(from the August 25, 2005, obituaries section feature article in the San Antonio Express-News)

The former chamber leader was devoted to Shriners' mission

Richard Limon won recognition as president of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce, a translator for a Texas Governor and a travel agency owner, but coaxing a smile out of a sick child was tops to him.

Born in Laredo but raised in San Antonio, Limon was 15 when he received the Eagle Scout ranking from President Truman at the White House in 1952.

He served two consecutive terms as President of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce, predecessor to today's San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As president, Limon played a role in making Hemisfair '68 a reality.

"Not many Hispanic chairmen are asked by our board of directors to serve two year terms," said A.J. Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber. "It is a testament to the leadership provided to our organization. Chairman Limon was instrumental in leading Hispanic entrepreneurs to support the HemisFair development."

Limon served as translator for then-Governor John Connally, worked for Southwestern Bell, worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City for four years, and owned the Allways International travel agency.

As a member of the clown unit of the Alzafar Shrine, he liked to cheer people in nursing homes, participate in parades and visit children's homes.

What gave him the most satisfaction was raising money for the Galveston Shriners Hospital, where children who have suffered burns are treated for free.

At least once a year, Limon would visit the hospital in Galveston and entertain youngsters. When he did, it was in full clown regalia. He had different wigs - his favorites were blue and yellow-hued - costumes and shoes.

Minnie Butler, one of Limon's three daughters, said he and her mother would spend hours working on his costume and makeup. "To my dad, getting a smile from the children who were burned was worth all the work and effort," Butler said.