Son reflects on father's life as a community leader and compassionate mentor

2012-10-31T10:00:00Z 2012-10-31T15:18:32Z Son reflects on father's life as a community leader and compassionate mentorContributed by Steve Segura nwitimes.com
October 31, 2012 10:00 am  • 

EAST CHICAGO | Ignacio Segura was a community leader in East Chicago for years. His eldest son Steve Segura shares his eulogy.

My Father's Eulogy...

Ignacio Segura was known to his family and friends as "Nacho." Our father came to America like many of our fathers came to America, to make a better life for his family. He was the youngest of three born to Luis and Genoveva Segura. He had two sisters, Petra and Maria, who recently passed. He was a man of strong character and discipline, but at the same time full of laughter and kindness.

Nacho was a man who worked hard at Inland Steel, as a precinct committeeman in the Sunnyside area and a city employee. He loved soccer, politics, and watching the Chicago Cubs, but what he loved most was going to his home town in El Llano Michoacan. I remember every summer he would take us to Mexico for the entire summer and gave us incredible memories and adventures. He loved his family so much and worked so hard to finish building the perfect home for us in Mexico. He loved going down twice a year with my mother and my brother Louie and we thank you Louie for spending quality time with our father like no other. Louie did an incredible job with the home Dad and he completed as their dream left us with a beautiful legacy.

Nacho was a true foot soldier for the famous political campaigns in our industrious city. He had such a passion for serving. Every time we would get together he would talk politics. He did not like to play games and believed in being honest with everyone. He took care of his precinct every single day with great pride and honor. He led by example and just knowing he was there to help make a difference in our community meant the world to us. He also invited a challenge and he loved winning. He loved politics so much that I remember one day he asked me to paint a portrait of Mayor Bob Pastrick when I graduated from the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

With the good times there were also challenging times. My father was injured in a work accident at Inland Steel and our family went through some hardships but he found a way to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. We ate alot of frijoles (beans) that year. However, although times were hard nothing ever broke his spirit or sense of humor. He had the best jokes and stories and never ran out of them.

I remember Sundays were the best! We would go the church, eat at El Patio and attend soccer games. He would ask everyone what they wanted to eat and of course he expected the kids to eat a taco or two but no... I would order a milanesa (steak) or shrimp and he would raise that eye brow and look at my mother and say...... Este tiene que ordenar el platillo mas caro en el menu todo el tiempo (He always has to order the most expensive plate on the damn menu), and of course he would cave in and get it for me. I remember this well because it became a metaphor for his life-thats how he was with many things. He had of tough exterior but after awhile he gave into his children.... Because he loved us and wanted to give us the world.

He worked hard to provide the best education for us. Even during the hardest of times. He was so excited to drive down to see my sister down in Jasper, Indiana during the high school years. We would always make it like a mini vacation. He also loved going to see his family in Milford, IL. Although he was tight on the wallet, he loved treating everyone to eat. He really loved to eat. Especially carnita asada con papa (skirt steak and potatoes). We would all wait for him to make it all the time. He also loved cotel de camaron (shrimp cocktail) and pan dulce (Mexican bread). Every time I would make cotel de camaron he would always get the first bowl. I enjoyed experiencing  him eat it.

Jokingly, I would always tell him I don’t know how you landed marrying my mom because she was way too beautiful for you. But I do know why. Because my father was the greatest man I have ever known and she deserved to have the best. Dad, you will always be remembered by your grandchildren who loved you so much and we thank you for making us the men and women that we are today. May you rest with our Father in Heaven and I know we will be together again one day.

Thank you for being the best dad in the world. We love you.

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