MISSION - Mario S. Saenz, 87, passed away on Saturday, May 24, 2014, at his home in Mission.
Mr. was born in Camargo, Tamps., Mexico, on Dec, 31, 1926, and was raised in La Sal Colorada Ranch in San Isidro. He joined the U.S. Army in 1944 and was stationed at the Aleutian Islands in the Northern Pacific during World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
He married Esperanza Hinojosa on Sept. 6, 1947, in Kingsville. In the 1970s he and his wife opened M & E Drive-In Store in Palmview while he simultaneously became a cattle rancher, which he remained doing until his passing.
He formed his conjunto band, Los Gavilanes de Mario Saenz, in the early 1960s and recorded under Falcon Records. Some of his hits included "La del Moño Colorado," "Frijolitos Pintos," and "El Riky Riky." He was inducted into the "Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame" in June, 2013.
Survivors include his daughters, Maria Amadora Gonzalez, Esperanza Orta and Sylvia Valdez, from Mission; sons, Manuel Mario Saenz and Arturo Saenz, from Mission; and 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Esperanza H. Saenz; brother, Arnoldo Saenz; and parents, Manuel Saenz and Amadora Elizondo Saenz.
The funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, May 28, at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Mission. Interment will follow at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Mission.
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