Ingram’s Evodio Medrano was the man who could get the job done, often working long hours before taking up the accordion to play with his band at local dance clubs. He seemed invincible to those around him.
“He was just so strong,” said Harvey Brinkman, who knew Medrano for nearly 40 years and who employed him for much of that time.
On Father’s Day weekend, Medrano, 58, started feeling ill — he was running a fever and coughing. The cough intensified.
“He said he felt like he had a cold,” said his son, Daniel, who owns Kerrville’s 1962 Barber Company. “He was coughing when I was talking to him on the phone. That cough sounded way too aggressive for a cold.”
That cough was the coronavirus.
On Tuesday morning, at about 7:30 a.m., while in the intensive care unit of San Antonio’s Methodist Stone Oak Hospital, Evodio Medrano, who was lovingly called “Goyo” by all who knew him, lost his battle against COVID-19. He became the second person from Kerr County to die from the virus, which has now claimed the lives of more than 2,400 Texans and more than 125,000 here in the United States.
Daniel Medrano said his father visited a doctor last week and that pneumonia was the initial suspicion, but things steadily got worse as the week progressed. Last Friday, Medrano went to the emergency department at Peterson Health, but was immediately transferred to San Antonio.
“They didn’t have the treatment that he needed at Peterson,” Daniel Medrano said.
What Evodio Medrano needed was a heavy dosage of oxygen and a treatment where the patient is placed on their stomach to receive that oxygen. Daniel Medrano said his father sounded a bit better on Saturday, and things started improving on Sunday — but that all collapsed on Tuesday.
Evodio Medrano was a diabetic, a condition that his son believes had a role in how the virus took his life.
“It found a way and crept in,” Daniel Medrano said of COVID-19.
The family is still uncertain of Evodio Medrano’s final moments — but they said he collapsed, lost his pulse, and attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful. Now, the family is left with many questions about COVID-19, while grappling with how the virus has now struck so close to home.
“That’s the thing we don’t understand, and I know we’re not going to understand,” Daniel Medrano said about his father’s final moments. “He said he was feeling better.”
His passing was felt not only here in Kerr County, where he called home since he was a teenager after moving from Mexico, but in San Antonio, where he was a fixture in the Norteña music scene.
Evodio Medrano’s band was called Tercos De San Luis, and they were regulars at dance halls, bars and other venues around Texas. Tributes poured in via Facebook about the loss, but here in Kerr County the loss had deeper meaning.
“Goyo recently helped me, without question, without requesting compensation, just being a friend,” said Brinkman, who had Medrano work for him on various commercial properties around Kerr County for decades.
In a Facebook post, Medrano’s wife, Lizzeth Caldera, posted how devastated she was to lose the man who loved his family and music.
“I still can’t wrap my head around the situation, I still can’t believe you left us,” Caldera wrote. “We had so many plans for our future but unfortunately your time came to an end. Thank you for nine amazing years spent by your side.”
Caldera and Medrano shared a son, Xander, 6, and Medrano had four other children — three daughters and a son from a previous marriage. His oldest son, Daniel, named his business 1962 because that was the year his father and his wife’s father were born.
“He was huge to me,” Daniel Medrano said. “I think I learned how to love and respect music because of him. I learned to hustle and to be an entrepreneur because of him.”
Brinkman said his first encounter with Evodio Medrano was when he was 13, and he was amazed at how hard this youngster worked. Through the years, Brinkman called on Evodio Medrano to troubleshoot numerous problems at his company’s commercial real estate business.
“Goyo was many things, but he was hardworking,” Brinkman said. “He was a partner, and he was a good friend.”
For Daniel Medrano, the loss of his father coincides with the death of his brother-in-law in a Kerrville car crash just three weeks ago.
“The hardest thing is on the same day I’m helping make arrangements for my father, my wife was picking up the death certificate for her brother,” Daniel Medrano said.