Celestino Mauricio Soto Jr.
Celestino Mauricio Soto Jr. was born in Dallas, Texas in 1953. While in high school, Celestino excelled in the ROTC Military program. He was also a member of the swim team and participated in the marching band. Celestino spent his summer vacations working with children at the West Dallas Boys Club. He graduated from Crozier Tech High School in 1970 and earned a degree from Mountain View College. After graduation, Celestino enlisted in the United States Navy. He served aboard three US Naval carriers: the USS America, USS Independence, and USS Eisenhower. Upon leaving the Navy in 1980, he returned to Dallas and served four years in the Naval Reserves followed by 12 years of service in the Army National Guard. Celestino and his wife Patsy married young and had eight children, three of whom are autistic. This influenced Celestino to learn about the effects of autism and he became involved in the lives of many disabled and mentally ill children. He also became a faithful volunteer in Dallas ISD programs and other organizations that help children, including the Special Olympics. Celestino Mauricio Soto Jr. died in July of 2002.