Raul “Chief” Armendariz Molinar

Raul “Chief” Armendariz Molinar peacefully went into the arms of the Lord in the early hours on Dec. 9, 2020, in San Angelo, Texas. He was born on April 02, 1935, in Alpine, Texas, to Vicente and Candelaria Molinar.

Raul worked for the Pecos Proving Grounds as a truck driver for 10 years. He then worked for the Rio Pecos Anheuser-Busch Company as a truck driver, where he worked for 15 years. During his tenure there, he became their top salesman. In 1985 Raul opened his own businesses, Raul Easy Stop Beverage Store and Circle “M” Bar. Many memories and friendships were made there.

During this time, Raul began raising sheep and cows, and he would travel to sales and buy at Producer’s Livestock in San Angelo and Midland County Livestock in Midland, Texas. When he retired in 2010, he continued his hobby of raising sheep, cows, pigs, and horses at his ranchito. He loved his horses, especially riding them. Raul was a true “Real Cowboy” at heart.

Raul was an outstanding all-star athlete during his high school years at Alpine High School. In his sophomore year, Coach Pete Bromley gave Raul the nickname “Big Chief” because he thought Raul was an Indian as he resembled an Indian chief because of his height, stature, and classical Roman nose. The nickname was fitting, and anyone who knew Raul would call him Chief. His athleticism was passed down to his children and grandchildren.

When Raul graduated from Alpine High School in 1954, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and served proudly for a couple of years. He was sent to Korea where war tensions were still high, hostilities having ended less than one year before. He returned home in 1956, and attended Sul Ross State University. Raul was the first Mexican-American from Alpine to play on the Sul Ross football team. Like many Latinos of his generation, he not only lived in history-making times, but also contributed in many ways to changes that in his lifetime benefitted all of us.

In 1957, he married the love of his life, Delma Hernandez Molinar, and moved to Pecos, Texas, where they settled and raised their family. They were married 63 years, and had three children, Monette H. Molinar, Mike Molinar, and Rene Raul Molinar. He adored his children, and was very proud of all their accomplishments.

Raul will always be remembered as a strong, athletic, adventurous, and loving family man who enjoyed new projects and the outdoors. He would work his ranchito, and loved caring for his animals (cows, horses, pigs, just to name a few). Raul was also an avid golfer who played every chance he got until this past year. He loved the opportunity to play golf with his son Rene, they were a great team in any golf activity. If you couldn’t find him at his ranchito then you would definitely find him at the greens.

The legacy he left his family by example was faith, a high sense of ethics, and common sense to do the best you can do, whether in your work or how you treat others. He lived by his own rules, “The Molinar Rules.”  

Raul was preceded in death by his parents, Vicente and Candelaria Molinar, his brother Ramon Molinar, his sister Amparo Gallego, his brother Victoriano Molinar, his brother Jose Molinar, his daughter-in-law Natalia “Neddie” Molinar, and his son-in-law Frank E. Hernandez.

Raul is survived by his wife of 63 years, Delma Hernandez Molinar; his children Monette H. Molinar of San Angelo, Mike Molinar of Pecos, and Rene Raul Molinar (Belinda) of Odessa, Texas; grandchildren LaCrisha Ann Molinar, Dee Molinar Marquez (Adrian), Brittany Molinar (Kajuan), and Quincy Raul Molinar (Bianca); and great grandchildren Lane Colt Zapien, Zavien Marquez, Amaris Marquez, Bailey Stanley, Aubrey Molinar, and Ian Rene Molinar; sisters Alicia Portillo of El Paso, Texas, and Elva Espinosa of Odessa; brother Joe Molinar of San Antonio, Texas; and his beloved dog Buddy.

Pallbears will be Quincy Raul Molinar, grandson; Lane Colt Zapien, great grandson; Little Joe Molinar, nephew; Ruben Losoya, cousin; Freddy Gallego, nephew; Daniel Hernandez, nephew; Jesse Martinez; and Adrian Marquez, grandson-in-law.

A viewing was held Dec. 13, 2020, at Pecos Funeral Home. The rosary will be Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 406 South Sixth Street in Alpine, with a Mass following at 11 a.m. with Father Paul Matta officiating. Interment will follow at the Holy Angels Cemetery, Old Cemetery Road in Alpine 79830.