Jun 8th 1930 - Jun 20th 2012
Always whistling a happy tune, Antonio Puente was a cheerful man whose life centered around his faith, family, and hard work. He above all felt extremely blessed for those in his life and the life he attained during the 82 years he walked on God's earth. A dear man to many, he will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
Antonio's story began in the city of Matehuala, in the state of San Luis Potosi of Mexico. He was one of eight children born to Eusebio and Maria (Coronado) Puente on June 8, 1930, and was a welcome addition to their growing family. His father had a cattle farm, and his mother was a dedicated homemaker for her husband and children. Antonio grew up alongside his seven brothers and sisters, Lupe, Pablo, Augustin, Adelita, Goja, Juana, and Victoria. They each helped with household duties and the many chores associated with having a farm. In fact, because Antonio was so busy working on the farm, he never had the opportunity to attend school or receive a formal education.
Times were difficult in Mexico during Antonio's early years. With decades-long domination from the government and political parties, years prior had seen much economic upheaval and loss of life in the thousands. It was a blessing in the mid 1930s when the people of Mexico began to experience the benefits of much needed land, political, and social reforms. Amidst these days of struggle, the hardships of the Great Depression cast as shadow upon nearly every nation.
Yet nestled in the Salado Valley in northeastern Mexico, Antonio continued to work alongside his family on the farm. Since the age of eight years old, he diligently worked as the shepherd of the family sheep, a tremendous responsibility for a young boy his age. He learned a valuable work ethic, and carried it with him his whole life through.
In the 1940s, Antonio traveled to the U.S. and began working on a farm in Texas. As fate would have it, it was there where he met the young woman who stole his heart. Ramona Torres was a pretty girl who captured Antonio's attention immediately. They courted for several years until together returning to Mexico where they happily exchanged vows of marriage on September 23, 1950.
Blessed with the eventual births of nine children, Antonio and Ramona welcomed Evangelina, Antonio Jr., Amalia, Sylvia, Joel, Gilberto, Graciela, Irene, and Susanna into their hearts. Throughout his children's lives, Antonio prayed his children would have the means and desire for an education. He was a well respected father in his home and worked very hard and diligently to provide for the family he loved so deeply. With strong ancestral ties, he was proud of his ancestry and for being an excellent provider. When blessed with the love of 27 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, Antonio was clearly in his element, loving them equally.
Already a very happy man, it was wonderful to enjoy Antonio's company. He clearly loved Mexican food, especially when his wife made it for him. Tending to his garden at home brought Antonio peace and contentment. He grew a lot of garlic, which he loved, and they used it in most all of their delicious recipes. In general, he simply enjoyed being outdoors.
When Antonio's beloved Ramona passed away in 1995, he understandably took it quite hard, but with the love and support from family and friends, he saw it through. He often visited family and friends, and had many friends as he faithfully attended his church home at the Fountain of Truth Apostolic Tabernacle. When it came to favorite music genres, he preferred music of faith, especially hymns.
Antonio's story is one of faith and the love of family. He worked hard his entire life to provide a good home for the family he adored. Ever faithful, he was wise and looked up to as the patriarch of his family. Throughout the years of his life, he attempted to be all he was called to be so long ago. He especially looked to the Psalms and Proverbs for which he often recited. In the days ahead, when a whistling tune captures your attention, smile and think of Antonio. Dearly loved and deeply respected, the memory of Antonio Puente will remain close in heart always.
At the age of 82, Antonio Puente, of Plainwell, passed away Wednesday, June 20, 2012. He is survived by his eight children: Evangelina (Babriano) Jimenez, Antonio (Ada) Puente Jr.,Amalia (Dan) Boulter, Joel (Lee) Puente, Gilbert (Cindy) Puente, Graciela (Ismael) Salas, Irene Puente, Susie (Jesus) Morin. He is also survived by 27 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; a brother: Augustin Puente, and a sister, Victoria Trevino. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ramona in 1995; a daughter, Sylvia Whittaker in 1981; two grandchildren: Larry Whittaker Jr. and Tristen Puente; two brothers, Pablo and Lupe; and three sisters: Adelita, Goja, and Juana.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, June 24, 2012 from 4-7 PM at the Life Story Funeral Home, 120 S. Woodhams, Plainwell (269-685-5881). The funeral service will be held at the Fountain of Truth Apostolic Tabernacle, 6116 Marsh Road on Monday, June 25, 2012, 11:00 AM. Burial at Oak Hill Cemetery in Orangeville. Please visit Antonio’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign his memory book online and share a favorite memory with his family. For those who wish, memorial contributions to the Fountain of Truth Apostolic Tabernacle.