BROWNSVILLE, TX. – Hortensia “Tencha” C. Tijerina, beloved daughter, sister, aunt and friend, died peacefully surrounded by family on June 5, 2020 in Kingwood, Texas, where she had been residing for the last year.
Tencha was born in Brownville, Texas, the youngest daughter of Jose Maria Cisneros and Margarita Hinojosa Cisneros. She was the last surviving child of Mr. and Mrs. Cisneros.
In 1955, Tencha married her high school sweetheart, Raul Tijerina, Jr. After marriage, they moved to Germany where Raul served in the U.S. military, and then moved to San Antonio, Texas, for Raul’s enrollment at St. Mary’s University. They returned to Brownsville where they remained for the rest of their married life. Together, they owned and operated the “Rocking R Ranch” in Hidalgo County and various other business enterprises across the Rio Grande Valley including the retail stores Santi’s Fashions and Border Britches. Tencha was a passionate supporter of youth and education programs, particularly those at Villa Maria High School, St. Joseph Academy, Incarnate Word Academy, and Guadalupe Regional Middle School. She also served as a founding board member of the Children’s Museum of Brownsville.
Following her husband’s death in 2000, Tencha embarked on her most ambitious and lasting endeavor. Fulfilling her husband’s long-held dream, she directed the creation of the Raul Tijerina, Jr. Foundation, a private non-profit dedicated to the advancement of the literacy, health, prosperity and pride of the people in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy Counties. She served as president and board chair of the Foundation for its first 10 years until her retirement. Since its inception, the Foundation has funded approximately two thousand scholarships and grants across the Valley, and it will continue to carry Tencha’s and Raul’s vision and legacy forward long after their passing.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Raul Tijerina, Jr.; her parents, Jose M. and Margarita H. Cisneros; and by her brothers and sisters, Edmundo E. Cisneros, Emma C. Fangmann, Oscar P. Cisneros, Benilde C. Salazar, Margarita C. Montalvo, and Jose M. Cisneros.
Left to cherish her memory are numerous nieces, nephews, extended family members, and a circle of very special life-long friends.
Tencha will be laid to rest beside her husband in Brownsville. At the request of the family, services will be private.
In lieu of floral arrangements and customary remembrances, the family suggests donations in Tencha’s memory to the Children’s Museum of Brownsville, 501 E. Ringgold Street, Brownsville, Texas 78520, (956) 548-9300, www.cmofbrownsville.org.
Memories of Mrs. Tijerina may be shared at www.darlingmouser.com.
Personalized funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Darling-Mouser Funeral Home at 945 Palm Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas 78520, (956) 546-7111.
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