Héctor Antonio Gómez Gaviria (lovingly known as Papapa) died on September 23, 2018 in his home in Richardson, Texas. He was 85 years old and upon his death, he was surrounded by the family he adored.
Papapa was born on January 21, 1933 in Pereira, Colombia to Antonio Gómez and Adela Gaviria. He was the oldest of five children. He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in one of the first engineering graduating classes of a prestigious university in Medellin, Colombia which lead him to owning his first successful consulting business by his late-twenties. Through this experience, he found a passion for business and for governmental affairs. In fact, in 1966, he helped petition the Colombian government to separate the area of Risaralda, Colombia to become its own “department” (more like a state in the US). Papapa believed it was important that the area in which he grew up, an area well known for the high quality of its coffee, needed independent representation in the Colombian government.
In 1967, while on a business trip to Bogota, Colombia, he was set up on a dinner date by a friend. That date, an exotic, dark haired Puerto Rican educator in Colombia on a Fulbright Scholarship, became the love of his life, Myrta (aka Mimi). Their romance was one for the ages – dinner and dancing most nights, romantic serenades and many, many love letters. They married in 1969, moved to Puerto Rico and had two children, Marta (Martica) and Héctor (Hectorcito).
Looking for better opportunities for their family, in 1976, Papapa and Mimi took a calculated risk by moving to Richardson, Texas where they still live today. After working for two engineering firms in Dallas, Texas, in 1987, Papapa started his own mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering design firm, Hector Gomez Engineers, Inc. He designed hospital, hotels, airports and schools all over the world. In fact, in 1994, he received the Contractor of the Year Award from the Bill J. Priest Institute. He was a highly respected professional and mentor to many.
Of his favorite things, Papapa loved his grandsons, playing golf, music, watching sports, and traveling. Thanks to a surprise from Hectorcito, he took Mimi and Papapa to Pereira, Colombia last fall where Papapa reminisced about his first office, where he would have his shoes shined and how his city had progressed since the many years he had not been back.
Héctor Antonio Gómez Gaviria is survived by his wife Myrta, children Marta and Héctor, daughter-in-law Byanka, grandsons Alex and Noah, and a devoted host of family and friends. He is preceded in death by his brother, Mario and his parents.
Father Juan Carlos Marin will officiate a funeral mass and placement of the urn in the St. Joseph Columbarium on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 1:30 pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Richardson, Texas. All are welcome to attend to celebrate his life. There will be a small reception following in the St. Joseph Room.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to: the Alzheimer Association, the American Lung Association or to the charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252
To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.