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A family gains closure after a donor helps restore a loved one's memory

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About seven years ago, Manny Perez started tracing his family tree dating back to the 1800’s.

When Perez got to the San Fernando Cemetery #2, he noticed that something was missing. There was not headstone for his Great Aunt Cesarea Hernandez, only a foundation for one. Perez began a month’s long search trying to track down the missing headstone.

"This is my line of family, my bloodline," Perez said.

With no luck, he turned to Problem Solver.

“I had to do something, so the next best thing was to contact you,” Perez said.

Problem Solver started making calls to get him answers. First, we called the Archdiocese, and it verified that a stone had been signed for in the late 1940’s around the time Cesarea passed away. At the time, the Archdiocese told us it couldn’t provide a headstone.

The Problem Solver then began calling to see if we could get a headstone donatedand that’s when the Tips family with Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries stepped in to help.

“We understand what they were going through and wanted to be there to help," said Dick Tips, owner of the Mission Park enterprise.

There was still much work to be done. We had to comb through records to establish the next of kin to ensure we could put a headstone in. We then had to search to find the original birth year of his great aunt. Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries walked us through the process. Once the background work was finished, Mission Park was able to begin crafting a new headstone.

“This is a blessing that there’s still kind people like the Tips that would go out of their way just to give identity to a person who’s been buried for over 50 years," Perez said. "Thank you for being so kind and finding it within yourselves to be able to help somebody like the Hernandez family.”

When the headstone was completed, Manny Perez brought two of Cesarea’s grandchildren to witness its placement. One of them is Julia Carrejo Guerrero, who is now 80, said she had been waiting a long time for this moment.

“It means a lot, a lot because I’ve been concerned [with] her grave not having a headstone,” Guerrero said.

“If it hadn’t been for you and KABB, I would not have been able to get this far. I appreciate ya and I thank ya," Perez said.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio helped facilitate the process for setting up the stone in San Fernando Cemetery #2.

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