On March 8, 2020 we honored Hispanic leaders in our community.
It started with Mayor Pat Rios and welcome presentation of colors and pledges by Boy Scouts of America Troop 49. Richard Dominguez spoke about Hispanic contributions to the military. We had stories of the honorees: Avelina Pina, Hillis Dominguez, Richard Dominguez, Pepe Zambrano as we will be honoring them with a plaque on the circular benches on the corner of Austin and Cornwall.
In Honor of Past Hispanic Leaders
Hillis Dominguez (1927-2002) was born in Corpus Christi. His family lived in Pt. O’Connor then moved to Rockport around 1934. He was owner/operator of Hillis Dominguez Bookkeeping Service, captain of a shrimp boat, owner of an electronic business and a small grocery business. Hillis was active in the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Lions Club, BSA, and the Youth Support Group. He served as a Commissioner on the Navigation District board from 1979 to 2001.
Richard Dominguez describes his dedication to veterans and the community. “After being discharged from the Air Force in 1956, returning home with my own disabilities, it was evident that I would have to be my own advocate. I became that, for myself and every veteran who came knocking at my door seeking help. Beginning in 1969 the local G.I. Forum members, with the help of Dr. Hector Garcia, brought every Fallen Hero home in a caravan from Corpus Christi.
I have served the American G.I. Forum in every capacity beginning with District Commander in 1980. With every position, the ultimate goal has been to help our veterans and community.”
Joe “Pepe” Zambrano (1941 - 2009) was born in Monterrey and moved to Aransas Pass with his family when he was six years old. He served in the army and returned to Rockport. He owned Mary’s Malt Shop on Austin St. and later operated the Mexican Hacienda Restaurant at the same location. Pepe was very active in the community. When he was dared to run for City Council, he did so and won in 1963. He served for a total of 12 years including as Mayor Pro Tem. Pepe was founding President of the Rockport chapter for the American G I Forum. Pepe’s children include Joe Pepe (Geneva) Zambrano, Jr., Anna Marie Flores, Adrianne (Dan) McBurney, and Angelica (Brian) Gresnick.
Avelina Falcon Pina (1931 – 2015) married Alfred Pina in 1947 and he relocated to her community of Rockport. With success in business and knowledge of the area, Avelina moved into community service. She was served on the Rockport City Council in 1986-88. She was elected to the board of the Aransas County Navigation District (1988-92). In 1988 Avelina was president of the Aransas County Historical Society. Avelina’s children include Alfred (Alice) Pina, Roy Lee (Carol) Pina, Diana P. (Fidel) Solis, Oscar (Janet) Pina and Lionel Pina.