MISSION – Seferino ‘Nino’ Gonzales, MSGT, USAF, (Ret.), passed away Tuesday, June 26 in Austin. He was 84 years old. Nino was born on August 26, 1927 in Weslaco to Benito and Reyes Gonzalez.
The eldest of four children, he assisted in the daily activities related to farming and sharecropping. After being drafted into the Army in 1945 Nino attained his GED during his tenure and then re-enlisted with the U.S. Air Force, and shortly after he married Eulalia Valdez. The ensuing years found the couple making homes all over the United States, South America, and the Caribbean before settling in Austin in 1970. In 1973, Nino retired after devoting 29 years to active military duty, traveling worldwide, at the service of his country, with the U.S. Air Force serving as a radio operator on flight crews with Military Air Transport Service. He also served as attaché with the U.S. embassy in La Paz, Bolivia and Santo Domingo in the Dominican, Republic. Many would find this to have been a full life already, but Nino was just getting started. He continued his formal education by enrolling in Southwest Texas State University, studying for his Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Arts. Nino graduated with honors in 1978 and became an Industrial Arts High School teacher.
Nino was also a Master Clockmaker. He developed the interest in 1955 while stationed in Germany and apprenticed under an old German clockmaker. Clocks were a hobby at that point, but an avid interest that he never lost. He was able to turn that passion into a career when he left his teaching position to become an entrepreneur. In 1980, Nino started a successful clock repair business specializing in Cuckoo clocks. He became a Certified Clockmaker in 1984, and a Certified Master Clockmaker in 1988. He was also a member of the NAWCC, a lifetime member of AWCI, and he also served as president of the Capital Area Watchmaker and Clockmaker Guild.
Nino excelled in everything that he did and was always willing to share his knowledge and mentor individuals in his field. He consistently lit a room with his charm, graciousness, and humor. Those who had the privilege to meet him knew that they had met someone very special.
He is survived by hi wife of 63 years, Eulalia Gonzales; son and daughter-in-law, Danny and Lourdes Gonzales, son and daughter-in-law, Enrique and Annie Gonzales, son, Roberto Gonzales, daughter-in-law Cynthia Gonzales; brothers-in-law, Leo Guzmán and Basilio Valdez; sisters-in-law; Maria Gonzalez, Elodia Valdez, and Lupe Valdez; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces, friends; his sister Eufemia Guzmán, and brother Johnny Gonzalez.
Nino was preceded in death by parents; brother, Walle Gonzalez; and eldest son David Gonzales.
Visitation will begin Tuesday, July 10, 2012 from 10 a.m. till 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Funeraria Del Angel Funeral Home in Mission. A Chapel Service will be held Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 2pm at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Valley Memorial Gardens with Military Honors.