Jim Sánchez, Conexión Del Rio

DEL RIO – Mrs. Flavia Figueroa, the matriarch of her family has been described by her son, Francisco, as a mother who treasures her family above everything else in life. Mrs. Figueroa, with her adult children: Maria Edna, Wilma Mae, and Francisco with their families and friends, recently celebrated her 100th birthday which was held at the San Antonio Omni Riverwalk. 

Mrs. Figueroa has had her fair share of tragedies but has met them head on with her Catholic faith. Even though Flavia may have slowed down a bit, she is still physically and mentally active. 

Francisco, who as a young man lived here in San Angelo, in an interview with Conexión Del Rio, stated that his mother prays daily, practices kindness, has a caring attitude and is a great story teller.

Q: “What advice would Flavia give to this generation on families?

“She wrote letters to her great grandchildren recently; included in those letters were entreaties to be kind, caring, and loving,” said Francisco. “The force of a powerful God and love in one’s heart will always reign supreme over bitter hatred. Smiles and laughter transcend sorrow and anger.”

Armando and Flavia had three children: Maria Edna, Wilma Mae, and Francisco.  

Flavia and her husband, Armando Figueroa Garza, first met each other in Del Rio, Texas, got married on January 15, 1939 and later moved to San Angelo to raise their family during the 60s. Armando and Flavia had three children: Maria Edna, Wilma Mae, and Francisco.  

As for Francisco’s dad, he proudly mentioned that Armando was the very first Hispanic elected to the City Commission in May of 1962. Figueroa got such wide support that he carried 15 of the 18 election precincts.  

Q: “What was it like during the 60s for your parents as Hispanics living here in San Angelo?”

Francisco said a good friend summed it up nicely when talking about past discriminatory practices, “We will never forget those injustices, but we choose not to dwell upon them.” It is not the past that holds the promise for our children. It is the future. And it is completely up to us to shape that future and thrive within it.”

Q: “What was your dad’s legacy to his community and to his family?” 

“Dad was asked to give a talk to high school students about the importance of staying in school and completing their education.” “After one such presentation, on his way home, he reflected upon the fact that here he was, encouraging young students to finish their studies, and he did not even have a high school diploma.” 

That all changed when at the age of 69 he passed the requirements for his GED. Eight years later, on May 1, 1993, Armando passed away at the age 77 but left behind an education legacy that continues on with his children and grandchildren. Armando and Flavia were married for 54 years. As a result, many have gone on and acquired advanced degrees and a PhD.

To view a tribute video to Mrs. Figueroa’s 100th birthday, go to the following link: