Former Texas Ranger Adolfo “Al” Cuellar, 71, was born in 1945 in Douglas, Arizona. A fifth generation Texan, he died May 2, 2017 in San Antonio, after a courageous four year battle with cancer. Al was a beloved husband, father, brother and grandfather.
Al was the third of 5 children to parents Adolfo and Josefa Cuellar. The family, including his siblings Ariel “Ari,” Elda, Israel “Chai,” and Linda spent their early years in Douglas, Arizona. After the untimely death of their father, the family moved to Laredo, Texas in 1957.
Al attended Martin High School in Laredo, where during his senior year he held the position of drum major. It was in this high school band that he met freshman, and the love of his life, Maria de la Luz Hernandez. This is where – as he put it – he “won the lottery” of life.
Al joined the Navy Reserve for a six-year obligation during his senior year in high school, and graduated in 1963. After three years of reserve status, he was called to active duty in June of 1967. He served aboard the USS Betelgeuse as a radioman, 3rd class. He completed his active duty status in May 1968, receiving an honorable discharge.Ranger Cuellar served the state of Texas for 28 years. He received his State Trooper training in 1968, followed by his first assignment in Longview, Texas. In 1978, he was promoted with the unique distinction of being one of the first Hispanic Texas Rangers of the modern era in the elite, investigative unit of Texas Department of Public Safety. He worked a variety of cases including murder, search and rescue operations, fugitive apprehension, and arson. As part of his service, he also provided security detail for Texas Governors Mark White, Bill Clements and Ann Richards. Ranger Cuellar faithfully served his state until his retirement in 1996.
Al’s professional career did not end with state law enforcement. He continued to work in an investigative capacity with Griffin Industries for 18 years, where he provided corporate security and worked alongside local and federal law enforcement agencies to eliminate widespread nationwide commodity theft.
Al’s legacy to Texas shines in the many law enforcement officers he served alongside, mentored and that followed his tenure with the state. His unwavering generosity of spirit and strength of character is evident and amplified in the accomplishments of the many officers who credit him with influence.
He is survived by his wife Mary Cuellar, four children, Monica and her husband Monty Menzel, Cristina and her husband Len de la Garza, Tamara and her husband Alex Garza, Justin and his wife Katherine Cuellar, and 10 grandchildren. His son, Justin Cuellar, followed his father into law enforcement and currently serves as a State Trooper stationed in Athens, Texas.
A public viewing will be held from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Sunday, May 7, 2017, at the Sunset Funeral Home located at 6321 Bandera Road, San Antonio, Texas 78238. The Rosary will follow at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Funeral services will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe at 10:00 AM on Monday, May 8, 2017, located at 13715 Riggs Road, Helotes, Texas 78023. Interment will follow at the Cordi Marian Sisters Cemetery at 11624 Culebra Road, San Antonio, Texas 78253.