LOPEZ, PAULINO GUTIERREZ
LOPEZ, PAULINO GUTIERREZ
Rank / Branch:
PFC E-3, U.S. ARMY
9th INFANTRY DIVISIO
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE-SMALL ARMS F
Awards & Decorations:
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PAULINO GUTIERREZ LOPEZ, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, U.S. ARMY, MIDLAND, MIDLAND COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Paulino was born in Midland, Texas. He was the third of six children born to Simon Q. and Cruz Lopez. He attended DeZavala Elementary School. Prior to entering the 7th grade in 1956, his father died of natural causes. At age 12, Paulino went to work at a neighborhood grocery store. His sister stated there was no welfare in those days and it was up to the family, church and friends to provide assistance. Paulino did his part and his mother was always proud of him. He attended Austin Junior High School and worked after school and on the weekends. His mother married Melquides Palma in 1958 and a daughter Micaela was born to this union in 1959. Paulino then attended Midland High School and graduated in 1962.
Paulino went to work for an interior design company in Midland after high school and the company specialized in draperies. He married Elpidia Quiroz in Midland in 1964. They spent a long time of their married life apart as it took a long time for Paulino to get Elpidia naturalized as an American citizen.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army in October 1966. He went to basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas and AIT at Fort Polk, Louisiana. In April 1967, Paul came home on leave before leaving for Vietnam. His wife was about six months pregnant at the time. He was home about 3 weeks and he then left for Vietnam. His tour began on May 1, 1967. He was assigned to A Company, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. He was killed two months later by a sniper near the Bien Hoa Air Force Base, as he was helping to secure a cross-road. His unit was providing security and infantry support for the air base.
The day Paulino's body arrived in Midland, July 27, 1967, his son Paul Alexander was born. Paulino was buried with full military honors at the Resthaven Cemetery in Midland, Texas. He was survived by his wife Elphidia, his son Paul, his mother Cruz, step-father Melquides Palma, his two brothers, Julian and Johnny, and his sisters Angelina, Mary Helen, Judy and baby sister Micaela.
Paulino's wife remarried, divorced and still lives in Midland. She was a beautician for many years and now is in ill health. Paul Thomas Lopez, his son, works for the Texas Highway Department, lives in Midland, is divorced and is the father of two sons and a daughter. The grandchildren of Paulino are Paul Alexander Lopez, a student at Midland High School and a baseball player on the Midland High Bulldog varsity team; Mathew Thomas Lopez; and a granddaughter Bailey Lopez. His mother at age 82 continues to live in Midland, his step-father, Mel, died in 1996. His brother, Julian, lives in Midland; sister, Angelina Medina lives in Odessa; sister, Mary Helen Reynero lives in Amarillo; brother, Johnny, died July 12, 2003, sister, Judy Ochoa, lives in Midland and sister, Micaela Barrera, lives in Dallas.
The Lopez and Palma family get together often and they always remember their brother Paulino. Micaela, "Mickie" states she was so young when Paulino died, but remembers her brother taking her to kindergarten. The other sisters remember Paul as hard working, a man who loved his family. Paulino had arranged to buy a home for his wife while he had been home on leave prior to going to Vietnam. He had made drapes for that home prior to leaving. His wife moved into the home right after Paulino left. His wife lived in that house and raised her son. She remained there until her illness and she was no longer able to take care of the house.
Resthaven Memorial Garden's Cemetery, Midland, Texas