Abram “June” Dominguez passed away on Feb. 15, 2019, at the age of 78. Dominguez spent more than half a century serving Trinity University as part of the physical plant staff, beautifying the campus.
Initially beginning his work at Trinity as a fry cook, Dominguez eventually moved into landscaping and was included in the early group of workers that undertook the task of transforming the rugged and barren limestone quarry into a fully-equipped and aesthetically pleasing environment. He compensated for his lack of experience with a robust work ethic and an eagerness to learn.
Over time, he acquired horticultural knowledge and landscaping skills that solidified his status as a key member of the physical plant staff. Known to co-workers and the wider community as “June” (short for Junior), he became the leader of the landscaping maintenance crew that did so much to beautify the campus and enhance the surroundings of the acclaimed O’Neil Ford architecture.
Dominguez took special pleasure in caring for trees and shrubbery that were damaged during building projects. Rather than remove and replace wounded trees and shrubs, Dominguez sought to dress the wounds, protect them from further injury, and give them ample supplies of water. He derived great satisfaction when they revived and thrived.
Dominguez was noted for his ability to mentor new employees and integrate them into the workforce. Under his guidance, they acquired the necessary skills that enabled them to meet his exacting standards. Dominguez’s crew members were quick to express their appreciation for his supervision, commenting that he was fair and honest in his dealings with them.
Traversing the campus on foot and by golf cart to monitor the progress of multiple projects, Dominguez had a smile and friendly wave as he passed by and was easily persuaded to stop for a brief conversation. His sense of humor was evident on campus and at home. When a granddaughter asked whether he had ever gone to college, Dominguez replied, “Yes, I did. For 53 years I went to a university five days a week.” Pausing for effect, he continued, “And I got paid for it!”
Dominguez retired in 2012, having served the University for 54 years. Former physical plant director Mike Schweitzer succinctly summarized the impact of his long career: “June embodied everything that was the grounds maintenance department at Trinity. In fact, he was the grounds maintenance department, he and his entire family. His leadership was a thing to behold, and his dedication to his employees was only equaled by their devotion to him.”
Dominguez’s memorial service and mass will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23, at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1602 Thousand Oaks, San Antonio, Texas 78232. The memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. at the day chapel, and the mass will be held at noon at the church.
Special thanks to Doug Brackenridge for selected excerpts from “Where Are They Now?” in the Summer 2017 Trinity magazine.