Victor D. Gunnoe, Jr. passed into eternity on September 8, 2017 at the age of 92.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Victor D. and Felipa Quiroz Gunnoe; wife, Teresa Torres Gunnoe; son, Michael Philip Gunnoe; brothers, Sydney Gunnoe and Andrew J. Gunnoe; and sister, Ollie Mae Gunnoe.
Lovingly known by his family as “Beco”, he was born in Laredo, Texas but lived the first years of his life in Hebbronville, Texas until the age of 8. He attended Central School, L.J. Christen and Martin High School. During his school days, he would get together with some of his musical friends that included Lalo Duarte and Luciano Duarte. They would perform at the talent shows held at the downtown Royal Theater. He played the harmonica then and still played it well into his 90s. Many times, he would open the boxed harmonica that his mother gave him and entertained guests and family with his favorite songs like “Adelita” and “La Cucaracha.”
The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 changed his school graduation plans. He enlisted in military service at the age of 17. He was sworn into the United States Army on April 14, 1943 at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. He received his basic training in Fort Eustis, Virginia. He received advanced training in artillery at Camp Crowder. Missouri. He was assigned to the Battery C, 507th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion trained in radar-detection guns. After training, he was placed in a troop transport ship in San Francisco, California bound for Brisbane, Australia. While in Australia, he was trained in artillery with the Australians as they would be fighting alongside them. From Australia, he was sent to the Island of New Guinea where they cleared a portion of the island of the Japanese. They were then sent to the Philippine Islands where they landed on the island of Luzon. Since there were no Japanese airplanes in the air, they used the 90 millimeter artillery cannons to fire on the Japanese in the caves on the island. After the Battle of Luzon, the Japanese surrendered. After the surrender, he was sent back on a troop ship to San Francisco for further transfer to Camp Fannin in East Texas. He received his honorable discharge at Camp Fannin. From there he was returned to his hometown of Laredo. During his tour, he met General MacArthur on the island of Luzon when he made his return to the Philippines. He received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, 2 Bronze Stars, the Philippine Liberation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the National Defense Medal. He suffered no injuries in combat. The Laredo Veterans Service Office through David Garza and Doug Alford recognized him as a World War II Honoree and the Laredo Legends Motorcycle Club inducted him as an honorary club member with full rights and privileges.
After returning home to Laredo, he worked for the United States Postal Service and in 1950 began working for the U.S. Customs Border Patrol (later, U.S. Customs) patrolling the banks of the Rio Grande River in a surplus WW II Army Jeep. His service assignments were in Rio Grande, TX, San Ignacio, TX, Falcon Dam, Falcon, TX during the dam’s construction and finally at the Port of Laredo, TX International Bridge until his retirement in 1980 with 30 years of faithful honorable services. Working at the bridge afforded him to meet many famous and infamous people.
In May 2001, Governor Rick Perry signed a new state law authorizing honorary high school diplomas for military veterans of WW II. A graduation ceremony was held for World War II Veterans who were drafted before receiving their high school diplomas. The ceremony was held Friday, November 9, 2001 at 10 a.m. at the Tiger Gym during the Martin-Nixon football game pep rally. Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger!
He is survived by his sister, Ruby Gunnoe Rodriguez; children, Grace Yvonne Gunnoe (Charles) Phillips, Victor D. (Diamantina) Gunnoe III, and Richard B. (Sandra) Gunnoe; grandchildren, Angelica Phillips, Victor D. (Ana) Gunnoe IV, Stephanie Joy Gunnoe (Mohammed) Houchaimi, Joanna Christine Gunnoe (Steven Salas), Delilah Michelle Gunnoe (Clay) Blackburn, Rachel Jane Gunnoe (Michael) Jacaway, Teresa Louise Gunnoe (Jacob) Crowsey, Valerie Sandra Gunnoe, Richard Benton Gunnoe Jr., and Marc Alexander Gunnoe. Mr. Gunnoe is also survived by numerous great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends.
Officiating the religious service will be Deacon Andrew J. Gunnoe, on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Interment will be held Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. from Hillside Funeral Home to the City of Laredo Cemetery.
On behalf of the Gunnoe family, we wish to thank Dr. Jorge Gomez-Vasquez, Dr. Carlos Cigarroa and Doctors Hospital Wound Healing Center for their care.
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.