A sad farewell to El Jefe ... the chief... also known to family as Pops... I'm talking about the death this weekend of Eugene Ybarra, pioneer of the El Toro restaurant chain across Texas.

Ybarra, 81, had a long bout of complications associated with diabetes.

Eugene Ybarra was a self- made businessman with only a high school diploma. He founded his first El Toro restaurant in 1960 with a loan on mortgaging his home furniture.

He worked hard and so did his extended family and the business flourished.

The El Toro chain expanded into a Tex-Mex food and restaurant empire, including the El Matador Tortilla Factory in Baytown and the Gringo's and Jimmy Changas restaurant chains of his son Russell Ybarra. Generations of the Ybarra family have followed El Jefe in dedication and contribution to local community and charities.

All sympathy to the Ybarras, even as, and especially because they also must rebuild their business and their lives