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LA JOYA – Nieves Moreno, loving husband, father and grandfather, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. He was born in Havana on Aug. 5, 1936, to Desiderio Moreno and Hermelinda Garza.

He is survived by his sweetheart and loving wife of 52 years, Amelia Flores Moreno; son, Jesse Moreno, of New York City, NY; daughters, Nancy (Mario) Morales of Palmview, Dalia Mendiola of Penitas, and Queen Mendiola of McAllen; eight grandchildren, Laura (Elias Jr.) Macias of Palmview, Prue Mendiola of LA, Calif., Monica Aisha Mendiola and Norma Ayala of McAllen, Regina, Jonathan and Isa Mendiola of Penitas and Cori Morales of Palmview; great-grandchildren, Elias Macias III and Alexia Macias; brother, Mauro Moreno of Havana; sisters, Beatriz M. (Juan Emilio) Saenz of Havana and Elpidia (Manuel) Cantu of Abram; and an enormous extended family.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Maria I. (Sostenes) Ramirez of Penitas.

Dad fell in love with and courted mom the old-fashioned way before the internet age. She was 16 and he five years older. Their loving letters were sent via US Postal Service from Havana all the way to Los Ebanos. Later, when mom's family migrated to Hollister, California, Dad conveniently contacted an uncle in Watsonville, CA, and promptly relocated. There, the letters continued from Watsonville to Hollister. Their love grew with every dance step in the RGV in dance halls from La Grulla to La Joya. They sealed the union at St. Michael's in Los Ebanos on Nov. 3, 1959, a Tuesday.  Dad was so superstitious that he believed it was bad luck to marry on a Tuesday (Los Martes, no te cases ni te embarques). The priest, however, had the last laugh when he insisted that they marry on a Tuesday.  In 1984, their 25th anniversary, they renewed their wedding vows in that same church with the same padrinos once again witnessing their unending love. Their daughters served as bridesmaids, their son was the ring bearer and their only grandchild at the time, Laurita, was the flower girl.

Dad held many jobs throughout his life from picking cotton in West Texas, to picking fruits and vegetables in Calif., to truck driving (including at Havana Materials and WTI in Calif.) ultimately settling into school bus driver for 20 years at La Joya ISD where both the students and their parents adored him.

Dad's passion was playing traditional conjunto music on his accordion. He played in quinceaneras, weddings, backyards, parks, halls, etc. in the RGV and in Calif. Playing serenatas on Mother's Day was an annual tradition. His father bought him his first accordion when he was seven years old and he was self-taught. Not a day went by in our childhood home without dad tickling his accordion much to the family's delight. Of course, we were always serenaded on birthdays and special occasions as well.

In January 1998, he suffered a debilitating stroke that left him partially paralyzed. The music stopped that day, but his many musician friends continued to visit and play for him. Mom took her sacred vow to heart and became his caregiver to the very end showing that their love could endure all obstacles.

To have known or met dad, was to love him. Everyone considered him a best friend, uncle, father-in-law, brother-in-law, surrogate dad, confidante, padrino and too many other roles to mention. However, his greatest roles were of husband, father and grandfather. He will be forever in our hearts because the loving legacy and seeds he planted in us will continue to flourish.

Dad is now home with his God and Savior, Jesus Christ, and we are sure that he is once again playing that good ole conjunto music in Heaven.

A funeral mass will be held Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angel's Catholic Church in La Joya. Interment will follow at Havana City Cemetery in Havana.

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