On April 1, 2023 Ida Hernández returned home to God. She joins her grandparents Lisandro and Teodora Saenz, her parents Jesus and Guadalupe Hernández, and her sister Maria Hernández. Ida was 74 when she passed away due to complications from a stroke. She is survived by her only child, R. Ché López, and her 5 siblings (Hector Hernández , Lisandro Hernández, Jesus Hernández Jr, Teresa Fonseca, and Jose Luis Hernández ). She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, earning her Master’s Degree at the McCombs School of Business with a focus in Management and Finance.
Ida was the first born child of eight to a farm worker family with limited resources. Briefly married, she was a single mother matriculated at the University of Texas. She excelled in learning and in 1988 graduated from the University of Texas with both a Bachelors and Masters degree.
Ida was a dedicated civil servant. Her first professional job was for the City of Austin Resource Management Department, helping building the foundational environmental and energy conservation programs for which Austin is now famous. She was later recruited by Travis County to be the Financial Director of the newly formed Transportation Department.
In 1992, Ida had the incredible opportunity to work in Washington DC. Ida led an illustrious career as a Presidential Appointee to the Clinton Administration. During her tenure as an appointee to the Department ,she is an unsung hero of one of President Clinton’s greatest accomplishments.
Alex Rodriguez, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Administration, wrote this upon hearing of Ida’s passing “Ida Hernandez was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration at the US Treasury Department. Her specific assignment was to work with the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration. The team was tasked with the every day operation of the treasury department, and with the goal of balancing the US budget. In order to do so one had to deal with all the nuts and bolts that it would take to get the budget balanced as President Clinton wanted. Ida was instrumental in working with all the career staff throughout the administration. We successfully balanced the budget and it was the last American budget balanced. Thank you Ida for your hard work.”
Friend and colleague Corina Cortez wrote to share “Ida was one of just a small number of Hispanic appointees who worked in the White House during the Clinton Administration and she represented her community well and advocated for its needs with a great deal of passion. She mentored, supported, and inspired a whole generation of young Latina women who were coming of age during her time in the Clinton Administration. She created opportunities for them, she helped them build their professional and personal networks, and she personally made time to mentor them. “ Her career in government would include the Presidential Council on Hispanics in Higher Education, the US Department of Commerce, and the US Library of Congress.
Ida retired from Federal Service in 2017.
She was a devoted and loving mother and her son “meant the world to her”. In May of 2020, Ida suffered a major stroke. Her son managed her care after the stroke and did all he could to make sure she was comfortable.
When notifying a former colleague, Rita Jaramillo, about Ida’s death she reminisced “Her smile lit a room, her sense of humor made coming to work fun and her killer suits got you ready to negotiate international agreements. She made a difference and will be missed.”
In accordance with Ida’s wishes, she was cremated and a small family rosary and “graveside“ ceremony will occur for family.
In lieu of condolences and flowers please donate to one of two non-profits that Ida cherished:
Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Arlington, VA Day Labor Meal Program. A Faith Direct donation can be made in honor of Ida Hernandez by using the “General Donations” option and leaving a note “in memory of Ida Hernandez”. Just click on the General Donation (One Time Gift) option:
Or you may donate to:
The Texas Refugee and Immigration Center