A Lot on One Plate

The Texas Story Project.

From Nuevo Laredo, Mexico to Lytle, Texas, a story about a young man who achieved so much. This is a story about Geronimo (Gerry) Elias Jr. a man from Nuevo Laredo who seemed to do it all.

Geronimo (Gerry) Elias Jr. was born in Nuevo Laredo in 1949 to a large family with American parents. He was the third out of eleven children. In 1955, his family came to the United States so that he and his siblings could get educated. During his education, he had to go with his mother and father to northern states to work as migrant workers to have an income for the family.

In 1967, Gerry graduated from South San High School and went straight to work as a mechanic at a food production company. In 1968 Gerry got married and had his first child of four. After his first child was born, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served for two years of active duty during the Vietnam War where he achieved the rank of Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. He received an honorable discharge.

After his discharge, he attended St. Phillips college to get an associate degree in Applied Science. Before he graduated he was in a practicum class with a company called William B. Wilson. After graduation, he continued to work with William B. Wilson, being promoted through the ranks from a student all the way to Manufacturing Supervisor. The company sadly closed in 1987 causing Gerry to lose his job.

He immediately saw an ad for a job opening at SW Research. He applied by letter and after two weeks, he received a call for an interview. At that point he began his career at SW Research as a technician working on numerous classified government projects achieving 7 letters of commendation from multiple government agencies, as well as 4 US Patents for some of the government projects he worked on until 2015 when he retired from SW Research. During his career, he also became a volunteer EMT while also going to school for EMT certification. He continued with his EMT education until he became a volunteer Licensed Paramedic also while at SW Research.

In addition to serving Texas and the US through his many careers, Gerry also serves his local community by serving in civic offices. He became a member of the Lytle City Council up until 2005 when he became the Municipal Judge of Lytle, Texas.

So, from being born in Nuevo Laredo to becoming a Retired Marine Sergeant, Licensed Paramedic, and Municipal Judge of Lytle, TX all while raising four children and working at SW Research where he received 7 letters of commendation and 4 patents—certainly Geronimo Elias, Jr, my grandfather, had a lot on one plate.


Geronimo Genaro Elias, an 18 year-old freshman at St. Mary’s University, has been an outdoorsman since he was very young. He is a “bow-and-arrow” hunter, but also a fisherman and a hiker. He was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. One word to describe him is adventurous. He’s not scared to do what others won’t.

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