By Marfa Public Radio Staff
William “Wile” Quintana — a former co-host of Marfa Public Radio’s “Una Hora Con Primo” — has died.
A Marfa resident and amateur historian, Quintana grew up in far West Texas in the 1940s and 50s. He recounted his childhood memories in a 2015 interview, remembering Marfa as a town “bustling” from the commerce that sprung up around the military base, Fort D.A. Russell.
Quintana attended the Blackwell School, Marfa’s once segregated school for Mexican-American children.
“There was a little bit of prejudice, a little bit of racism, but not on a big scale,” said Quintana, who graduated from Blackwell in 1955. He recalled his years in school as some of the happiest of his life.
As a child, Quintana mainly spoke Spanish but said that changed once he graduated to Marfa High School, which was predominantly white.
“It was kind of a drastic change because I was used to being among my friends and speaking our language,” he said.
In high school, Quintana remembered, he’d pay 12 cents to go see movies, and stay in the theater until closing time.
“The way that I learned English — better than at school — was going to the movies,” said Quintana in 2015. “I would eat, drink and sleep movies.”
His love for local history, cultivated as a high school student, eventually evolved into one of his favorite pastimes.
During his memorial service at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Marfa, Quintana’s family remembered his passion for music, and playing “oldies but goodies” on the radio. They joked that he had a “master’s in everything,” fondly recalling his strong work ethic and dedication to lifelong learning.
Quintana will be buried in Presidio, next to his late wife Armida Brito Quintana.