Houston Fire Fighter


Back to Main Obit Page


LAWRENCE VANWRIGHT, JR., age 49, entered into eternal rest 8-27-02. Funeral services: Saturday, 8-31-02, 11 A.M. at Paradise Chapel. Rev. L. Anderson, officiating. Interment, Paradise North Cemetery.

Published in Houston Chronicle on August 30, 2002



VIllareal, 71, looked up to as a trailblazer

He was a mentor to Fire Fighters in area for decades

By Moses Mendoza Houston Chronicle

Gilbert Villareal who was known for mentoring young firefighters during his nearly 40 years with the department, died July4th from complications from a brain aneurysm. He was 71. Villareal, who retired from the Houston Fire Department in 2001, was born in 1938 in Dallas, but moved to Houston with his family as a child. He attended Jefferson Davis High School before entering the Marine Corps. Shortly after returning to Houston, he applied to the police and fire departments. The fire department was the first to call, remembered his brother Raymond Faz. Villareal joined up in 1963 and rose quickly up the ranks, soon becoming a captain.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s he was one of he few Hispanics in that position, earning him recognition as a trailblazer.

Loved to put out fires.

Although Villareal could have gone higher, getting promoted meant he no longer would have been involved in the nitty-gritty of fighting fires and responding to calls, Faz said. He decided to stay a captain.“He just liked putting out fires,” Faz said.Outside of work, Villareal served as a role model to young firefighters and a youthful Adrian Garcia, whose family hung out and went fishing with the Villareals. In the firefighter, the current Harris County Sheriff saw someone to look up to and respect.“He talked about the difficult work that he had. All of that always made a impression on me,” Garcia remembered. As the years passed, Villareal had his share of triumps  and tragedy. In the 1970’s, he got in a crash while riding on a rig, sustaining a serious head injuries.

No slacking off

As a department veteran in the 1990’s, Villareal was a mentor to a series of new firefighters. Paul Bivens was the final rookie to learn the ropes from Villareal, Joining up as a fresh-faced 21 year old around 1996, Bivens learned that there is no slacking off when the man sometimes referred to as “Captain V” was on duty.“ He barked, he could be intimidating,” Bivens recalled. “But he just wanted to make sure that you knew your job, that you knew what you were doing.” There were a few key things Bivens learned from Villareal: “Take your job seriously, don’t shortcut anything, you do it right the first time,” Bivens said. “Take care of your crew and your family, be a good employee and be a good firefighter.” Villareal is survived by his wife, Maria D. Villareal, three children, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Services were held Saturday. 

Memorial Service for GILBERT VILLAREAL, 71 Gilbert served 39 1/2 years for the Houston Fire Department, where he was nicknamed "Nails" by his fellow Firefighters of Station # 9. Entered into rest on July 4, 2010. Survived by his wife Maria D. Villareal, proceeded in death by his parents Mr. & Mrs. Antonio Villareal, and daughter Gudalupe Medina. Surviving Children: Gilbert Villareal, Jr., Esther Lopez, husband Gilbert, Albert Villareal and wife Sandra, Maribel Pedraza, and husband Fernando. Brothers, Robert Villareal, wife Mary, Raymond Faz, wife Anna, Jesse Faz, wife Kathy, and sister Jane Faz. Grandchildren: Michael Medina, wife Abby, Stephen, Brandon and Vincent Lopez, Miles Villareal and 4 great grand children, and numerous extended family members.Memorial Services to be held at Santana Funeral Directors, 5352 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77007, on Saturday, July 10, 2010 @ 3:00pm 7:00pm.



 Site Menu



JOHN RILEY VOLLENTINE passed away Friday, July 13, 2007, in a tragic explosion in Northwest Houston. Johnny, as he was known throughout his life, was born July 17, 1948, in Hallettsville, Texas, to John Francis and Nathalie Wenske Vollentine. He was raised in Houston, attended St. Pius X, and graduated from Caldwell High School. In 1969 he joined the Houston Fire Department where he served as a firefighter. In 1970 Johnny served on the first transitional Paramedics Team for the City of Houston. He retired from the HFD in 1999. For the last eight years, he had been employed at High Tech Equipment Company of Houston. Johnny's passion was horses. In his earlier years, he was an accomplished rodeo competitor. This love of horses inspired him to become a racehorse owner and trainer. Over the years, he enjoyed several significant wins. Johnny had a genuine soul - he was literally generous to a fault and always had positive words about everyone he met. He was quick to volunteer help to anyone who asked, no matter the request. Johnny had a true love for the Lord. He attended mass every week. Although he never had any of his own, Johnny adored children. Johnny also enjoyed great food and a spirited game of dominoes. Johnny was preceded in death by his mother. He is survived by his wife Sheryl. He also leaves behind his father; brothers Forrest Vollentine, Guy Vollentine & wife Kay, Bill Vollentine & wife Pam, and Stephen Vollentine; sisters Rebecca Shannon and Laura Hampton & husband Keith; and many nieces, nephews and friends. Johnny's incredible smile and huge heart will be missed. Funeral Services will be held Monday, July 23, 2007, at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, 527 South Houston Avenue, Humble, TX 77338. The Houston Fire Department will conduct a tribute to Johnny at 9:30 a.m. followed by the funeral mass at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials my be made to the church or MediLife, the Fire Fighter's Protection Fund, c/o HFD Public Affairs, 500 Jefferson, Suite 1600, Houston, TX 77002.

Published in Houston Chronicle from July 21 to July 22, 2007



Vaughn, Thomas Harold  ( Born June 14, 1934 )  1960-1990  ( Died November 18, 2008) ) no obit found

Scott's Documents


Rudolph Valentino Valdez Jr. born July 20, 1960 passed away January 14, 2016. He is preceded in death by his father, Rudolph V. Valdez Sr. Rudy will be greatly missed by his wife, Sandra Valdez of Humble TX; daughter, Natalie Valdez and husband Rudy Chavez of Houston TX;
son, Rudolph V Valdez III and wife Cassandra Ybarra of Humble TX;
mother, Adelina Caballero and step-father, Manuel Caballero Sr. of Houston TX; brother, Steven Valdez and wife Myriam Valdez Spring TX; sister, Carol Ibarra and husband Victor Ibarra of Houston TX; step-brothers, Jesse Holt of Houston TX, Manuel Caballero Jr. of Houston TX; step-sister, Sabrina Cervantez of Houston TX; four grandchildren, Jonathan Tristan, Jacob Chavez, Alyssa Chavez, and Jordan Valdez, numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends