Dionicio Romo (Doc) Gongora, born February 6, 1924, passed away peacefully at the age of 87. The son of Clemente Gongora and Severiana Romo, Nicho was born on the Kennedy Ranch outside of Elgin, Texas. He moved to Galveston at the age of 15 and remained there throughout his life. He was very proud of his service in the Air Force, 340th Bombardment Squadron, during World War II at which time he served as a Medic in Italy. He started his career at the Tin Smelter in Texas City, became a journeyman for Todd’s Shipyards, was a top salesman for American National Insurance Company, and ended his career as a leading salesman for Plantowsky’s Furniture and eventually, Schreiber & Miller.
During his lifetime Doc was very active in many civic activities. LULAC Council #151 was his main commitment, and he was named National Lulac Man of the Year in 1964, a stellar achievement. He later became an honorary member of that council. His skills at fundraising for their scholarship fund were much appreciated. When he transitioned from Little League activities, his other passion became his involvement with Lassie League, which he helped developed from its inception. When he no longer coached a team, his umpiring skills kept him close to the game. He also became known as “La Voz de Galveston” when he hosted a radio program on KILE and KGBC dedicated to the Hispanic culture – one of the first in his time. Upon his retirement from all activities, his beloved Astros provided him with many hours of entertainment.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Guillerma (Gary); his daughters, Rita Walker; Belinda Morgan and husband, Mike; Lori Elzner and husband, Tim; grandchildren, Jennifer Morgan and husband, Blake; Sarah Youngdale; Kristin Heilman and husband, Michael; Dominic Elzner and Noah Elzner; great-grandchildren, Koehl and Connor Morgan; brother, Vicente Gongora, and wife, Dolores; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his son, David Michael; his parents; six brothers; and one sister.
The family will receive visitors at Malloy & Son Funeral Home on Wednesday, July 20, at 5 pm with a rosary beginning at 6:30 pm. Funeral services will be held at 10 am on Thursday, July 21, at St. Patrick Cathedral with burial following at Calvary Cemetery. A reception will follow at the church hall. Pallbearers are Dominic Elzner, Tim Elzner, Blake Morgan, Mike Morgan, Tony Gongora, Wense Guzman, Joseph David Aldape, and Malcolm Anderson. Serving as honorary pallbearer is Noah Elzner.
Memorials may be sent to LULAC Council #151, Scholarship Fund, P.O.Box 3344, Galveston, Texas 77552.
The family would like to thank the staff at Gulf Health Care Center for the kindness and support provided during his last few months. Doc came to consider it his home. He will always be remembered as the man who loved to dance and sing as he passed through life.