Ofelia Arriola Torres Molinar, 86, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her loving family on March 8, 2021.
Ofelia was bon in Comanche/Apache Indian territory in Lawton, Okla., on July 17, 1934. Her parents were Erasmo Natera Torres, Sr., and Juanita “Juana” Arriola Torres. At the time of her birth, Native Americans did not have birth certificates. It took many years and several documents to prove her birth. In 1974, Ofelia was finally issued a birth certificate by the state of Oklahoma. Erasmo Natera Torres, Sr., spoke Iroquoian, the true Cherokee language, fluently and taught it to his children. Iroquois was spoken amongst themselves.
When Ofelia was a toddler, her parents Erasmo and Juanita Torres, sister Aida Torres Flores, brothers Horacio and Carlos Torres, and grandparents Abran and Apolonia Natera Torres migrated to Chihuahua, Mexico, traversing the harsh, high desert terrain of West Texas. The family lived in Chihuahua for several years, learning the Spanish language and Mexican culture.
Gold was discovered in Cherokee land. Between 1836 and 1839, Cherokee Indians were forced to relocate to new Indian territory in present day Oklahoma. This migration is referred to as the Trail of Tears. The Natera/Torres settled in Comanche/Apache Lawton, Okla. During the oil boom, the rich petrol was discovered on their land. The Bureau of Indians Affairs restructured and reduced the reservation’s territory. Claims to land became scarce. Deculturalization of Native Americans proceeded. Native Americans were forced to unlearn their culture (considered savage) or be put to death.
The family moved to Mexico to escape the arrest and imprisonment of the U.S. Army, pushing Native Americans into smaller U.S. reservations at Fort Sill, Okla.
In Mexico, the Torres family developed the Latin culture, and were taught not to forget their native tongue, but never speak it in public for fear of being sent back to the reservation in Oklahoma.
Ofelia’s paternal grandparents, Abran and Apolonia, remained in Chihuahua as the rest of the family returned to the U.S. They settled in Alpine, Texas, where Ofelia’s maternal grandparents, Geraldo and Antonia Fierro Arriola, had established residence. Geraldo worked in the silver mines in Shafter, dying at a young age.
Ofelia graduated from Centennial Elementary School in Alpine, Alpine High School, and Sul Ross State University with a certificate in upholstery. Ofelia had a passion for sports, participating in volleyball, basketball, softball. Ofelia worked as a hostess at First National Bank of Alpine under Dick and Teadye Rogers for several years before working at the Texas Department of Health.
Ofelia married Andres “Andy” Ramirez Molinar, Jr., on Oct. 12, 1952. Together they had six children, Rodolfo “Rudy” Geraldo, Rosalinda, Yolanda, Nora, Estella, and Andy Joe III. Ofelia was a faithful Catholic. She enjoyed attending mass, worshipping her Lord Jesus Christ.
She loved to travel and see the vast landscape of the native country. She never reached her dream of traveling on a cruise ship, but sailed on a riverboat. For Ofelia, this was not the same. She loved playing gin rummy and really loved bingo. She enjoyed going to the casinos in California, New Mexico, and Las Vegas, Nev. She cherished taking a cruise around town.
Ofelia had a very wonderful and gifted life. She was always full of happiness, laughter, love, and hope. She always put others first, her heart as big as the universe. Ofelia was full of love. She loved her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren, all of whom loved her dearly in return. All will meet her dearly.
Ofelia was preceded in death by both her grandparents, Abran Torres and Apolonia Natera Torres, and Geraldo Arriola and Antonia Fierro Arriola; one uncle, Alexandro Fierro Arriola; her parents Erasmo Natera Torres, Sr., and Juanita “Juana” Fierro Arriola Torres; her husband Andres Ramirez Molinar, Jr.; in-laws Andres Galindo Molinar, Sr., and Manuela Ramirez Rodriguez Molinar; her two sons, Rodolfo “Rudy” Geraldo Torres Molinar and Andy Joe Torres Molinar; one granddaughter, Sara Jennifer Molinar; one great granddaughter, Laveigh Molinar Pena; two brothers, Horacio Torres and Carlos Torres; and one sister, Margarita Torres Valenzuela.
Surviving are four daughters, Rosalinda Molinar Jordan, Yolanda Molinar, Nora Molinar Martinez, and Estella Molinar. All live in Alpine.
Also 17 grandchildren, David Eric De La Vega Molinar from Fort Davis, Texas, Samantha Raquel Molinar George and husband Andre George from Sorrento, Fla., Kathie “Kat” Quintana Hambleton and husband Damien Hambleton from Rio Rancho, N.M., Gilbert Molinar Mesa from Fort Stockton, Texas, Abigail De La O from Alpine, Crystal Bentley from Fort Stockton, Casey Marcee From San Antonio, Texas, Ruben Molinar from Alpine, Elsa Molinar Young and husband Rick Young from Midland, Texas, Israel Molinar Martinez and wife Kisha Martinez from Killeen, Texas, both serving in the military, Chale Molinar Martinez from Alpine, disabled military, Renata “Roni” Sanders and husband Steve Galindo from Alpine, Emery Jacklyn Sanders Morales and husband David Morales from Alpine, Charles Jacob Sanders and wife Patricia Flores Sanders from Alpine, Sophia Lorraine Molinar and husband Gregory Santillan from Odessa Texas, Sandra Yvette Molinar from Midland, and Andrew Joshua Carrillo Molinar and wife Stephanie Molinar from Odessa; five stepbrothers and sisters, Richard “Ricardo” Torres from Albuquerque, N.M., Erasmo Torres, Jr., from California, John Torres from Nebraska, Lupe Torres Diaz from Pecos, Texas, and Patricia Torres Burgos from Georgia; one biological sister, Aida Torres Flores living in Crane, Texas; second husband Elias Escovedo from Fort Davis; 40 great grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren.
Arrangements were made by Joe Greer Denham III, Funeral Director of Alpine Memorial Funeral Home in Alpine, and flower arrangements by Double K Flowers and Gifts in Alpine. Rosary and graveside celebration were held at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Alpine with Father Joe Raj and Father Pablo Matta presiding. Graveside services were held at Holy Angels Cemetery in Alpine on March 13, 2021.
Thanks to the Alpine Police Department for helping control traffic. Special thanks to Travis and Kaala Peters from Jacksonville, Fla., for the beautiful laminated memorial cards they printed. Thanks to Dr. David Sanchez, MD, for taking care and attending to Ofelia for all those years and up to the last minute. Thanks to Rick Ruiz for the beautiful voice and songs.
Thank you all for your prayers, concerns, help, condolences, and for everything. God’s blessings to everyone involved. Hopefully, no one was forgotten. If so, please know that the family is incredibly grateful and appreciative. You are all in our prayers.
A very special thank you to our sister Estella Molinar for taking exceptional and outstanding care of our mother, Ofelia Torres Molinar. They were together 10 years. Estella was there for mother up to the end. God bless Estella for a job well done.
This is written by Ofelia’s oldest daughter, Rosalinda Torres Molinar Jordan. To the best of my knowledge, this is what I have heard mentioned to me as I grew up and by several family members. There are always many things forgotten and remembered later, but for now I am happy with what is written. I know each and every one of us has their own story to tell, but this one is mine. Please feel free to write your own. Each and every family member and friends are more than welcome to write and tell their story or comments. All of us have a beautiful, special story to tell. May God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit bless us all.