Miguel “Mike” Fernandez Jr., beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, mentor, and friend, entered into his eternal rest on Friday, October 2nd, 2020. He was born to Maria Botello Fernandez and Miguel Fernandez in Laredo, Texas on March 24, 1938. His parents preceded him in death as did his brother, Jose Alberto Fernandez and his loving son, Marcus Fernandez.
Mike was a product of the Laredo School System. He attended St. Joseph’s Academy and graduated from Martin High School in 1957. While a student, he was a proud member of the Mighty Tigers football team. Sports and competition became great passions in his life and he loved to spend Sundays and Thanksgivings watching his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys.
After high school, Mike began his business career as a salesman, and then as an assistant manager working for Joe Brand inc. at Hachar’s Men’s Department Store. Mike continued his studies attending Laredo Junior College at night and obtained an Associate Degree in Marketing in May of 1965. While working at Hachar’s, he met his future wife Hope Cuellar. They fell in love and were married on July 13th, 1966. Together they shared a union of 54 years of beautiful marriage and a great family fathering three sons: Mike III, Max, and Marcus.
Mike was the greatest of storytellers and found his true calling in sales. There was no sale that he could not close and his drive and determination earned him the role of Manager at Joe Brand’s Portofino’s Men’s Wear in downtown Laredo on Convent Street. Mike became a fixture of the downtown sales district in its heyday, and flourished for almost 40 years, surviving the peso devaluations while selling business suits and tuxedos to countless generations of Laredoans. When Portofino finally closed its doors, he continued his craft at Joe Brand at Mall del Norte until his retirement. Always a loyal employee and top salesman, he proudly worked with the Brand and Deutsch families for 54 years.
An extremely adventurous and passionate individual, Mike found time to enjoy many sports and activities that brought him much joy. He loved the discipline of karate and enjoyed its study and challenge for many years. He learned how to skydive, which he eventually mastered and even became an instructor. He traveled around Texas and Mexico competing and displaying his talents in skydiving exhibitions. For many years, you could find him on Sunday afternoons jumping from planes with his friends in the Laredo Skydiving Club, an organization he founded, or riding around the city on his motorcycle.
Hunting and the outdoors soon became his biggest passions. He traveled the world going to Alaska, Africa, Canada, and various parts of the U.S. collecting hunting trophies, pictures, coins, stamps, scrapbooks, and other items that documented his travels. Mike loved to learn about different cultures and countries making many great friends during his trips.
A great firearms advocate he also organized “The Laredo Model 27 Pistol Club” where he and his friends held shooting competitions at his ranch “El Capricho”. Mike was an excellent marksman and loved being challenged in competition. He was also a member of the Jaycees and LULAC, was a Grand Knight with the Knights of Columbus, and participated in The Laredo Archeology Club as well as the local Genealogy Historical Society.
Despite his active lifestyle, Mike always found time to spend with his family, siblings, relatives, and friends. He extensively traveled with his wife, Hope, touring Europe, Mexico,and areas around the United States. He loved history and was a great raconteur and could talk for hours about all of his adventures. Many knew him as “El Cazador” (The Hunter).
Alongside their mother, the boys enjoyed participating in activities linked to the Cub Scouts, Webelos, and the Boy Scouts. All of his sons achieved the rank of Eagle Scout while he maintained the role of Scout Master. He was also the leader of the 4-H Rifle Team. He taught his sons and many young Laredoans the correct use of firearms and the merit of competitive shooting.
Mike was honored with many awards in Scouting and 4-H for his dedication to youth. He received the Roland Post Award for “Most Outstanding Scouter” as leader of Pack 438 and was later awarded the Distinguished “Silver Beaver Award” in 1989 for outstanding work with Troop 76. The 4-H also honored him with the Aztec District Merit Award for his services. Mike also served his country as a member of the Army National Guard and was honorably discharged in April of 1963.
He loved his entire family, especially his four grandsons and treasured every moment he spent with them. His greatest gift was that he was able to share his passions with all those around him. His love for hunting, firearms, the outdoors, and scouting are ingrained in the lives of countless men and women who grew up in Retama, Hillside, and Del Mar in the 1970’s and 80’s under his tutelage. In all, Mike took advantage of every opportunity life presented him and lived life to the fullest.
Mike is survived by his beloved wife, Hope, his sons Mike and Max, and his grandsons Mike IV, Marcus, Moses, and Matteo. He is also survived by his siblings, Hector (Velma) Fernandez, Maria Dolores (Jose) Trevino, and Veronica (Joe) Ramirez; as well as his sister and brother-in-laws, Hector & Fay Elizondo, and Ted & Sylvia Cuellar. He is further survived by numerous other relatives and friends that will love and miss him dearly.
The family will be receiving condolences on Friday evening, October 9th, 2020 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Joe Jackson North Funeral Chapels & Cremation Services, 1410 Jacaman Rd.; where a Vigil for the Deceased and Rosary will commence at 7 p.m.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday morning, October 10th, 2020 departing at 9:30 a.m. from Joe Jackson North Funeral Chapels to St. John Neumann Catholic Church for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m.
Rite of Committal and Interment will follow at the family plot of the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be: Mike Fernandez IV, Marcus Fernandez II, Moses Fernandez, Matteo Fernandez, Joseph Ramirez, Hector Elizondo, Cidaldo Trevino, and Antonio Salinas.
Honorary Pallbearers will be: Jose G. Trevino, Hector Fernandez, Veronica Ramirez, Carlos Trevino and Jose Fernandez.
The Fernandez Family would like to express their sincerest appreciation to: Dr. Idelfonso Flores, Dr. Adolfo Garcia, Dr. Selena Stuart, Dr. Dagoberto Gonzalez, Virginia Goldsmith, Jorge Leal, the Non-Covid Nurses at the ICU of the Laredo Medical Center who provided excellent care as well as to all those friends and relatives who showed their support through prayer.
You may express your condolences, share your favorite memories, and sign the guestbook online at: www.joejacksonfuneralchapels.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care and direction of the funeral service professionals at Joe Jackson North Funeral Chapels & Cremation Services, 1410 Jacaman Rd., Laredo, Texas 78041; (956)722-8850.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Miguel Fernandez, please visit our floral store.