Tue, 09/01/2020 - 23:47

Judge Ruben Guerrero loved the law and his work as a state district judge. The San Antonio native, who made Houston his home, died Aug. 27, 2020, after battling a series of health problems.

Born April 13, 1946, Guerrero would serve as a supply sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning degrees from the University of Houston and Texas Southern University law school.

He practiced criminal law and in 1992 was appointed by Gov. Ann Richards to serve as Judge of the 263rd State District Court. In 2008, Harris County elected Guerrero as Judge of the 174th State District Court. He retired in 2016.

“While he is best known as a criminal law attorney and judge, he was instrumental in opening up economic opportunities for minority businesspersons after President Bill Clinton appointed him as Regional Director of the Small Business Administration,” said Gerry Birnberg, former chair of the Harris County Democratic Party.

As the regional director of the SBA, Guerrero led 10 small business administration offices in five states.

“It was also rare to attend a meeting of the Harris County AFL-CIO Council and not find Ruben there," Birnberg added.

Guerrero served on the boards of the Harris County Facilities Corporation and the Youth Victim Witness Advisory Board. He was past president of the League of United Latin American Citizens Council 60 and the American G.I. Forum of Greater Houston, and past chairman of the State Bar Grievance Committee and the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association.

Guerrero is predeceased by his wife, Mary, who died nine months ago, his parents Moses and Maria Guerrero, and a brother, Moses Guerrero Jr.

He is survived by his sisters Lydia Munoz and Velma Perez, and his daughters Yvonne Mintz (and husband Ryan) and Rebecca Pilkey (and husband Lloyd), and three grandchildren.

A scholarship has been created by the University of Houston Alumni Association in Judge Guerrero’s name. Donations can be made online or by mail (3204 Cullen Blvd., Suite 201, Houston, Texas 77204), with checks payable to UHAA, with Hispanic Alumni Association in the memo line.