Santos ‘Shorty’ Gonzales
Santos ‘Shorty’ Gonzales was born May 21, 1938, in Hidalgo County, Mercedes, the youngest child of Federico and Nieves (Pena) Gonzales. On Feb. 1,1958, Santos married Ernestina De Anda in Rockdale.
Santos and Ernestina built their lives in Rockdale raising their children within the community working for Rockdale ISD and later continuing to serve as small business owners before their retirement.
Santos was well respected for his long service to the community of Rockdale and continued to reside within the community until his death. ‘Shorty’ adored all things outdoors, devoting many hours to savoring the quiet of hunting, fishing, and ranching with his children, grandchildren, and extended family and friends. Santos devoted the last years of his life to ranching the Sandy Creek Ranch and 4V Ranch.
Santos passed away quietly in his home on July 6, 2021, at the age of 83 surrounded by his large and loving family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Federico and Nieves Gonzales; his wife, Ernestina Gonzales; sister, Maria Morales; and brother, Nico Gonzalez; sister-in-law, Aurora Gwen Gonzalez; nephews, Louis and Richard Gonzales; and son-in-law, Lyle Dietrich.
Santos is survived by his two sons, Santos Gonzales Jr. and wife Maria of Rockdale, and Enriquez Montelongo and wife Dori of Jacksonville, Fla.; four daughters, Jo Ann Dietrich of Rockdale, Rose Owens and husband Bradley of Rockdale, Linda Vogelsang and husband Ernest of Tanglewood, and Betty Gonzales and wife Janarra of Rockdale; and special niece, Lisa Cooper and husband Tommy.
Santos is also survived by his many grandchildren, Nieves Woodward and her husband James of Conroe, Michael Owens of Rockdale, Justin Gonzales and his wife Esperanza of Rockdale, Sonora Vogelsang and Colton Robertson of Tanglewood, Lindsay Wolridge and husband Andrew of Kingwood, and Remington Bell of Rockdale. Santos was also blessed with several great-grandchildren, James Andrew Woodward, Madison Marie Gonzales and Aryanna Alonso, Bentley Castillo, and Dean Frank Robertson.
A small private graveside service was held Friday, July 9, 2021, to honor Santo’s life and memory before his interment at St. Joseph Cemetery in Rockdale. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that Santos be remembered for his love of the outdoors and devotion to family and friends.