Quinones known for his generous, caring ways
Family and friends of Rudolph “Rudy” Quinones II describe him as caring and generous, the sort of person who would, as the expression goes, “give you the shirt off his back.”
Quinones died Monday after a prolonged battle with diabetes, kidney failure and heart problems. He was 65.
His kindness was exemplified when one of Quinones’ nephews, Wesley Richter, was hospitalized after a car struck him. A friend of the Quinones family, Barbara Zars, recalled Rudy saying he would have traded places with his nephew if he could have.
“It wasn’t just that he said it,” Zars said. “You could feel it and you knew he meant it.”
Quinones set up a television set, DVD players and more for his nephew, Hooker said. “Of course, they made him take it all out because you’re not allowed to do that (in the hospital), but he had set it all up,” Hooker said. “That was Rudy.”
Quinones’ parents started Jacala Restaurant, one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in San Antonio, in 1949. After they died, Quinones and his sisters became the co-owners.
Quinones oversaw Jacala, known for its puffy tacos and tried-and-true menu, with a hands-on approach, according to best friend, Tommy Cude.
At Jacala, Quinones’ favorite dish was the enchilada plate, a time-honored tradition for the family.
“Growing up, our parents worked every night,” Hooker said. “So they would bring enchiladas home at 10 p.m. for dinner. We all stayed hooked on them.”
Cude and Quinones, who became close friends while growing up, would hang out at each other’s family establishments — Quinones’ Jacala and the Cude family’s Alamo Funeral Home.
In their teens, the pair hunted and fished across South Texas. A particular thrill came for them both around their 16th birthdays.
“Rudy’s dad gave him a ’68 Chevy,” Cude said. “A month after that, I got a ’68 Dodge Charger. Rudy helped me fix it up to go drag racing, which was just such a thrill.”
Quinones, who enjoyed parties and vacations that took him around the globe, was always engaging in conversation, Cude said.
And his sense of humor was unmatched, according to Zars.
“All the small funny things you sometimes miss, he’d pick up on,” she said. “He didn’t have a good sense of humor, he had a great sense of humor.”
Cude called Quinones not just “the life of the party,” but the party itself. That charisma worked, Cude said, when they were selling cars at a local Pontiac dealership in the 1990s. They decided to try to tag-team deals — a tactic that put them on a selling tear with Pontiac’s premier sportscar, the Firebird.
“We would work customers together, and for some reason that month he and I sold a hundred jillion of them,” Cude recalled. “We got a company fishing trip to Port Aransas, and it was a tough ride out. … But we were about the only ones who didn’t get sick and we just caught a ton of fish.”
Quinones always looked out for Cude, even as his own health problems worsened.
He underwent dialysis treatment three days a week for about the last 10 years of his life, according to Hooker.
“The last time I talked to Rudy, he told me that he was getting pretty sick, but he was still positive,” Cude said. “He told me he was there for me, and he really was.”
Memorial services for Quinones were conducted Thursday at Sunset North Funeral Home.
The family suggests donations be made in his father’s name to the 100 Club of San Antonio, www.100clubsa.org.
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