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101-year-old El Paso man who narrowly escaped Spanish Flu, survived WWII, dies of Covid-19

EL PASO, Texas -- An El Paso family is mourning the loss of an adorned husband, father and grandfather. 

Daniel Fernandez Sr. died at the age of 101 last week after contracting Covid-19.

“He always had a lot of wisdom, and he is credited for being humorous. Being a good man and a family man,” his son, Daniel Fernandez Jr., said. 

Fernandez Sr.’s life began back in 1919. He narrowly escaped the Spanish Flu.

“Whole families were passing away and my father had a fever and my grandfather carried him to the company doctor,” Fernandez Jr. said. “The doctor said he couldn’t do anything for him but said open up the blanket and let the snow hit him in the face as you walk back home,” he added. “That’s what she did and all be darn he survived.”

Sometime around the 1930’s his family would arrive in El Paso.

“He got into the CC camps, the conservation camps that were put together because there were too many young kids just hanging around,” Fernandez Jr. said.

When Fernandez Sr turned 19, World War II was raging. “In ’42, my dad joined the Army,” he said. “He went in and at first he was a lineman. He climbed telegraph poles.”

“Then something happened during maneuvers and a piece or metal or shrapnel hit him in his eye and he lost his eye,” Fernandez Jr, said.

“The army needed good men, so they put patch on it and they set him to Arkansas to guard POW’s.”

Serving the country was just one of many things Fernandez Sr. did, but one of the titles his family was most proud of - him being devout husband and father.

“They were married for almost 73 years,” he said.

Fernandez Junior said his father imparted copious amounts of wisdom on himself and his three siblings.

"Be of good heart. Be a good human being. Do the right thing sometimes you know things are hard but you have to do what’s right. Its inconvenient but you have to do the right thing. That isn’t something he didn't actually say but I left with by the way he lived"

The family said they wanted to thank the Home Care Dept. of the Veterans Administration for taking care of their father.

A service will be held this Friday at Fort Bliss National Cemetery. The family will be wearing personal protective equipment and following strict CDC guidelines. Fernandez Sr. is remembered by his wife and four children.

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  1. My deepest respects and condolences for you and your family. You are a hero and a very real part of the unsung heroes that make this country strong and free. God has a place for you. Rest in Peace.

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