Funeral services for Rafael Nieto Sr., 92, of Rockdale were held Tuesday, July 30, 2013, at Phi l lips & Luckey Funeral Home in Rockda le. Burial with military honors was in St. Joseph Cemetery in Rockdale. Past or Harvey Wampler officiated.
Mr. Nieto died Saturday, July 27, in Central Texas Veterans Hospital in Temple.
He was born on June 21, 1921, in Rockdale to Evaristo and Juanita (Almazan) Nieto.
He married Florence Garza on April 12, 1947, in Rockdale.
Mr. Nieto had lived in Rockdale since 1992, when he returned from Bryan, where he had lived from 1950 to 1992.
While in Bryan, he was a mechanic’s helper for International Harvester Farm Equipment and retired in 1982.
Mr. Nieto served in the U.S. Army infantry during World War II.
He was acting as a scout of Company B, 353rd Infantry on April 7, 1945, near Wutha, Germany, when heavy enemy automatic weapons and rifle fire wounded his squad leader and another comrade during his platoon’s attack on the town. Private First Class Nieto crossed 40 yards of exposed terrain to their aid and was wounded before reaching them. Despite his wound, he carried both comrades across an open field to a position of safety.
His courage, initiative, determination and devotion to duty were an inspiration to his comrades and reflected great credit upon him. His actions were in keeping with the best traditions of the armed forces of the United States.
PFC Nieto was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Victory Medal, European-Asian-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, American Defense Service with a Bronze Star, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two daughters, Rebecca Nieto and Florence Nieto; a brother, Heraclio Nieto; and three sisters, Noemi Cervantes, Lydia Rivera and Maria Nieto.
Survivors are his wife, Florence Nieto of Rockdale; five sons, Rafael Nieto Jr. of Bryan, Frank Nieto of San Antonio, Reuben Nieto and Joseph Nieto, both of Rockdale, Jonathan Nieto of Bryan; a daughter, Rosemary Nieto of Rockdale; 11 grandchildren, Rafael III, Sonia, Roseanna, Amber, Corey, Reuben Jr, Leah, Lauren, Julianna, Sophia and Sarah Nieto; and three great-grandchildren, Adrian, Kobe and Maykala Nieto.