Alfredo Puente Jr., 77, a beloved husband, father, and Vietnam Veteran, passed away peacefully at his home on September 2, 2023. Alfredo was born on July 6, 1946, in Mercedes, Texas. He was the firstborn son of Alfredo Sr. and Dolores (Hernandez) Puente.
He grew up in Mercedes. As a young boy, he spent time with neighborhood friends, playing marbles, and enjoying the outdoors. When Alfredo became a teenager, he worked to help support the family. He spent many summers migrating up north, and when he was back home, Alfredo shined shoes to make some extra income.
Alfredo met his soulmate, Graciela Garza, in Weslaco as a teenager. Alfredo courted Graciela for the next five years, often hitchhiking from Mercedes to Weslaco to visit. He graduated from Mercedes High School in 1964. After completing his education, Alfredo was called to serve his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He bravely defended his homeland and displayed unwavering courage during his service. His dedication and sacrifice in the 7th Battalion, 15th Artillery was commendable.
After being honorably discharged, Alfredo and Graciela were married in 1969. They lived in Melrose Park, Illinois, for the first two years of marriage, where their firstborn son was born. After braving two brutal winters, they returned to the Rio Grande Valley, making their home and raising their family in Weslaco.
Alfredo's passion for learning continued throughout his life as he became an avid reader and enjoyed solving crossword puzzles. Alfredo's thirst for knowledge was inspiring to all who knew him.
Alfredo loved the outdoors. He enjoyed fishing but was most passionate about gardening. His green thumb was admired by friends and family alike as he nurtured beautiful plants that decorated his surroundings.
Alfredo enjoyed listening to music and taking his bride dancing. Some of their favorite dancing spots were the Palladrum and El Baile Grande in McAllen. Alfredo also enjoyed playing pool and trying his luck at the slot machines or a friendly competition.
Alfredo was a man of strong family values, finding immense fulfillment in being a loving husband to Graciela Puente for many years. Catholic faith and daily prayers were Alfredo's priorities.
Friends and loved ones will remember Alfredo for his warm heart and unwavering dedication to those he cared about. All who needed a good listener appreciated his reserved and humble personality. Alfredo also had a great sense of humor and had fun nicknames for his wife, children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. He was a fighter, surviving Nasopharyngeal Cancer.
Alfredo is preceded in death by his parents, Alfredo Sr. and Dolores (Hernandez) Puente.
He is survived by his loving wife of fifty-four years, Graciela; his children, Rodolfo Puente (Brenda), Sandra Aguirre (Mario Jr.), Alfredo Rene Puente, and Dina Quintanilla (Yancey); siblings, Gilibaldo Puente (Estela), Oralia Gomez (Gilberto), and Idalia Mireles (Andres), grandchildren, Kendra Elijahlee Ortiz (Carlos), Riannha Lee Puente, Andrikk Devin Puente, Mario Alfredo Aguirre, Daniel Alberto Aguirre, Michael Andrew Aguirre, Sophia Isabella Aguirre, Amber Haven Quintanilla, Emma Grace Quintanilla, Nehemiah Joseph Quintanilla, Elijah Rowan Quintanilla, and Noah Emmanuel Quintanilla, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation and prayer services will be held to honor Alfredo's memory at McCaleb Funeral Home. Visitation will be on Wednesday, September 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with a rosary at 7 p.m.