Pablo L. Reyes of Abilene, Texas, 84 years old, passed away on June 14, 2023 at Hendrick South Hospital surrounded by his wife, children, grandchildren, sister and brother-in-law. Like his life, he never gave up the fight and ultimately passed away peacefully holding hands with his family, showing us how to endure the most difficult situation with grace and dignity.
Pablo or Paul, more commonly known as” Dad”, “Buelo” or “Whago”, was born on February 16, 1939 in Eden, Texas to Polo and Nieves Reyes. Buelo was the sixth of ten children growing up on a farm. Because his father was a farmhand, Buelo and his nine siblings grew up in various farming communities, including Ballinger and Anson. The parents and children worked in various other towns performing seasonal farm labor.
The poverty the family experienced meant they had to work together to survive, creating an unbreakable Christian family bond. Their Catholic faith was and still is strong. Because of his upbringing, the Catholic faith, generosity, hard work, and family were the defining characteristics of his extraordinary life. Since Buelo had to work in the fields as a boy, he only completed the third grade. However, years later, after being married with children, he worked hard and obtained his GED. He was always proud of this accomplishment.
On December 19, 1958, while working on a scaffold in Anson, Texas, he saw a beautiful young woman walk into the post office. He knew he had to meet her, and he did. Ten days later, on December 29, he married the love of his life, Mary Lou. They were married 64 1/2 years when he passed, and she held his hand and said sweet things to him until the end.
After marriage, they lived in Anson, Ballinger, and finally Abilene. They lived in the same house in Abilene for the past 57 years. They had two children, Sam and Micaela. Buelo started work as a farmhand and switched to Gooch Packing when they moved to Abilene. He then became a long haul truckdriver working for Merchant’s Motor Lines. After working for Merchant’s for several years, he started working with the Texas Highway Department and worked there until his retirement. During his early years in Abilene, he also served proudly in the Texas National Guard for 19 years and obtained the rank of Sergeant. But being the hard worker he was, Buelo continued working after retirement. He purchased a welding rig and started building decorative metal fences, carports, buildings, and anything that could be welded, including a batting cage and backstop for his grandsons. As he would fondly say, he could “weld anything from a broken heart to the break of dawn.” Additionally, as most people know, he was probably the best brisket man in town. He loved to barbecue and built a barbecue pit on a tandem trailer with a top that got bigger each year. He loved to barbecue in large quantity to serve many, especially for weddings, family reunions, birthday and graduation parties, and Reyes Law Firm's annual Halloween costume parties. But probably the most enjoyable part to Buelo were his last 18 years working at the family farm in Jones County. He loved spending time on the John Deere tractor working or just riding around. He helped build two earth tanks and always fed his catfish. He loved spending time in the cabin with Buela where they would watch his western shows, eat meals together, sit on the front porch and occasionally take naps. He loved driving around the farm with Buela checking the wheat fields, deer feeders, and water troughs. He loved sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch drinking beer and spending time with his family and friends. But probably his most favorite part was deer hunting with his son and grandchildren for a few months each year. He never said “no” to getting in a deer blind with family.
For over 50 years, Buelo and Buela have been active members of St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church, where they volunteered in numerous capacities to help the church. He helped build the rock garden located behind the church, sold hamburgers at the Cinco de Mayo celebration, was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and built a metal cross for the Easter services.
As everyone knows, Buelo had an enormous sense of humor and loved to banter on the phone. He would give everyone a hard time but he also loved on you unconditionally. His phone calls were short but sweet. It was not unusual to receive a call from him after midnight to see how you were doing. He would always call to check on his family and friends. He never met a stranger and made each person feel special. He made friends everywhere he went. He was a good listener. He was kind, sweet and always willing to help anyone. He would always put his children and grandchildren first before him. He was a faithful and loyal granddad. He happily went to all the dance recitals, volleyball games, football games, soccer games, basketball games, and baseball games. He never missed any games, in or out of town. He loved his breakfast burritos. He loved coming to Sam’s law office to drink coffee, eat fig newtons, and talk with Sam, his kids, and the staff. He was not real excited about watching sports on tv but he would watch the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers for Buela, because she loves these two teams. And he loved his wife with all his heart and might. They were always together and if you saw one you saw the other. We called him Miss Daisy sometimes because he would drive her around town while she ran errands. She would go into the stores and he would wait outside in their car. During these last few months in the hospital he always wanted her by his side. We think he was scared without her and she made him feel better. Quite a marriage for only dating 10 days.
Buelo was preceded in death by his parents, grandson Ross Ramirez, brother Cleo Reyes, sisters Lydia Garcia, Elida Lozano, Amelia Rodriguez, Lupe Garcia, Maria Escobar, Beatrice DelaGarza, and several nephews and nieces. He missed each of them dearly and spoke of them often.
He is survived by his beautiful wife Mary Lou of Abilene, his son, Sam Reyes and wife Melanie of Abilene, daughter Micki Ramirez of Shawnee, Oklahoma, grandchildren Chloe Garces and husband Tanner, Spencer Reyes and wife Maci, Grant Reyes, Oscar Ramirez and wife Amy, Irma Ramirez, Moses Ramirez, Neal Ramirez and wife Ada, and Naomi Ramirez, his brother John Reyes and wife Otelia, and sister Carolina Anaya and husband Ramon. He is also survived by numerous great-grandchildren, nephews, and nieces.
Pallbearers will be Spencer Reyes, Grant Reyes, Tanner Garces, Oscar Ramirez, Moses Ramirez, and Neal Ramirez.
Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 pm followed by a Rosary service on Sunday, June 18, in the chapel at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.
Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am on Monday, June 19, at St. Vincent Catholic Church with Father Adam Droll officiating. Burial will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home.
The family of Pablo Reyes wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Doctors Victor Hudman, Sandip Mathur, Ibrahim Fakhoury and all the wonderful nurses and staff at Hendrick Hospital South and Hendrick Hospital North for their awesome treatment, love, and compassion for our Buelo, especially these last three months.