Gipe Flores Benavides obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Gipe Flores Benavides

April 2, 1926 - March 11, 2015

Obituary


Remembering GIPE FLORES BENAVIDES
1926-2015 Gipe F. Benavides, 88, of New Braunfels, Texas, made his final trip home on March 11, 2015. A trip to HEB, Home Depot, or the Hill Country doesn't seem as big anymore because the biggest figure in our lives won't be making the trips.
Gipe passed at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital in New Braunfels. That sentence was hard to write because it's hard to fashion a world that doesn't have Gipe in it. He used to say that he "didn't want to be a bother to anyone."
But he wasn't...

Remembering GIPE FLORES BENAVIDES
1926-2015 Gipe F. Benavides, 88, of New Braunfels, Texas, made his final trip home on March 11, 2015. A trip to HEB, Home Depot, or the Hill Country doesn't seem as big anymore because the biggest figure in our lives won't be making the trips.
Gipe passed at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital in New Braunfels. That sentence was hard to write because it's hard to fashion a world that doesn't have Gipe in it. He used to say that he "didn't want to be a bother to anyone."
But he wasn't a bother to anyone. If ever a man seemed destined to be in a certain place at a certain time, it was Gipe Benavides living on his terms, running his own businesses, and taking care of others in the process.
He seems permanently painted into those pictures - and while others around him were younger and faster, he was always the largest thing in the frame. Gipe could cast a shadow in a rainstorm with his favorite sayings and stories that sounded more like a motivational speaker: "Good, better, best. Never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best."
In his earlier years, his voice could be heard on the moon. It is being heard today, in the heads and hearts of the many men and women who knew him. They can hear their father or grandfather or friend telling them to "not criticize others", "to work hard", to "be nice to others" and good things will happen.
"We are heartbroken," says his family. Though, like anyone who ever met Gipe, the old man's voice will never go away. And yet the man is gone, done in by the very organ that truly defined him: his heart.
His death wasn't sudden. He passed slowly following open heart surgery, first his steps, then his movement, then his words, and finally, on March 11, his breath. In a way, he did the family a final kind act by going that way instead of all at once. He faded, like a shooting star en route to the heavens.
How can I tell you about Gipe Benavides? How do we fit 88 years into words? He was born in Waco to Pablo and Josefa Benavides on April 2, 1926. He grew up and attended school in Boerne while he learned to work on shoes with his father, who ran a shoe repair shop. Eventually, he left home to enlist in the Army Air Corps, now Air Force, and proudly served as an aerial gunner in World War II Pacific Campaign - Okinawa, Japan.
The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Air Force never left him, and carried over to his work life. Gipe learned the value of life and, more importantly, a life earned. His father, the late Pablo, didn't shower him with money or gifts from his fortune. So, Gipe knew if he was going to be successful, he would have to do it on his own. And he did. He had several successful business ventures over the next 65 years. Gipe married Maria in 1958 and with his wife by his side, he owned and operated La Pequeña Grocery Store and Modern Shoe Repair in Harlingen. He met his beloved wife after she came to the shop and he shined her shoes. They also ran Benavides Used Cars, Benavides Shoe Repair, Arco and Texaco gas stations, and Lucky Star Motel in New Braunfels.
His success in business can be directly attributed to his strong work ethic and love for family. He took pride in being independent and being able to provide for his family. He enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved to drive his RV on family trips to Mexico, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Disneyland and many more places, near and far. Even in his eighties, he used to love riding his moped to the local HEB or Home Depot and even swim in his pool.
He wasn't the President. He didn't walk on the moon or change the world. Only the world around him. He didn't run the world. Only the world around him. He wasn't a school counselor, yet people always ran to him for advice.
Over the last two years, as he slowly slipped away, we lost the sound of his voice, his nuggets of wisdom. We only saw and heard him when we visited him at the Audie L. Murphy Veteran's Hospital, in San Antonio, or any one of the three nursing homes he bounced between the last year. He was slipping, and yet he had a will to live that allowed him to live several months beyond his surgery. He was always in control of his life, even as it was slipping away. Even when there were many scary rushes to the hospital with everyone thinking "Is this it?". Gipe came back from them all. After a while, we believed he could just straight arm anything, even mortality.
But if death doesn't get you once, or twice, even three times, it tries to blindside you again and again. It did, and this time it took Gipe down at 11:50 p.m., Wednesday, March 11, 2015. His daughter Patricia, by his side, called the family and said "Dad is resting now." And the family knew what that meant because Gipe had not rested peacefully since his surgery last July. The news of his passing shook everyone. But his voice and conversations are coming back today. And so is the reminder of how truly lucky we were to know him, and how much we miss him.
He was a great storyteller, you hung onto his words, and he was one of the funniest men you would ever meet. He loved to laugh at himself. He was there for everyone - family, friends, and relatives. He was there for weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions. He spoke to their sons and daughters; he visited them in hospitals or invited them over for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
It is the mark of his personality that he is remembered. It is impossible to imagine what any day going forward will be like without Gipe. For the past few months, doctors said "it was his time." But I disagree. In a hospital was not his time. His time was Saturday or Sunday afternoons driving to Home Depot or HEB or sitting in his chair with a tall glass of ice water. His time was bringing family together for celebrations. His time was chomping on a chicken pot pie. His time was looking up from his desk at his motel and seeing a customer or friend and saying, "How ya'll doing today" or "What can I do you for".
His time was the time he lived, not the moment he died. There was a time that we thought he would live forever. He didn't of course, and now he's gone. And everywhere you turn you hear his name. He will be missed.
Gipe was preceded in death by his parents Pablo and Josefa, daughters Irene and Rose, sisters Cruz Aguirre (Jesus), Lydia Perez (Ignacio), and brothers Lupe, Domingo (Lucy), and Martin (Genevive).
Gipe's greatest pride was his family. He is survived by his wife Maria, sons Damien (Aurelia) and Richard, step-children, Robert (Ymelda) and Maria Aguilar (Albert), daughters Norma (Edward Rivera) and Patricia (Raad Alawan), brother Fernando, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and his dachshund dog Mimi.
Gipe deeply appreciated the care he received from hospitals and nursing care centers. He was especially fond of the doctors, surgeons, nurses, aides and social workers at the Audie L. Murphy and Kerrville Veterans Hospitals as well as the caring staff at Kirkwood Manor, Northgate Rehabilitation Center, and Colonial Manor Care Center.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at Zoeller Funeral Home from 5:00-9:00pm. With a Rosary to be recited at7:00pm. A Holy Memorial Service will be held on Friday, April 3, 2015 at 9:00am at Zoeller Funeral Home. Inurnment will follow at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery with Military Honors. Arrangements by Zoeller Funeral Home.