Arturo R. Fierro Sr. of Marble Falls died March 30, 2022. He was 71. Born March 27, 1951, to Sipriano A. and Erminia Fierro in Ozona, Texas, Fierro was one of six children and the oldest son.
He was close to his mother and his grandfather Seferino “Papaino” Fierro, who often included his grandson as part of his work crew in the 1950s that picked bitterweed, a plant poisonous to cattle. After a long day’s work, Fierro slept next to his grandfather in the back of the truck bed to be refreshed for the next day. He was proud of making $15 for the weekend, which went to his mother to help the family budget.
When Fierro wasn’t going to school or working with his grandfather, he played catch with his cousins and friends and idolized the great Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees.
In the early 1960s, the family relocated to Marble Falls, a town with a lake that helped create a lifelong passion of water activities passed from one generation to the next. Growing up, he shined shoes for a few coins and scoured the city looking for bottles he could sell to recycling for extra money. He played football and baseball for Marble Falls High School and knew firsthand the impact of Texas high school sports on families and communities. Fierro graduated in 1971 and made it a point to attend activities with his classmates as often as possible.
Shortly after graduating while working for Barnes Wentworth, a local lumberyard, he walked into the Red Eye restaurant in Round Mountain and saw the woman who became his first wife, Rosario Esquivel. A native of San Jose, Costa Rica, she was in the United States on a work visa. The two fell instantly in love. But Esquivel’s visa was expiring and she was headed back to Costa Rica from Los Angeles. Fierro boarded a Greyhound bus and traveled to get her. Upon arriving, the two went to a Los Angeles courthouse and married, then returned to Marble Falls and married again, this time at the Church of Christ where the family were members. The two had one daughter, Jennifer, before Rosario died in December 1974.
After a grieving period, Fierro married Janie Leal, a Marble Falls native. Leal believed Fierro was capable of more than working for a lumberyard, so she encouraged him to apply at the General Telephone and Electronics Corporation. He got the job, and the two relocated to San Angelo, where they had a son, Arturo Fierro Jr., in 1980.
The two ended their marriage, and Fierro later united with longtime crush Louise Vasquez. For the next two decades, the two blended their families, built their home, and established their goals for the future that included a daughter, Andrea. During this time, Fierro accepted employment at Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the last place he worked before retiring in October 2012.
As a member of the engineering department, Fierro was charged with meeting with members, both old and new. He strengthened relationships with them by asking how PEC could better serve them or how PEC could help. Then, he’d write reports and submit them to his colleagues, so they knew what the members needed. He enjoyed watching members turn their dreams into reality, whether it was a subdivision, building, or other establishment and was happy to be asked to help.
When the Marble Falls PEC office was located on Main Street, Fierro created a program that benefited both employees and the office. Called the Coke Fund, employees could borrow money between pay periods and pay it back with tiny interest on payday. The interest was used to pay for office gatherings, luncheons, and other celebrations. Back then, a bank was located next door to the office. Fierro watched his “borrowers” cash their checks and then waited at a door with the pink promissory notes. To avoid him, Fierro joked, the borrowers used a different door to return to their desks.
Even back then, PEC was known to give back to the community. But in the 1980s, it was through a benefit softball game pitting the employees against the Marble Falls Police Department with the winning team choosing the charity. Fierro and his colleagues won more times than they lost, which might explain why that contest hasn’t been played in a good while.
When Fierro retired, he and his companion, Dianora, traveled throughout the state and internationally. They attended numerous celebrations, where he met others who enjoyed one of his favorite pastimes: playing golf. He spent countless hours on the links with his son and their friends. And while he couldn’t play softball or throw a football, he continued spending fall weekends watching his grandson Dominic play football as well as watching college football and the NFL with his family. He also attended Marble Falls High School choir concerts featuring his grandson Isaac.
He was surpassed in death by his parents, wives Rosario and Louise, granddaughter Hannah, and sisters Nora and Eloise.
Fierro is survived by his children, Anita Hisey and husband Rob Hintermaier, Jennifer, Arturo Fierro Jr. and wife Priscilla, and Andrea and husband Chris Patrick; grandchildren Joshua Hisey and Megan Arnold, Isaac and Dominic Fierro, and Alexis Patrick; companion Dianora and son Manuel; brother Victor Fierro and wife Stephanie; sisters Sylvia and Gracie Fennell and husband Brian; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A funeral service is 2 p.m. April 29 at Lake Shores Church, 700 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls. Burial will follow at the Marble Falls Cemetery. Arrangements by Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Marble Falls.