ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Earlier this week, the owner of Oscar’s Mexican Restaurant died at the age of 68 due to complications from COVID-19. 

His family, coworkers, and some community members are devastated by the loss. 

“I love him very much. Not just me, but everybody,” said Richard Abila, Oscar Abila’s son. “He was a hard worker, he instilled that in us as well.”  

Oscar started working at the age of 15. 

“He worked for Pride Pipeline that used to be here, refinery here in town,” said Richard. 

But his dream was always to open a restaurant. 

“I can remember him talking about that, I can remember him mentioning it to us as our family and growing up,” said Richard.

After retiring from Pride, he eventually built Oscar’s Mexican Restaurant in North Abilene.

“November the 20th was 17 years,” said Nacho Castaneda. 

Castaneda has been alongside Oscar as they built the restaurant and has been cooking there since. 

“Every day we are going run the restaurant like you wanted us to and keep going strong,” said Castaneda. 

Richard says seeing his dad’s work ethic has pushed him and the rest of the family to do better. 

“It’s really made me the man I am,” said Richard. “It will be hard to come in here, and it will be hard to continue, but I can just hear him telling us, ‘Keep working and keep going,’ and that’s what we’ll do.” 

Richard says the outpouring of support they have received has been unlike any other and they encourage everyone to come to the funeral. 

The family says the best way to show your support is to continue eating at their four restaurants or to donate to Love and Care Ministries.  

The funeral service will be at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church this Friday at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome to come.