. He was also a proud American. In the summer of 1951 he married the love of his life, Joyce C. Ramirez, and began his family which he loved and cherished dearly. He was a member of the Maria De La Luz Association for Cementerio Mexicano de Maria De La Luz, one of, if not the, oldest Hispanic cemeteries in Austin and worked to help the cemetery achieve its status as a registered historical site. He was a member of the Catholic War Veterans Post, St. Vincent de Paul, and an Usher at San Jose Catholic Church. He was also past President of Local 456 of the Upholsters International Union which later launched the 1968 "La Huelga," a strike against Economy Furniture Company which paved the way for the Austin Chicano Movement of the 1970s. The strike gained the support and visits of César Chávez. He also appeared in public service announcements to promote and encourage the pursuit of higher education. Ramón was a WWII veteran, union member, carpenter, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, mentor, and an inspiration. He is survived by his wife of 61 years Joyce, children Raymond Jr. (Jovita), Carlos (Josie), Lupe (Rudy), Gabriel (Delphie), Anthony (Patricia), Mary Louise (Tomas), Loretta (Seyed), Dolores (Terry), Timothy (Margie), Alice (Tony), Gertrude (Mark), and Abraham (Paula), his 2 adopted children from the World Vision Foundation of Thailand, 43 grandkids (and counting), and 55 great grandkids (and counting). He is preceded in death by his daughter Carmen. He will be lovingly remembered as a man of faith who always gave great advice, always listened, never judged, always welcomed, always whistled, always worked, and always loved. Visitation will be held Thursday at Angel Funeral Home, 1600 S. 1st Street, from 2-5pm with Rosary service at 7pm at San Jose Catholic Church, 2435 Oak Crest. Memorial Mass will be held Friday at San Jose Catholic Church at 10am. Burial will follow at Assumption Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the charitable organization of your choice. "People come and go but family is forever. Family is where you come from; it's who you are." Ramón C. Samilpa Sr. 01/02/13.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 9, 2013