Patricio and Josephina showed me the power of perseverance
Riding with Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution, Captain Patricio Ontiveros of Chihuahua escaped with his young bride Josephina — preventing a treacherous death. Their rich families owned thousands of acres of land, but my grandparents said goodbye to their families and wealth. My grandfather’s sisters were sent to France to escape rape and death, never to be seen again. Traveling alone, Patricio and Josephina crossed the border to the United States. My grandmother gave birth to several children on their journey. They finally reached California, eventually making their home in Pomona, California. From then on it was a struggle, but remained a safe haven for their family of 12 children, with Patricio supporting them as a cow manure deliverer. He respected and believed in the United States of America and raised his children the same way. All his sons served in the Armed Forces–the youngest, a Marine, was killed in WWII. He dressed in suits, and was a member of the Mexican Masons. Patricio and Josephina were members of the First Mexican Congregational Church on White Avenue, which still stands today. I am proud to say they showed me the power of perseverance. My grandparents are well deserving of being selected for the Gold Line Mural because of what they went through and how they became well-respected in their community, while setting an example for their family legacy.