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Jorge  Duron Guerra

Obituary for Jorge Duron Guerra

June 26, 1932 - August 31, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 85

Obituary

Jorge Duron Guerra, age 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 31st, 2017, in his home surrounded by his beloved family. Jorge was born in Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico on June 26th, 1932 to Servando Duron Benavides and Antonia Guerra. As a young man, Jorge worked in his uncle's restaurants in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, where he would learn the family business. His uncle, Ismael Guerra was an inspiration, having fed railroad workers in Pennsylvania during the 1920s and having opened three restaurants in the northeast before returning to Nuevo Leon, Mexico during the Depression.

Jorge received a basic education before eventually coming to the United States with a visa on November 23rd, 1953. Interestingly, his father's surname was Duron and his mother's was Guerra, of which Jorge was extremely proud, but the immigration service shortened his name to "Guerra", which serves as the family surname to this day. However, Jorge always insisted on honoring his father by going by the name of Jorge Duron Guerra.

After arriving in the U.S., Jorge moved to Philadelphia to join other family members. Shortly thereafter, with the Korean War taking place, Jorge signed up for the Selective Service and was drafted and trained as a Marine at Parris Island, South Carolina. After serving a number of years in the Marines, he would later join the Air Force. Stationed in Japan and South Korea, Jorge would eventually settle in Austin, Texas at Bergstrom Air Force Base. Jorge served for a total of 11 years, completing his duties with an honorable discharge as a staff sergeant. A highlight of Jorge's service was his communications training and Spanish language skills used during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Jorge would go on to marry his wife of 61 years, Ninfa Galvan Reyna Guerra in 1955. They raised their four children on Linden Street in the Govalle neighborhood of East Austin. During a time when jobs were scarce in Austin and segregation was still the norm, Jorge and his wife decided to open a restaurant, El Azteca, on East 7th Street in East Austin. They opened on May 10th, 1963 with the hopes of supporting his growing family. El Azteca would go on to become an iconic Austin restaurant having remained open for over 53 years in the same East Austin location before closing in early 2017.

In addition to being a successful businessman, Jorge was known as a civic leader in East Austin. He served on the Brackenridge Hospital Board , and fought passionately on issues like crime and flooding, especially in the Boggy Creek area. His outspoken nature and influence was recognized by the likes of Father Joe Znotas of St. Julia Catholic Church, Bishop Louis Reicher, City Council Member Ben White, U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, and U.S. Congressman J.J. "Jake" Pickle, to name a few. Jorge's advocacy would change the face of East Austin with improvements to Boggy Creek and the development of the East 7th Street corridor and his influence will continue to be felt for years to come.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Servando Duron Benavides and Antonia Guerra, sisters, Estella Guerra and Adelaida Duron de Vazquez, brothers, Servando Duron and Jose Luis Ferrell, and his beautiful wife, Ninfa Galvan Reyna Guerra.

Jorge is survived by his brothers, Sergio Duron, Alejandro Duron and Enrique Guerra, his children George Humberto Duron Guerra, Daniel Duron Guerra (Flora), Linda Sue Duron Guerra (Paula Fry), Dolores Duron Guerra (James Aguilar), his eight grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren and numerous extended relatives.

Pallbearers will be Jorge Nicolas Guerra, Gregory Lee Guerra, Mark Anthony Beltran Guerra, Juan Hector Guerra, Daniel Anthony Guerra and Lonnie Limon. Honorary Pallbearers are Sergio Duron, Raul Rosas, Arturo Guerrero, Virgil Limon and Robert Elizondo.

Public Visitation will begin at 5:00 pm, Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at the Weed–Corley-Fish Funeral Home 2620 S. Congress, Austin, Texas. Rosary will follow at 7:00 pm.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, September 8th, 2017 at 12 pm at St. Julia Catholic Church, 3010 Lyons Rd, Austin, Texas. Interment will follow immediately at Assumption Cemetery, 3650 S. Interstate 35 Frontage Rd. Austin, Texas.

The Duron Guerra family would like to thank Hospice of Austin for their support and care during Mr. Guerra's final days and thanks to all of his friends, staff and loyal customers of El Azteca for the many years of support and patronage. Everything Jorge Duron Guerra did was "for the good of the people" and for the good of the country, he served loyally. Q.E.P.D.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home South

2620 S. Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
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