Boris V. Hidalgo died of natural causes on Oct. 7, 2014, in Round Rock, Texas, surrounded by his family, just days after celebrating his 90th birthday.
Boris was born to Vicente Vega Hidalgo and Raquel Lopez Hidalgo in 1924, in Brownsville, Texas.
In 1929, he moved with his parents and siblings, Hector and Xochitl, to Detroit, Michigan, where his father began work for the Ford Motor Company.
Two years later the family returned to Brownsville, where Boris attended local schools and graduated from Brownsville High School in 1942.
After high school, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corp (predecessor to the United States Air Force). He served in the 307th Bomb Group/13th Air Force, and in the 424th Bomb Squadron as a flight engineer/gunner aboard B-24 bombers, and flew over 40 bombing missions in the Pacific Theatre. On April 4, 1944, his plane, along with 47 other bombers, embarked on a bombing raid over the Truk Islands. Only 12 of the 48 planes returned from that mission. Boris' B-24 bomber was shot down by enemy fire. He and the rest of his 10 man crew parachuted over the Pacific Ocean amid intense strafing fire from Japanese planes. They remained adrift in heavy seas for 12 hours until they were rescued by the destroyer USS Anthony. Following that rescue, his crew was ordered to Sydney, Australia, for recuperation, but instead, he and one other crew member immediately volunteered for the next bombing mission. At the end of the war, he re-enlisted and served in the Berlin Airlift. He attained the rank of staff sergeant and received the Air Medal with 3 Oak Clusters, the Good Conduct Medal, the Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Army of Occupation Medal (with C-54 Aircraft Clasp signifying service in the Berlin Airlift).
After discharge from the Army Air Corp, he returned to Brownsville and married Sara Klahn, the daughter of Henry James and Francisca Klahn. Together, they had five children.
He then began a long and proud career with the US Civil Service. His first assignment was as a US Customs officer in Laredo, Texas. But when President Eisenhower implemented government budget cuts, Boris, along with other recently hired service men were temporarily laid off. He returned to Brownsville, and joined Pan American World Airways while awaiting reassignment in the civil service system. Within months, he was reassigned to the US Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas. Four years later, he transferred to the US Postal Service in Brownsville, Texas. Then, in 1963, he accepted a new assignment as a US Customs Inspector in Hidalgo, Texas. His wife and children remained in Brownsville while he commuted to work in Hidalgo. Eventually, he would be transferred to Brownsville and would later be promoted to the newly created position of District Intelligence Officer for the US Customs Service's South Texas region. His pride in his work and his sense of duty and dedication to government service are reflected in the fact that he did not retire from the US Customs Service until 1997 at the age of 73.
Throughout his career, he worked tireless hours, holidays, and double-shifts to provide support and college tuition for his five children so that they could earn the university degrees which he had never attained for himself. He often said that he would not retire until he had put all 5 of his children through college. He stuck to that promise. His children are grateful and duly proud of his commitment to their education and to the lessons he taught them about the importance of strength of character and work ethic.
In 2009, Boris and his wife Sara moved to Round Rock, Texas, to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Boris is survived by his beloved and devoted wife of 63 years, Sara Klahn Hidalgo; 5 children, Boris A. (Norma) Hidalgo of Kingwood, Texas, Sara A. Van Dusen of Harker Heights, Texas, Cynthia A. (Carlos) Rodriguez of Coppell, Texas, Judith A. "Judy" (Joaquin) Hinojosa of Round Rock, Texas, and Henry J. "Rick" Hidalgo of The Colony, Texas; 12 grandchildren, Marc D. (Anne) Hidalgo, Melinda E. (Kyle) North, Joshua K. (Isabella) Van Dusen, Nicolas D. (Marissa) Rodriguez, Victor A. (Rachel) Rodriguez, Briana C. Rodriguez, Lisa N. Hinojosa, Aaron J. Hinojosa, Kevin T. Hinojosa, Christopher R. Hidalgo, Michael A. Hidalgo, and Stephen J. Hidalgo; and 4 great-granddaughters, Sienna K. Van Dusen, Emilia L. Van Dusen, Harper R. Hidalgo and Hayden G. Hidalgo; his younger sister, Xochitl Vega Hidalgo; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins in the extended Hidalgo, Vega, Lopez, Klahn, Zarate, Rodriguez, and Leandro families.
He was predeceased by his parents Vicente Vega Hidalgo and Raquel Lopez Hidalgo, by his brother Hector Vega Hidalgo, and by his granddaughter Analisa Hidalgo.
Visitation will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home, with a prayer service scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 1200 Lincoln St., Brownsville, TX 78521.
Dora Lopez Garcia will serve as Funeral Mass vocalist.
Final commitment will commence immediately following the mass at Buena Vista Burial Park, 5 McDavitt Blvd., Brownsville, TX 78521.
Pall bearers will be: Christopher R. Hidalgo, Marc D. Hidalgo, Gerardo Luna, Joe Ray Rivera, Carlos Rodriguez and Joaquin Hinojosa. Honorary pall bearers include: Dr. Jose A. Rodriguez, Jorge Vega, Joe Henry Klahn, Ernesto G. Lopez and Ricardo M. Lopez.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations in his memory be made to the American Heart Association
or the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
Family and friends are invited to view the obituary, sign the guestbook, and send condolences to Boris' family at www.darlingmouser.com
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Darling-Mouser Funeral Home, 945 Palm Blvd, Brownsville, Texas 78520, and (956) 546-7111.F