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Saturnino Cantu Rios Jr.

October 12, 1945 ~ June 4, 2022 (age 76)

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On October 12, 1945, Saturnino Cantu Sr., and Guadalupe Rios welcomed Saturnino Cantu Rios Jr. into the world in Matamoros, Mexico and went home to his Lord Jesus Christ on Saturday June 4, 2022, at Memorial Hermann NE Hospital in Humble, TX.


Saturnino was born in a loving family, he was the youngest of 4 children. As a child, he was raised by his parents and lived in Rio Rico, Tamaulipas up until his mid 20’s when Saturnino moved to Houston to look for work.


In 1969, Saturnino met JoAnn Gonzales in Houston, TX.  Saturnino and JoAnn fell in love and married soon after in 1971 at Kinwood Baptist in Houston.


At a very young age Saturnino learned the value of hard work.  For the next twenty plus years, he worked very hard to provide for his growing family and even build their first home with his bare hands.


Their first and only son, Saturnino “Ninito” G. Cantu III, was born in 1975 in Houston, TX.  In 1979 while pregnant with Elizabeth, the Cantu Family moved to Weslaco and two years later, they welcomed Brenda into the world.  The family of five was complete. 


At the age of six, Nino developed Hurlers Syndrome.  Saturnino and JoAnn both kept their Catholic faith in the Lord and were blessed with several more years with their son.  At the very young age of seventeen, Nino entered heaven’s pearly gates on August 2, 1992.  


With Saturnino’s early retirement, two of his favorite pastimes were spent time outdoors fishing and hunting.  The love of his life with fishing, which were spent at Arroyo City and Port Arthur.  Fishing was a meaningful bonding time with Elizabeth, who went with her father any chance she could.  They fished most of their lives without realizing it’s not the fish they were after but just the simple pleasure of Vienna sausages in the rain or shine, humid sunny weather, and plenty of fish-catching.  The bond Elizabeth and her daddy shared as a father and daughter will forever remain with Elizabeth.

As soon as Ninito III was old enough to go hunting with his father. he was the first to get in the truck. Even though Ninito was so small and fragile he was tough as nails and enjoyed every hunting trip with his father. One trip in particular Saturnino was showing his son Ninito how to shoot a rifle through a scope and it retracted back hitting his son right in the eye leaving him to get a black eye.  However as tough as Ninito was he never cried and was very proud of his black eye and he asked for his dad to take pictures.  It was the talk of the week probably longer.


When Brenda was born, she was so tiny that she would fit in a shoe box.  One fateful day, as the winds were picking up heavily, her father and the rest of the family took a trip to the
South Padre Pier.  Brenda, being skin and bones at the age of five, was blown away by the wind and was thrown into the deep water from the pier.  As any protective father would, he
rushed and pushed through every single person to rescue her.  To this day, Brenda will always remember her dad as her hero.


He was passionate about his expensive customized rifles collection.  Saturnino would travel over six hours to hunt at his favorite hunting place, a ranch in San Isidro, TX.  One rifle in particular he would take on his hunting trips was a 30-30 Winchester Rifle.  He treasured the customized gun that he left his prized possession to his son-in-law, Roy Ortiz, to be the new owner.

Saturnino also owned a truck who he loved riding and took a lot of pride working on and even had a name for it called “La Chaparra”. La chaparra was his truck in which he went fishing in and loved that truck so much and created a lot of wonderful memories with his son-in-law Juan. This truck is who he entrusted to his son-in-law, Juan Prado “Chaparito”. 


Saturnino would often speak of starting a food truck business with his Son-in-law’s Juan and Roy.  He would often tell his family to get the food truck ready, because he was ready to get out of the nursing home and start working.  


JoAnn kept in touch with Saturnino throughout his life and made sure he was well taken care of. She would even help her daughters celebrate all his upcoming birthdays, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas’s, and any other holiday at the nursing home.   


Saturnio is preceded in death by his parents, Saturnino Sr. and Guadalupe Cantu, his son Saturnino “Ninito” Cantu III, and his siblings Francisco Cantu, Agapito Cantu, Agustina De Los Santos, and Alfredo Cantu.


He is survived by the mother of his children, JoAnn Gonzales Cantu, his two daughters Elizabeth Cantu (Juan) and Brenda Ortiz (Roy), grandchildren; Kristopher Michael, Jesus Rene, Mario Mattix, Erin Jade, RJ, and Brandon Sevi.  Saturnino was a great-grandpa to first born Thomas Adrian and future baby boy Ortiz, who he couldn’t wait to meet. He is also survived by his brother Juan Cantu.


We will forever cherish our memories and be grateful to have had so much time with our father knowing he is smiling down on all of us today.


Visitation will be held on Friday, June 10th, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at East Haven Funeral Home in South Houston, TX.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


June 10, 2022

11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
East Haven Funeral Home
716 College Avenue
South Houston, TX 77587

June 10, 2022

6:00 PM
East Haven Funeral Home Chapel
716 College Ave.
South Houston, Texas 77587

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