By Gilda Morales
Robert C. Morales passed away Tuesday, February 9, at Methodist Hospital in Dallas after a lengthy illness. Robert is a native of Van Horn and graduated from Van Horn High School in 1976. He attended college in San Angelo before transferring to the University of Texas in Austin, and graduating with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. Shortly after graduation, Robert got his first job as a reporter for the Laredo Morning News, and was later hired by the City of Laredo as the Public Information Officer. He was offered a job in Houston and worked for Enron in Public Relations before being hired by Dr. Pepper Corporation in Plano, also promoting the brand at Nascar events throughout the country.
Robert moved back to Van Horn in 2006 to help with ailing parents and worked with WorkForce Solutions in Van Horn, Sierra Blanca, Dell City and Ft. Hancock, mentoring unemployed youth and promoting a local GED program. Robert also ran and was elected to the Culberson-Allamoore ISD school board, where he served for four years, the last year as president. He bought The Van Horn Advocate in late 2012 from Larry Simpson and hired Lisa Morton as his Advertising Executive. As Editor-in-chief, Robert brought about many changes to the newspaper, including adding full color and recently a revamped online edition. The Van Horn Advocate was recognized by the Texas Press Association for the past two years for several accomplishments. He was a member of the task appraisal district and zoning board. Robert was an accomplished musician and played organ at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, and until recently, was a member of the local band, Los Pecadores.