Arnoldo G. Salinas transitioned to his next life on Jan. 26, 2020 in New Braunfels, Texas, after slipping into a diabetic coma in his sleep after a 40-year struggle with the disease. He was born on Oct. 23, 1938 in Agua Dulce to parents Nicasia and Areopoldo Salinas who operated a local butcher shop and had 6 children at the time. At the age of 4, he lost his mother which prompted him to become hard working and self-reliant at a very young age. When he was seven years old, he assembled his own shoeshine box and shined the shoes of local men for a dime a piece.
In 1950 his father remarried Julia Barrera who helped raise him when the family moved to Alice to open Salinas Grocery, which later grew to 2 locations. In middle school he worked helping his brothers and father deliver blocks of ice door-to-door in Alice for household ice boxes and worked continuously at the grocery stores when he wasn’t in school. He excelled in football and was known as ‘The Dynamic Mighty Mouse’ during his time as one of the Fighting Alice Coyotes. He earned a football scholarship to Texas A&I in Kingsville after graduating in 1958 but decided to concentrate his efforts on working in the family business and his studies.
He married Vilma Gloria Garcia, also of Alice, in August of 1960 and during his junior year of college was drafted into the United States Army in 1961. He excelled in his military aptitude tests and served as a nuclear weapons specialist during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. When his tour of duty was completed, he returned to Alice to work in the family business and later taught Science at Ben Bolt High School before moving back to Agua Dulce. He and his wife adopted 2 children from Methodist Mission Home in San Antonio and in 1968 he was hired as a lab technician at Celanese Corporation in Bishop, Texas and worked his way up into the management of the plastics plant until retiring after 35 years in 2003. Arnoldo was a devout Catholic and worked at his local parish, St. Francis of Rome, as a Knights of Columbus member organizing and calling the bingo, tending church grounds, leading the altar boys, assisting the priests, and organizing church fundraising events. He also served as a School Board Trustee for Agua Dulce ISD from 1985-1988.
He is predeceased by brothers, David and sisters-in-law, Beto (Emma), Fidelio (Alicia), and Rolando (Dolly); sister, Elida (Frank) Booker; and sister-in-law, Lydia Salinas (Seferino). Arnold is survived by his wife of 60 years, Vilma; two children, Celena (Brock) Boudreau (San Marcos, Texas) and Arnold Eric Salinas (Alice); grandchildren, Beau & Ava Boudreau and Karina, James, and Jacob Salinas; and great-grandson, Sebastian Salinas. Also, brothers, Armando (Nancy) & Seferino “Bebe” Salinas; sister, Elfida Johnson; and sister-in-law, Belen Salinas. He is also survived by nephews, Joel Johnson, John, Frank, and Jason Booker, Fidelio Salinas Jr., Hector, Carlos, Rene, and Rolando; and nieces, Alma Garcia, Irma Holtkamp, Norma Lee Delgado, Gloria Leal, Sylvia Ruiz, Diana Garcia, and Odette Salinas.
Arnoldo’s family will receive condolences Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, at 10 AM at Trevino Funeral Home Alice, 120 E. Front Street, with a Holy Rosary to be recited at 11:30 AM. A funeral cortege will depart the funeral home at 12:30 PM for mass of Christian burial to be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 1:00 PM. Interment will follow at Old Collins Cemetery. A luncheon will follow services at the Lion's Club, 1005 S. King St., Alice TX 78332.
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