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Robert Louis "Louie" Hernandez, Jr.

Obituary for Robert Louis "Louie" Hernandez, Jr.

June 17, 1957 - September 22, 2017
San Antonio, Texas | Age 60

Obituary

Robert Louis "Louie" Hernandez, Jr. ended his valiant battle with cancer on September 22, 2017. Louie was born on June 17, 1957 to Robert Louis Hernandez, Sr. and Alice Hernandez. Over the coming 21-plus years, Louie would help his parents welcome five younger siblings into the family. Ever the eldest son and the consummate big brother, Louie would help to guide and shape the Hernandez family for the next 60 years.

His experiences in his early life would anchor threads that would weave throughout his life's fabric, forming the tapestry upon which the stories of the interconnected lives of his family and his countless friends would be told.

Louie was born to a man still in the prime of his own youth, an incredible athlete and a fierce competitor. Many of Louie's formative years were spent around the ball diamond, watching his father play, taking up the game himself, and helping to coach his sister's softball team to a city championship. Later in life, he would coach and play in the San Antonio Parks and Recreation softball league, leading the SA Top Guns – a team stocked with friends and family – to a city championship.

Baseball and softball weren't the only sports in Louie's life. Anyone who knew Louie knew that one team, one allegiance reigned supreme: The Dallas Cowboys. Louie recalled his fierce and undying loyalty to the Cowboys from an early age, explaining that even at age seven a Cowboys victory on Sunday would mean a happy week, while a loss would mean misery until Tom Landry's boys could fight for redemption once more. He even asked Kim (the woman he would ultimately marry) on their first date if she was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, an affirmative answer being an obvious prerequisite to continuing the relationship. Over his lifetime, Louie's fanatical devotion (his words) reached its zenith and saw his highest hopes realized when the Cowboys triumphed as Super Bowl champions in 1972, 1978, 1993, 1994, and 1996. Though twenty years past, this last victory in Super Bowl XXX was probably the sweetest, as Dallas' ultimate fan was able to cheer his beloved team to victory from the stands in Tempe, Arizona. Louie was also fortunate to work for two years with the Dallas Cowboy radio show, spending time on the sidelines and in the press box for Cowboys home games.

If the Cowboys were Louie's undisputed number one, many sports teams could lay claim to the second spot, depending on the time of year. Louie loved the San Antonio Spurs and relished celebrating his beloved team's championships five times in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014. The Texas Longhorns and UTSA Roadrunners were among his favorite collegiate sports teams, with The Longhorns having a long, storied history (and four national championships during Louie's lifetime) and the Roadrunners' football program being in its infancy.

In the early 80's Louie boxed in the Golden Gloves, enduring grueling workouts to prepare for his bout. Once in the ring, he struggled against a formidable opponent and was facing an almost certain defeat. While in the corner before answering the bell for the final round, knowing he was being badly beaten, he looked to his father for advice. The shared understanding of the dire situation prompted the elder Hernandez to offer up these words: "this too shall pass." Not yet ready to accept his fate, he came out in the final round, staging a rousing comeback against the Olympic hopeful, winning by knockout.

Later in life, Louie took up golf, both as a pastime and as a fan. He enjoyed golfing with his friends and had the great fortune to golf all over the US and in Whistler, British Columbia. He envisioned passing on his love of the game to Riley and Keller his niece and nephew. To this day, he is one of the only people we have ever known to passionately shout at golf on the television.

An avid outdoorsman, Louie loved to hunt and fish. From the lakes around San Antonio and the Texas Gulf Coast to streams in Colorado and Montana and waters all across the country, Louie fished every opportunity he got. More recently he purchased a boat to be able to take his family out on the waters near Padre Island. As a hunter, Louie, along with his father and brothers and sisters, hunted whitetail deer and doves in the Texas Hill Country. Louie was also able to fulfill dreams of hunting bigger game, bagging a pronghorn antelope and elk on expeditions in New Mexico and Colorado with friends.

His love affair with guns and hunting began at age 12 when he asked his parents to buy him a shotgun so he could go hunting. When his parents declined his request, he set out to earn the money needed to buy his own gun. He worked at the San Antonio Missions minor league baseball stadium selling sodas and cutting one or two lawns per week in his neighborhood at $5 per lawn over the summer. Soon he had earned enough money to buy a Harrington & Richardson single shot .410 shotgun. Over the coming summers he would work, save up, and buy a semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle, fishing equipment, a .30-06, which he sold so he could buy matching .308 rifles, one for him and one for his father. He used this rifle to kill his first deer when he was 16 and the rifles remain in the Hernandez family to this day. His love of firearms continued throughout his life: he was a Second Amendment absolutist, a Benefactor Lifetime member of the NRA, and he owned many firearms, which he shot routinely.

Louie's love of guns and his passion for history intersected perfectly to produce an immense appreciation for one era in American history – The Old West. Louie was an avid, if amateur, Old West historian. He devoured non-fiction historical books about famous figures of the Old West, always looking for interesting and unusual facts he could share with anyone who would listen. He loved visiting Old West locations of significance around central Texas, Lincoln, NM, Tombstone, AZ, and El Paso, TX.

Louie loved music and worked to make music an integral part of family gatherings, whether he was playing guitar for Christmas sing-alongs, securing a karaoke DJ for Easter parties, or assembling family members to sing and play instruments and meticulously planning soundtracks for more formal family celebrations. But of all the music he loved, there was no group, no music more beloved than The Beatles. As he recounted, Louie loved The Beatles from the first time he saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show. And their music would influence not only his musical tastes, but also the tastes and preferences of his brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews to this very day.

Louie was a huge movie buff and enjoyed sharing this passion with family and friends and co-workers alike. He loved to quote lines from movies and owes at least one friendship to a random quote from a little-known 70's comedy dropped into casual conversation. He would often drop movie trivia contests into work meetings to keep things light, but when he got around family and friends he pulled out all the stops. His movie-watching parties were the stuff of legend. The build-up always started weeks in advance with texts containing incredibly obscure clues about the movie, which was a surprise. Over the weeks, the clues would become slightly more specific leading up to movie day. On movie day, there would be an unveiling of the movie, a viewing, followed by dozens of trivia questions with cash prizes for each correct answer. Nothing brought out the competitive spirit among family and friends like bragging rights and some dollar bills. Similarly, Louie loved to host Oscar parties, complete with trivia contests and pools to pick the winners. Like anything Louie did, these movie parties were legendary.

Louie was an American patriot, who served proudly in the US Army. He was a boastful and proud Texan (not the football team). But beyond everything else, Louie loved his friends and family. And, oh, he loved his wife Kim. Though a terminal diagnosis is awful, Louie used his remaining days with us to the fullest. In our conversations, Louie said he had absolutely no regrets and that he got to do everything in life he wanted to do. He said that his best decision in life was to join the Army, that it taught him discipline and set his life on a path for success. And without the Army he never would have met Kim. Marrying her was the next best decision he ever made. Together they lived a life – 37 years – of love together.

In this time of deep mourning, we are reminded of the elder Hernandez's comforting words to his son Louie in the midst of his despair: this too shall pass. We know that it will, with time, but without Louie in our lives, our lives will never be the same.

Louie is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Kim (Fitzgerald); parents, Robert Sr. "Bobby" & Alice; siblings, Liz & Paul Gallagher, Bill & Renee Hernandez, Scott & Kristina Hernandez and Joy Hernandez, and numerous nieces and nephews, including his Goddaughter, Riley. He is preceded in death by sister, Shirley Hernandez Gusman.

Visitation will take place at Porter Loring Mortuary North on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 beginning at 5:00 PM. A memorial service will follow at 7:00 PM. Interment will take place on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 9:45 AM.

In lieu of flowers, Louie requested that you purchase a one-year NRA membership for a family member or friend in his memory ($40).

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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