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Ismael Duarte
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 • Posted February 8, 2012

Ismael M. Duarte, “aka Smiley”, went to rest with the Lord on February 1, 2012, at the age of 77. Smiley was born on January 28, 1935, in Eden, TX to Ignacio and Virginia Duarte. He was the youngest of two brothers and five sisters. His mom died when he was five years old and his dad remarried Agustina Soto Duarte. She raised him like her own son. Ismael loved his step-mom dearly until the day she passed away. In their marriage they had eight sons and five daughters. Ismael came from a big family, a total of 10 brothers and 10 sisters. Smiley grew up and ran the streets of Eden, TX. He loved his small town. Every time they drove through there to go to San Angelo, he would smile and remember the streets of Eden. He left Eden at the age of 16. He lived between San Angelo and Levelland with his older brother Isa and wife Nila Duarte. He finally stayed put in Levelland where he met his wife and best friend Sara Mendoza Duarte. They married on December 5, 1961, and started their family with their first two born, Nancy and Sylvia in Levelland. They would travel back and forth to Mason to visit Sara’s sisters and fell in love with Mason. They packed up their belongings and moved to Mason in 1964, when their third daughter was born in San Saba. In 1965, they were blessed with twin boys and in 1970 their youngest son, David, was born in Mason. Their family was complete with three girls and three boys. Ismael had many jobs. He worked in the cotton gins in Memphis, TX and Levelland, peanut plants in Mason County, and sheared all over the Hill Country as well as Wyoming and Utah with the Morales from Menard. He also worked in restaurants as he was growing up in San Angelo. Smiley’s favorite job of all was working for Mason I.S.D. because he could see all of his grandkids every day. He had a total of 10 grandsons, four granddaughters, and two great-grandsons. Ismael loved all the holidays because that meant having his whole family together at their home. He was a very religious man and attended St. Joseph Catholic Church, where he and his wife were married. He loved and worshipped God our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ until he took his last breath. His hobbies were dancing, collecting old coins, gardening, planting flowers, and spending time with his family. He made many friends in his lifetime. He had many nephews and nieces he loved dearly. He enjoyed playing the guitar and mini-piano to their dogs, Mason and Paloma, who were his best audience. He loved his Mason Punchers. When his first grandson started playing football he went to all his games and then the Duarte tradition of football started year after year from 1996-2011. All his grandsons played football as well as one Menard Yellow Jacket, Enrique Duarte. He even got to witness one of his granddaughters play football, Sabrina Munoz, while his other granddaughters played in the band or were cheerleaders. The last Puncher game he attended was when the Mason Punchers won the state championship on December 15, 2011, and his last grandson played that day. He was there to the end with his purple and white and he loved all the concession stands. Through his life, he lost his parents, brothers, sisters, and one granddaughter. He never got over Laura’s death and he missed Laura dearly until his last day. His wish was to be buried as close to Laura as he could. When Ismael was told he only had four weeks to live, his words were, “I’ve accomplished my mission here on Earth, raised six kids of my own, five grandkids, traveled to many places, worked hard all my life, and married my wife Sara. All of my kids are grown up. My daughters have been well taken care of by my three son-in-laws. My twin sons have wonderful wives that take care of them. David, my youngest, I know will take care of his mom.” On November 19, 2011, Ismael was told he had four weeks to live and God proved them wrong because we celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and best of all, his 77th birthday on January 28, 2012. We celebrated his birthday with an Eagle Cake and his favorite food, hamburgers. Ismael had a big heart and smile which we will all miss dearly, but he has heard the Lord calling his name and has gone home to finally see his Laura again. The Duarte family will one day all be together again. R.I.P. Smiley (APA). We love you!Survivors include his wife Sara Duarte of Mason, six children: Nancy Hernandez and husband Rafael, Sylvia Munoz and husband Billy, Imelda Castillo and husband Rafael, Ismael Duarte Jr. and wife Gigi, Israel Duarte and wife Victoria, and David Duarte all of Mason; five brothers, Isaac Duarte and wife Nila, Albert Duarte, Johnny Duarte, Manuel Duarte, and Martin Duarte, all of San Angelo; four sisters, Victoria Duarte of San Antonio, Gracie Duarte of San Angelo, Anita Duarte of San Angelo, and Elma Duarte of San Angelo, 13 grandchildren Rafael Hernandez Jr., Efren Hernandez, Adalverto Hernandez, Vedel Munoz, Jr., Sabrina Munoz, Roddy Castillo, Bryan Duarte, Brynda Duarte, Ray Duarte, Jr., Jeremy Duarte, Andy Duarte, Sandy Duarte, and Enrique Duarte, and two great-grandchildren Ethan Michael Hernandez and Kristopher Ryad Carrillo. He was preceded in death by his parents Ignacio and Virginia Duarte, stepmom Augustina Soto Duarte, five brothers Isiahas Duarte, William Duarte, Frank Duarte, Moses Duarte, and Ignacio Duarte, four sisters Virginia Espinosa, Bessie Dominguez, Belen Duarte, and Besada Duarte, and one granddaughter Laura P. Castillo. A Vigil Service was held on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Mason Funeral Home Chapel. The Funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday, February 3, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Mason. Interment followed in the Crosby Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were his grandsons.Condolences may be sent to the family on-line at masonfuneralhome.net. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Mason Funeral Home.

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