Francis Hernandez (Panchita), age 80, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 7, 2019, in Kingsland, TX.
She was born on September 8, 1939, in Laredo, TX to Oswaldo Sr. and Guadalupe Martinez Gonzalez. Panchita grew up in the fields, a family of migrant workers. She was proud of where she came from, she knew her roots and had no shame saying she had no education. “I can read and I can write and that’s all that matters.”
Beginning in 1952 her family would travel and follow the harvest from Laredo, TX through the states to Idaho for the potato season then upon heading back to Texas they would stop in Phoenix, AZ for the cotton harvest. Arriving back in Texas sometime in February to start the process all over again. And for those 15 years of traveling, she met many life-long friends along the way. The stories she’d tell about growing up in the fields and traveling was something you’d read in a book or see in a movie, or as she would say ‘her life was like a novela, pero una de las buenas’ In 1967, the Gonzalez family decided to make Brigham City, UT their home and in 1969, she was excited to land her first job outside of the fields, at Brigham Apparel.
On July 30, 1977, in Elko, NV she married the love of her life, Pedro Antonio Hernandez (Toño). They had five children, Mario, Anna, Pedro A. (Eddie), Sandra and Nina, who she says were the reason for her canas.
After living 34 years away from Texas, in August of 2001, she decided it was time to move her family back to where her roots where, settling in Burnet, TX.
“I may have never had much money but the places I was able to see while we were on the road was beautiful, I’d close my eyes and just pretend.” She’d say. She knew the road from Texas to Utah like the back of her hand and never needed a map, if your GPS would take you to a wrong turn, call Panchita. “Describe the area, ok you need to turn around and go back a bit and when you see a white horse, turn left. You just keep going a long ways then your next turn will be when you see a little casita que tiene…..” she’d say. It was never, ‘go five miles till you hit this road then turn east.’
Panchita had many talents; she enjoyed cooking, her venison tamales were to die for. She loved to sew and do bead work and loved making things for family and could sew anything and many times without even needing a pattern. She sewed all the dresses for the damas for her kids quinceañera. It melted her heart to know that she had a granddaughter that would carry out her talents. She would often say, “Me siento muy feliz porque tengo una nieta que me llama para preguntarme cómo coser este pedaso o cualquiera.” She loved to camp and when everyone would be hunting she’d stay back at camp setting up everything to process the game. She enjoyed crossword puzzles and word searches, watching novelas and loved to listen to her husband play the bajo and sing to her, she would twirl around in her kitchen and pretend she was with her cousins at the Casa Blanca.
She’d often say besides spending time with her husband, she enjoyed watching her grandkids grow up, she loved it when the Moreno boys lived with her. She wanted them to know that she knew about everything they had Toño do for them. Her older granddaughters, it would make her smile when she’d see them all running and playing with the neighbors and then not 10 minutes later someone was crying, “las mujeres son lloronas,” she’d say. Her younger grandkids were smaller versions of her kids all over again, ‘balgame’. Even though she didn’t get to see all of her grand and great grandkids she loved them all and prayed for them always. She loved all her family, she loved her siblings very much and was grateful for phones because as she got older she didn’t like going out much but was still able to talk to her brothers and sisters everyday. Panchita wanted to thank everyone that made it out to her 80th birthday, friends and family she hadn’t seen in many moons and to thank Bell and her family for making it happen.
She is survived by her children: Mario Navarro, Brigham City, UT; Pedro A. (Mary) Hernandez, Marble Falls, TX; Anna Arredondo, Sandra Cervantez and Nina Hernandez all of Burnet, TX. Two brothers: Homar Sr.(Criselda) Gonzalez, Burnet, TX.; Raul Sr.(Paulina) Gonzalez, Goodyear, AZ; Four sisters: Ernestina Gusman; Guadalupe (Domingo) Rodriguez, San Juana Fane (Lorenzo) Romero; Griselda Valdez all of Burnet, TX. One sister-in-law: Rosa Gonzalez, Perry, UT
10 grandchildren; Erik, Rayna, Lionel, Isabell, Michael, Elizabeth, Cassandra, Francis, Christian and Andres. 14 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
She is proceeded in dead by her parents; husband, Pedro Antonio Hernandez; a brother, Oswaldo Gonzalez Jr.; son-in-law, Domingo Arredondo Jr.; and two brothers-in-law, Mauro Gusman Sr. and Enrique Valdez Sr.
Her family would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to the staff of Kingsland Hills Care Center and to Cassandra for being at her grandma’s side more than ever these last few months.
Services will be held at JesuCristo La Roca Viva Church 656 Park Rd 4 S. Viewing will take place Friday, December 13, at 6:00 p.m. with a funeral on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Interment at Post Mountain Cemetery, burnet, TX.
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