Ruperta Durán Pecina entered eternal life with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on February 24, 2024, at the age of 88. Born in Asherton, Texas on March 27, 1935, Ruperta was the proud daughter of Ricardo and Aurora (Garcia) Durán. As the oldest daughter, she considered herself her dad’s favorite. If her mom said no, she knew her dad would say yes.

Ruperta had a great love for her parents. As they grew older, she always tried to take care of them and made sure they had what they needed. Ruperta deeply loved her close-knit family. She held the cherished role of Big Sis to her sisters and brothers: Deceased – Vicente Durán, Nancy Romo, María López, Jesús García, John Durán, Josephine Medina. Living – Richard Duran, Jr., Petra Mattison, Frank (Leticia) Duran, Mario (Margarita) Duran, Beatrice (Diana) Duran, Patricia (Angel) Clemente, Josie (Rolando) Briceno, and sister-in-law Delia Perales. The family, migrant workers, eventually settled in Toledo, Ohio.

Ruperta had a passion for dancing to Mexican regional music, especially Tejano! Ruperta would go to the dances any chance she would get. She would go with her tias, her sisters, or her best friend Frances. She called herself the dancing queen. Her baby sister Bea said Ruperta’s shoes would be on fire when she left the dance floor after the huapango.

In 1955, Ruperta married Magdaleno “Leno” S. Pecina. She had nine children: Ramona (d. 2023), Flora (d. 2022), Roberto (d. 2011), Richard (d. 2008), Soñia (d. 2006), Martin (d. 2022), Gregory, Virginia (d. 1996), and Magdaleno.

Family meant the world to Ruperta and Leno. Every adventure they embarked on, every memory they created, always included their kids, grandkids, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. Summers were spent camping in Ludington, Michigan with their sisters and brothers and all their kids.

Traveling in caravans to Texas and México, they made lasting memories. Some of the best memories on those trips included a bullfight in Mexico in 1976, the mountains of Mexico City, and the unforgettable taste of Lockhart sausage. And oh, the cookouts! Any reason was a good reason to invite all the family to their home on Walbridge Road for a cookout. Leno would make a big pot of chicharrónes. Men shared beers, soon bringing out the guitars and singing. Women chatted and laughed. Kids swung on the rope by the creek. And, always, there was Tejano music.

Her husband founded Leno’s Roofing. He handled the roofing work while she managed the books and fed the workers both breakfast and sometimes even lunch. Many of her sons became roofers.

Ruperta was a great cook! Each morning, she would make fresh, hot flour tortillas and beans. Her tortillas were the best! They were so good right off the comal with butter! She shared her recipe with her grandkids, but, so far, no one’s has come close. Her chili, made in the molcajete, was simply the best.

After her husband’s passing in 1987, Ruperta spent some time in McAllen, Texas. Her children and grandchildren would visit her often. She would take them on day trips to the border towns of México or to South Padre Island.

Upon her return to Toledo, Ohio, Ruperta was always surrounded by her sisters and brothers, her kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, and great-great-grandkids. She had endless patience with the younger grandchildren. Ruperta was always watching one or another. She would play dress up, have tea parties, and play games such as Monopoly. Ruperta adored little kids, especially babies, and would light up when she was holding her great-grandbabies and great-great-grandbabies.

Ruperta’s love of dancing never ended. She would go to Donovan’s or the Blue Diamond with her good friends Lola and Oralia and her sister Fina. As she grew older, her brothers Frank and Mario would hold her up to dance. Ruperta was still dancing even just a couple of months ago. She could barely move but still got up to dance!

More than anything else, though, Ruperta cherished spending time with her family. Ruperta would often speak of her sisters that had passed. They were her first best friends. She was blessed to be surrounded by her remaining sisters, brothers, sisters-in-law, and brother-in-law until the very end. Her sons Leno and Greg, along with her granddaughters, grandsons, nieces, and nephews, would call or visit.

Ruperta once cried, wondering what she ever did with her life because she never had what some would consider a meaningful career. When asked what she did, Ruperta said, “a lot of things I shouldn’t have.” While that may be true considering no one is without fault, it is also true that her life had profound meaning through the love she gave and the lives she touched. She had 9 children, 35 grandchildren, 90 great-grandchildren, 21 great-great-grandchildren, and still counting! That’s over 150 people in this world who owe their existence to her! Her impact leaves a legacy of love.

Ruperta lived a long life filled with love, laughter, and heartache. She lost a piece of her heart with the passing of her husband and each of her children that went before her. Now we are celebrating with joy as she is reunited with her husband, kids, and long-lost loved ones. She is free from discomfort and pain. Her mind is clear.

To our mom, grandma, sister – just know that you are loved and will be missed by a million adoring hearts.

Funeral mass was celebrated at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 738 S. St. Clair St. Toledo, on Friday, March 1, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. with visitation one hour prior in the church narthex. Ruperta was laid to rest at Lake Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Toledo, OH.