WWII Veteran celebrates 100 years

Local News

Ruben Talamantes was born on July 17, 1918 in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, and was raised in Del Rio, Texas.

“He lived in Del Rio until he came to San Angelo in his early 20s,” Dorothy Valadez, Talamantes’ daughter, says.

When the World War II broke out, he joined the US Navy and was sent out to the Pacific Theater. When the war ended he was in Okinawa, Japan. Now a veteran, he returned home to San Angelo.

“He was a sheep sheerer, he was a barber. He worked with my grandfather in Runnels County there in the cotton gin,” Carol Cruz, Talamantes’ daughter, says.

“He worked a lot when it came to ginning season. He was gone early in the morning and there were times we wouldn’t see him for a couple of days, because he wouldn’t come home,” Elaine Cox, Talamantes’ daughter, says.

His daughters say he liked to spend his free time fishing on the Concho River.

“When they would drop fish in the Concho River right there in the city. He would always go over there and fish,” Cruz says.

Talamantes says of all of the gifts he’s ever received, his favorite one of all will always be his loving wife of 66 years. 

“In their time it was a little unheard of to have mixed races together, but obviously they made it work and it was successful for them,” Cruz says.

Ruben Talamantes also says the secret to living a long life is having the Lord in it.

“What can I say? Be good to the Lord up there, that’s all I can tell you,” Talamantes says.

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