Posted: Feb 13, 2013 5:41 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Feb 13, 2013 6:41 PM
SINTON - Hipolito Gomez, known to his friends as "Lito," was born in San Marcos, Texas in 1908. He later moved to Sinton where he worked for Jackson Ford Motor Company until he joined the Army during World War II.
Lito served as a member of the 37th Engineering Combat Battalion for a few years before being honorably discharged and awarded the Bronze Star, along with other decorations. Up until he died, Lito was believed to be the oldest surviving World War II veteran in Texas.
"He did a lot of community work. He was very active in the city," said his son, Hipolito Gomez.
Until his last breath, Lito was a Jack of all trades, working as a mail carrier, drug store owner, and community activist.
Lito's son, says that his father worked to make the community a better place to live and his work was noticed. He not only had a tree named after him in the local park, but he often received letters of congratulations from the Governor and even Laura Bush for his accomplishments in the community.
"He was patriotic, very, very humble. Loved to take care of other people, never asked for anything for himself, just looked out for everybody else," Hipolito said.
Hipolito says his father died Monday of Pneumonia.
His family tells me that Lito lived to be 104 years old because he didn't drink and led an active lifestyle.
"He used to take Army people that would fly here from Kileen, just to go fishing with him."
An avid fisherman and lover of the beach, Lito's family say he lived to every moment to it's fullest and though they are now mourning the loss of the family patriarch, they remember the legacy he leaves behind.
"Yeah, we spent a lot of good times together," said his son.
Lito's rosary will be held at the Ritchea-Gonzales Funeral Home at 7pm tomorrow. His funeral will be at the Eternal Rest Cemetery on Friday.
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