Photo of Tombstone at San Fernando Cemetery #2

San Fernando Cemetery #2 and El Día de los Muertos

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San Fernando Cemetery Number Two covers 92 acres of land on San Antonio’s West Side. Founded in 1921, the cemetery hosts the remains of Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez; my husband’s grandmother and grandfather, Gus and Pauline Cappalletti Richter; and thousands more of San Antonio’s citizens.

The cemetery is filled with vintage tombstones that rival the ones in Paris’ famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, where The Doors’ Jim Morrison is buried. Strolling through San Fernando and reading the tombstones, the link to our city’s history is palpable.

At the end of October/beginning of November, the Aztec tradition of the Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos), which celebrates the lives of departed loved ones, is alive and well in the Alamo City. At this cemetery and others, you will find family members spiffing up the graves of their friends and relatives.

When my father–a World War II vet, husband and father of four–died unexpectedly in 2001, we built a Day of the Dead altar for him. Gathering his favorite things was bittersweet yet therapeutic. I swear I heard him whisper in my ear, “Don’t forget my crossword puzzles.”

Daddy's Altar

True to our Mexican roots, San Antonio is crawling with Dia de los Muertos’ events for you to enjoy this Nov. 1 and 2:

San Fernando Cemetery Number Two is located at 746 Castroville Road. Its hours are 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. On Nov. 2, the cemetery will have a Mass at 11 a.m. in Block 29.

If you would like to stop and pick up some flowers before you go, visit the filled-to-the-ceiling 150 Gifts and Flower Shop at 334 Castroville Road. They are open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

For even more ideas of fun things to do and see in San Antonio, visit Barnes & Noble, The Twig, Whole Foods, Half Price Books on Broadway, Costco, Sam’s and Hudson News to purchase “100 Things To Do in San Antonio Before You Die” by yours truly. Gracias. ¡Viva San Antonio!

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