Alicia Elva Piña, 83, of Dickinson passed away April 20, 2012. She is preceded in death by her parents, Gerardo and Adelina Gonzalez, sister Corina Rocha and nephew Adrian Gonzalez. She is survived by her husband, Adolfo Pina; children, Vicky Whynott, Adolfo Pina Jr., Terri Duncan, Carlos Pina, David Pina and Richard Pina; grandchildren, Robert Christopher Duke, Rebecca Whynott Foster, Michael Whynott, Matthew and Alicia Duncan, Megan Pina, David and Julia Pina; great-grandchildren, Jonathan and Ava Stefek; and her siblings, Gloria Gonzalez, Violeta Garza, Juanita Ramsey, Gerardo Gonzalez, Anival Gonzalez, Arabella Gonzalez and Eduardo Gonzalez.
She was the first born of Gerardo and Adelina Gonzalez in the little town of San Ygnacio, Texas between Laredo and Zapata. She would tell her children and later her grandchildren the stories of life along the Rio Grande, their ancestors and legends such as La Llorona who searches the waters of the Rio Grande looking for her children and the Lady in White.
Her father did all types of work including farming and played pitcher for the Blue Jays, a local team that played other towns. Her house was popular with all the baseball players and her relatives for the good food that her mother was always cooking. These wonderful smells of the kitchen were passed down and Alicia’s children and grandchildren enjoyed the same.
The discipline and love of family values were instilled in her youth and she continued to express this to her children. She met her husband, Adolfo, at Delmar Jr. College and they were married May 31, 1953 in Laredo. Her first child, Vicky, was born in Laredo followed later by Adolfo Jr., Terri, Carlos, David and Richard each born in a different state because of her husband’s work in building power plants.
Alicia enjoyed sewing and would make dresses for her girls that would match her own, as well as matching shirts and shorts for the boys. Even with 6 children and one bathroom, she and Adolfo made sure that all were clean, dressed and in the first pew of the Our Lady of Fatima in Brilliant, Ohio every Sunday well before the start of mass. Afterwards, the parents would enjoy the company of each other and the priest at his home while the children played outside. If it came close to lunch the ladies would bring large bowls of homemade spaghetti and Italian bread to share. Real noodles made using a piano wire loom not boxed. Sundays were always special wherever she lived. Whether it was spending the afternoon at an airport observation deck watching the planes in St. Louis, picnicking at Jekyll Island, Ga, or watching her children trying to fish on the Texas City dike, Sunday always began with mass.
Of Hispanic origins, her grandparents and mother from Mexico, Alicia’s children shared the diversity of all people. She taught them the importance of caring and treating all people the same. When living in the most racist areas of southern Georgia, she stood up to a neighbor who was complaining that her sons were playing with a black child. She & Adolfo were affectionately called Mom and Dad by their children’s black friends. Alicia was so strong yet refine that she could very easily put someone in their place without making a scene. It was these attributes of strength and refinement and beauty that attracted her husband.
After her children had all gone into school, Mrs. Piña became a library assistant at Dickinson’s Silbernagel Elementary and continued for many years. She had a great love for children and was happiest when surrounded by them. She was at home in the company of her husband of 58 years and 4 generations of her family when called by God to return to Him. She embodied the true meaning of wife and motherhood and will be missed by all who were blessed by her love and guidance.
A Rosary/Mass will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at Shrine of the True Cross at 12:30 p.m. with burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Shrine of the True Cross Catholic Church, 300 FM517, Dickinson, Texas 77539.