Nieves Sustaita Cobos

Our beloved Nieves Sustaita Cobos was born on August 5, 1926 in Austin, Tx, and lived her entire life there. She was called by our Heavenly Father to her true home on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at the age of 92.


She was preceded in death by her husband of 29 years, Freddie Cobos; son, Mario Cobos; parents, Antonio and Maria del Refugio Cardenas Sustaita; siblings, Benito Sustaita, Rafael Sustaita Sr., Nicolasa Medrano, Maximina Sustaita, Antonio Sustaita, Maria Del Refugio Sustaita, and Simon C. Sustaita; and sons-in-law, Heriberto Martinez and Tony Nunez.

She is survived by her children, Olga Salas (John), Rebecca Cobos, Mary Rivera (Robert), Margaret Carmona, Alfredo Cobos Jr. (Lourdes), Calixto Cobos (Lupe), Viola Cobos, Antonio Cobos (Delma Barrera-Cobos), Veronica Nunez, and Ben S. Cobos (Norma); 40 grandchildren; 52 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren; siblings, Simona Nunez, Miguel Sustaita Sr., J. Jesus Sustaita, and Rodolfo Sustaita Sr.; her Godchildren, Christina Escobedo, Ben R. Cobos, Angie Sustaita Diaz, Wayne Harman, Frank Rodriguez Jr. and a multitude of loving relatives and friends.

She was a woman of great strength and courage with meticulous attention to every detail. Up to the very end, she was in charge of all of her affairs and those of her entire clan. From an early age she was taught the values of diligence, hard work, integrity, and an unfailing faith in God. She was named for Our Lady of the Snows because she was born on her feast day, which commemorates the miraculous wonder of snow on a summer day. As a child she consecrated herself to Blessed Mother as a member of the Hijas de Maria Sodality. As an adult she was a prayer warrior in The Legion of Mary, committed to always praying the rosary daily, and visiting the sick in nursing homes weekly for over 25 years, until her late eighties.  She also served as a Communion Minister, and in the Divine Mercy Ministry in her church for many years. She lived her faith in committed, active, and dedicated service to family, church, community and the needy, and she passed that faith on to her clan. A hint of her legacy as a Woman of God, from beginning to end, can be noted in our parish church, (a parish in existence for over 100 years) in the stained glass window above the main church doors dedicated to her parents, ‘Antonio y Maria del Refugio Sustaita’, who were church founders and lifelong parishioners. Her influence can also be seen in the beautiful dome of stars above the altar surrounding the mosaic of Blessed Mother. This was designed, created, and installed by her sons. The work has been recognized as a small miracle of symmetry and elegance, given its complexity.

She held many jobs throughout her long life beginning with migrant farmworker, factory, laundry and janitorial workers, school crossing guard, and cashier, and also managing the accounting aspects of the family business, Cobos and Sons Construction. But the most important job for her was raising a family of eleven children. She welcomed all the children that God chose to send them, not as a burden, but as another gift with which God was enriching their home. She had a strong “Mother-Radar”, and could always tell when something was going on with her children and grandchildren. Even if you didn't tell her, she still knew something was off, through her strong intuition and intellect. When her husband died in 1980 at a young age, leaving her with seven children still at home, she did what she had to do, making sure they all got an education and had their needs met. All of her children are degreed and some have multiple degrees, as a testament to how they were raised. Education was a strong value for her. She loved to learn and to read, and was an excellent student early on. She had to sacrifice her high school education in order to go to work to support her family, but she earned the degree for which she always yearned, by accumulating wisdom through all of her life experiences and self-education. 


In her 92 years, having lived through and survived multiple eras of ethnic and racial injustice, she refused to accept ill treatment, and her experiences formed her passion and feistiness for social justice and equality. In 2011 she was recognized for these values at the Austin Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) in the ‘Voces de Latinas’ exhibit. These values are forever inculcated in each of her descendants. We’ll keep smashing the ice cream cone upside down, Mom! 


She had a fierce and intense love of family and friends and was a beacon of light and wisdom for us. She was close to all her relatives, was a friend and counselor to many, and also, a prayer warrior for many. The biggest sign of her legacy is visible in all of her children and grandchildren. As a tree is known by the good fruit it bears, she will continue to bloom in coming generations, in all of the charitable works of the branches of her children and grandchildren, who have learned from her to give back to God, family and community.

On Thursday, March 14, 2019, Visitation is from 3-7p.m. at Mission Funeral Home, 1615 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, Tx. 78702, followed by Recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, with visitation ending at 9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 15, 2019 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 1206 E 9th St, Austin, TX 78702, officiated by her good friend, Friar Florencio Rodriguez, TOR. Interment will follow at Assumption Cemetery, officiated by her good friend and spiritual son since birth, Deacon Mario Renteria. 

Serving as pallbearers will be her grandchildren: James C. Salas, Bobby Balderas, Daniel Padilla, Joe Thomas Uribe, Jacob Cobos, Manuel Martinez, Ben R. Cobos. Honorary pallbearers: Dominic Padilla, Briana Cobos, Luke Cobos, Gabrielle Nunez.