Former San Benito Commissioner Tony Gonzales dies after lifetime of service

Tony Gonzales

SAN BENITO — Family and friends are mourning the death of former longtime City Commissioner Tony Gonzales, following a lifetime of public service.

Gonzales, who died Monday, will be buried Sept. 6.

Gonzales, who was first elected to the commission in 2009, served through November 2020, when Commissioner Rene Garcia defeated him in a general election.

“He loved San Benito,” Mayor Rick Guerra said Thursday. “As a commissioner, he was not self-serving. He was helping people. That was his goal since I met him. He told me, ‘I’m here for San Benito.’”

During the night, Gonzales would drive around town trying to help residents, Guerra said.

“At night, between 2 and 5, he would be driving the streets of San Benito to see how everything was, so he could help out,” he said. “He was always trying to be available for the people. Anywhere he went, people knew him. He was a veteran, a volunteer firefighter, a policeman, a postman. He knew the people.”


Born Jan. 19, 1945, in San Benito to the late Refugio Gonzales and Agueda Puente Gonzales, Gonzales married his high school sweetheart, Irma, in 1964, having eight children, of whom Guadalupe Castillo, Raquel Resendez and baby sister Agueda Gonzales preceded him in death.

After graduating from San Benito High School in 1964, he joined the Army, serving through 1967.

After his return, he served as a volunteer firefighter with the San Benito Fire Department and a member of the Amigos Del Valle board of directors.

During his career, Gonzales worked as a police officer with the San Benito Police Department and later as a postal clerk with the U.S. Postal Service.


Gonzales leaves behind his wife, Irma D. Gonzales; his children, Cynthia Cavazos (Arturo), José Antonio Gonzales (Norma), and Deborah Lynn Gonzales; his grandchildren, Priscilla J. Cavazos, Lorrinda R. Cavazos, Arturo Cavazos Jr., Makayla D. Cavazos, Kaila M. Coronado, Serena L. Gonzales, José Antonio “Jay” Gonzales, Bianca Gonzales Ramírez, Paloma Gonzales, and José Antonio “Nunito” Gonzales; his great-grandchildren, Emilio Gómez Jr., Andrés C. Gómez, Lauren Morales, Avah Gonzales, Averie Gonzales, Baby Kasen Antonio Gonzales, Blake Gonzales, Cash Gonzales, Brooklyn Gonzales, and Arturito Ramirez; along with siblings, Agueda (Reynaldo) Guajardo, Irma (Cruz) Ramírez, Saul (María) Gonzales, and Esmeralda (Juan) Sánchez; and many other family members and friends.


Gonzales’ family will receive relatives and friends from 3 to 9 p.m. Sept. 5 at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, with a recitation of the Holy Rosary set for 7 p.m. Monday.

Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Sept. 6 at St. Theresa Catholic Church.

Burial, with full military honors, will follow at Mont Meta Memorial Park.