Epifanio Moreno, Jr. entered the presence of the Lord on Friday, February 19, 2021, in Baytown.
Epifanio, known as “Junior” to his family and “Mike” to his friends, was born January 26, 1947 to Epifanio, Sr. and Benita Canales Moreno in Beeville, Texas. He spent his childhood in Corpus Christi. As a child, he and his ten siblings were always causing some sort of chaos for their mama. He attended Zavala Elementary and Cunningham Junior High. He worked in the cotton fields as a child and later worked with his sisters in their beauty shop.
At sixteen, he enlisted in the United States Army, eventually serving in the Vietnam War from 1966 to 1967. His mama prayed for him every day until he returned just in time for Mother’s Day in 1967. After his service, he remained a resident of Corpus Christi until he moved to Houston to work as a carpenter. Soon after moving to Houston, Epifanio worked at Church’s Chicken, eventually becoming the manager. Beginning in the 1970’s, Epifanio started working at the United States Post Office. There he met a lifelong friend in Mark Zornes with whom he started the tradition of going camping on the river yearly. Anyone that knows Epifanio knows that camping was something he enjoyed dearly and shared with his family until the last few years. After working for the U.S. Postal Service for four years, Epifanio became a chemical plant operator at Diamond Shamrock. There, he met his wife Martha in 1995 when she came to work at the same plant. He worked hard and with integrity, and eventually became head operator. He worked for 28 years as an operator before retiring from OxyVinyl in 2006. He has resided in Baytown for the past 13 years.
After meeting Martha, they quickly fell in love and married in 1996. It all began with a trip to a Louisiana casino with friends. The next day Mike couldn’t help but reach out and ask Martha on a date the next day – through their work emails. He became so embarrassed that he asked her out through email that he said someone else had sent the email. Later that night, Mike confessed that he had sent the email and called Martha to ask her out officially. He took Martha and her son Jacob out to dinner and a movie. It was Mike and Martha from then on. They then had daughters Kristen in 1997 and Journey in 1999. Mike often told others that Martha was the strongest woman he knew, and she had to be to last 24 wonderful years with him.
The Lord gave Junior extra time on this Earth through the providence of great care from the doctors and nurses at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Hospital. The Lord worked in him throughout his life, but especially through this season. During the last few years, his faith deepened and he prayed continuously. He did not waste a second of the time he was given, using it to encourage many family members and friends daily with words of encouragement from the Lord. He always took the time to make others feel known and loved.
Mike enjoyed cooking, fishing, and hunting whenever he got the chance. Around the house, he loved to woodwork and build anything he could. After retiring in 2006, he became the best stay at home dad. Around the house, there was always music playing – Tejano or oldies or Christian. Mike felt called by the Lord to give back, spending whatever time he could volunteering with the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter in Baytown or sending contributions to almost any organization that sent him mail.
Mike cared deeply for all he met and was loved by so many – family, friends, neighbors. He loved to spend time with his family and call them whenever he got the chance. He was never afraid to show you how he felt, always making sure to tell others he loved them and never let them forget it.
Mr. Moreno was preceded in death by his parents Epifanio, Sr. and Benita Canales Moreno, and siblings Amada Salinas, Tony Sanchez (Gloria), Genevieve “Beva” Fernandez (Santos), Adelfa Moreno, Daniel Moreno (Gloria), David Moreno (Celina) and Perla Yousefirizi.
He is survived by his wife: Martha Hambrick Moreno, children: Paul Anthony Moreno (Veronica) and Epifanio Moreno, III (Loraine) from his first marriage; Mary Jane Moreno (JoAnn), Daniel Moreno (Dori), and Benita Moreno from his second marriage; and Jacob Moreno, Kristen Moreno, and Journey Moreno from his marriage to Martha. He is also survived by sister: Marina Salinas (Abel), brothers: Mario Moreno and Adolfo Moreno, grandchildren: Erika Moreno, Mickael Moreno, Mathew Moreno, Austin Moreno, Aiden Moreno, Ashlin Salinas, Sarah Moreno, and Hailey Davis, five great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many great friends.
The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, at the Crespo & Jirrels Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, March 4, 2021, at the Crespo & Jirrels Funeral Home Chapel with interment following at Houston National cemetery in Houston.
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