The Reverend Jacinto Alderete was born on September 5, 1935, to Desiderio and Adela Alderete in Valverde, N.M. and passed away on June 5, 2022.
He attended school in Socorro, N.M. and graduated from Socorro High School in 1953. After attending Texas Western in El Paso, Texas for two years, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Pan American University in Edinburg, Texas with a double major in Speech and English along with a minor in Spanish. Before moving to the Valley where he had his first ministerial appointment at Weslaco, Texas, he married his high school sweetheart from Socorro, Betty Baca. He then went to Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University where he received his Master of Divinity in 1961. In his early ministerial career, he served churches in Sherman, Harlingen and Crosbyton before his appointment as the executive director at the Wesley Community Center in Amarillo, Texas. There he grew the Center from a two-room house to a large multi-use facility that included summer activities, afterschool programs, tutoring, sports, daycare, kindergarten, a health clinic, counseling services and a senior citizens center.
Rev. Alderete was a kind and caring man with a passion for improving the quality of life among the Hispanic community and improving relationships with other residents of Amarillo. He was active in Amarillo, helping to found Los Barrios de Amarillo and was also a member of many organizations some of which included the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Big Brothers, AIDS Education Committee and the Coalition for the Homeless.
Awards recognizing Rev. Alderete’s leadership included Texas Farmers Union Rural Minister of the Year in 1966, Amarillo Globe-News “Man of the Year” in 1981, Melvin Jones Fellow Award for dedicated humanitarian services from the Lions Clubs International Foundation (the highest award presented by the Lions), Kids Inc. Friend for Life, Citizen of the year from the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 1992, Service Provider Merit Award presented by the Women’s Coalition for Change and Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Chamber. The City of Amarillo honored him by naming a street after him, Jacinto Alderete Street. He served as the Director of the Wesley Community Center for 32 years, retiring in 1998. A lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, he attended the very first Cowboys home game in 1960.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Betty Alderete, a brother, Elí Alderete, two children, Wesley Alderete, M.D. (Barbara), Francine Dellinger (Greg), two grandchildren, Kasey Alderete (Joe Shermetaro), Ethan Alderete (Reagan DeFlorio), and four great-grandchildren, Ayla Shermetaro, Cato Shermetaro, Knox Alderete, and Maeve Alderete. A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at 2 p.m at First United Methodist Church of Hurst, 521 W. Pipeline Rd., Hurst. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wesley Community Center, 1615 South Roberts, Amarillo, Texas 79102 or http://www.wesleyamarillo.org.