Fernando G. Cantu, Jr. Fernando G. Cantu, Jr., passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, July 17, 2016, after a long illness. He was born on September 23, 1944 in Detroit, Michigan to Fernando G. Cantu, Sr. and Maria Antonia Gonzalez. He grew up in Brownsville, TX and graduated from Brownsville High School. He attended Texas A & I in Kingsville and graduated with a degree in business. He was a police officer in Brownsville, Texas in 1965 and served in the National Guard in 1966. He met his loving wife, Mary Helen Camina in Brownsville and they married in 1966. They have two children, Liza Renee and Fernando Cantu, III and have lived in Laredo, Texas since 1970. Fernando entered the hotel business and owned a swimming pool company for the last 46 years. He was president of the Hotel/Motel Association of Laredo and VP of Webb County Tax Payers League. He was on the board of the State Bar Disciplinary Review Committee and served on the Webb County Appraisal Board. In 1994 he tossed his hat in the ring to run for state senator from State District 21. He became the Webb County Republican Chairman and was involved with the National Hispanic Republican Association. He also attained the office of chairman of the Board of State group, where he represented Texas in Washington D.C. He organized STAR (South Texas Association of Republicans) in 2000. Also in that year, he was an Alternate Deligate to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon returning to Texas, he became enamored of sailing and purchased a boat in order to go cruising to the Caribbean. “Foxely” (a 35.5 ft. sailboat) was his joy and relaxation. He and Mary Helen sailed along the coast of the United Sates into the Florida Keys and up the Chesapeake Bay, where they explored for over a year. They returned to sail up the Potomac River after that. At one time, the couple spent 2 years at moorings along the East Coast of the United States, (mostly Florida). They decided to expand their adventures to cross part of the Atlantic and sail to the Bahamas. Upon arrival, they “island hopped” for 7 weeks and had the “best time of their lives!” He is survived by his wife, Mary Helen; daughter, Liza; son, Fernando; grandson, Fernando IV ,and great granddaughter, Isabella. Also surviving are brothers-in-law, Bob (Nan) Camina, Edward (Dora) Camina and Raymond (Barbara) Camina; mother-in-law, Hercelia Camina and numerous relatives and friends. A rosary will be recited on Friday, July 22, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hillside Funeral Home Chapel. A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. in the Hillside Funeral Home Chapel. Services will conclude at the Chapel. If you would like to sign the guestbook or send private condolences, you may do so at www.hillsidefuneral.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Hillside Funeral Home, 310 Hillside Road.