|A.K.A.||Pedro Ramon Arguindegui, Jr., Pete Arguindegui|
|Was||Philanthropist Politician Businessperson|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||12 September 1931, Laredo, Webb County, Texas, U.S.A.|
|Death||3 August 2014, Laredo, Webb County, Texas, U.S.A. (aged 82 years)|
Peter Ramon Arguindegui, Jr., born Pedro Ramon Arguindegui, Jr., sometimes known as Pete Arguindegui (September 12, 1931 – August 3, 2014), was an oilman, politician, civic leader, and philanthropist in his native Laredo, Texas.
A 1953 graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station and a veteran of the armed forces, Arguindegui became president and, finally, chairman-emeritus of his family-owned Arguindegui Oil Company. The firm was founded in 1942 by his father, Pedro Arguindegui, Sr., who was originally a commission agent for the Continental Oil Company and started his own Conoco distributorship. In the 1970s, the company expanded into commercial fuels and serviced drilling operations in South Texas. Arguindegui is among the Aggie 100, a list of fastest-growing companies owned and operated by TAMU alumni. One of the largest petroleum product suppliers in Texas, the company employs about 250 people in Laredo. Through its AOC Holding Company, Arguindegui operates under the named ConocoPhillips and Valero owns several convenience stores in Laredo, Freer, and Zapata, Texas.
From 1960 to 1976, during the administration of Mayor J. C. "Pepe" Martin, Jr., Arguindegui was a member of the Laredo City Council, a nominally nonpartisan body under Texas law which then operated under the mayor-council form of government. In 1982, the city switched to the city manager format. During Arguindegui's time on the council, the city established the Laredo Civic Center on San Bernardo Street, erected the Juárez–Lincoln International Bridge over the Rio Grande, and converted the former Laredo Air Force Base into the now previous site of Laredo International Airport. Salo Otero, a former sports editor for the Laredo Morning Times recalled Arguindegui as a "big, big voice on the city council ... He would say, 'Remember: I'm only one vote I cannot change Laredo by myself.'"
Arguindegui served at various times as president of the Laredo Jaycees, the Kiwanis International, the Laredo Country Club, and Border Olympics, in which capacity he instituted the large annual men's Laredo Border Chapter of the API (American Petroleum Institute) Golf Tournament. Odie Arambula, another Laredo Morning Times veteran journalist, termed Arguindegui "probably the best amateur golfer in town". He once played the part of George Washington in Laredo's Washington's Birthday Celebration. From 1984 to 1994, he was a director of the former Union National Bank of Laredo. Thereafter, he was a director of the former Laredo National Bank, since Compass Bank. Arguindegui was a member of the Laredo Chamber of Commerce and was active in the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the United Way.
Death and legacy
Arguindegui died in Laredo at the age of eighty-two. A mass of Christian burial was held on August 6, 2014 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Interment followed in Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Laredo, where his father, Pedro, Sr. (1902-1991) and mother, Marina A. Arguindegui (1906-1973), are also interred. Arguindegui and his wife, the former Ethel Martha Leyendecker (born c. 1938), have five children, Peter Arguindegui, III (the managing partner at Lobo Logistics of Laredo), and wife Amelie, Maria Teresa Arguindegui, Maria Estella Arguindegui-Johnson and husband, Steve, Alfonso Luis Arguindegui and wife, Alejandra, and Ethel Maria Aguindegui.
Arguindegui and his brother and business partner, Carlos H. Arguindegui (born c. 1933), established with an initial $25,000 the Arguindegui Oil Company Endowed Scholarship at Texas A&M International University in Laredo. The funds subsidize business majors.
Saul Otero called Arguindegui "a great family man and businessman ... a great promoter and ambassador of Laredo". In 2009, U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas's 28th congressional district hailed the Arguindegui family in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, having noted its business success and commitment to philanthropy.