Conrad Dominguez: From dead broke to grand marshal of St. George Lions Club Dixie Roundup

Conrad Dominguez with his wife, Paula. He will serve as grand marshal of the 84th St. George Lions Club Dixie Roundup Sept. 13-15, St. George, Utah, Aug. 21, 2018 | Photo by Ryan Rees, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — When Conrad Dominguez left Texas in 1963 and moved to St. George he was a dead-broke beer delivery truck driver.

“I was starving to death and had to do something else,” he said about his move west. “A sister lived in Veyo and we came to visit and never left. Something just popped with me about here and it’s been wonderful  since.”

Now, some 55 years later, he is a respected St. George businessman and civic leader who will serve as grand marshal of the 84th St. George Lions Dixie Roundup, Sept. 13-15.

“When Greg (Mathis) called and ask me about it, I thought for a minute and then said to myself, ‘Why not?’ I feel real good about it,” he said.

“Conrad is one of those guys who shows up and does his job all the time,” Mathis said. “He’s been a good member of the Lions Club for a number of years and the committee felt it was his turn to be grand marshal.”

A former sheriff’s deputy for 10 years, the 83-year-old Dominguez is enjoying his retirement years after leaving the department in 1991.

Conrad Dominguez will serve as grand marshal of the 84th St. George Lions Club Dixie Roundup Sept. 13-15, St. George, Utah, Aug. 21, 2018 | Photo by Ryan Rees, St. George News

“I’ve had a wonderful life,” he said sitting at a table in the restaurant he and his wife, Paula, built on a hill above Bluff Street more than 40 years ago.

When he retired from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, he bought a motorcycle and rode it thousands of miles with several friends.

“We’d ride 400 miles in a day just for the fun of it,” he said. “We went everywhere, including a trip to Vancouver.”

However, he later sold the motorcycle to pay for the sign on the hill above Paula’s Cazuela.

“When I got here (St. George), it was a different environment. Everyone was very open and friendly. I’ve really seen this town grow,” he recalled. “I got involved in the community and met a lot of wonderful people along the way.”

He has been a Lions Club member for more than 30 years and served as president in 1995. He also has been a lifetime member of the Elks Lodge.

Their restaurant venture began with Paula working as a waitress for a restaurant in town. Dominguez said it wasn’t in a good location, but they survived, finally taking over ownership before moving to the present location above Bluff Street.

“When we opened here, the first month was great. The second month went down the tube. But it eventually worked out,” he said.

The daily operation of the restaurant has been turned over to their children and grandchildren, but the couple drops in often just to check on things.

“Around here (the restaurant), they wouldn’t let me do anything,” Dominguez said. “That’s why I bought the motorcycle.”

Dominguez won’t be riding a motorcycle in the Dixie Roundup parade, Sept. 15. Instead, he’ll ride atop a stagecoach down the parade route and in a car during introductions the first night of the rodeo.

Written by RYAN REES.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T •

Event details

  • What: 84th annual St. George Lions Dixie Roundup Rodeo.
  • When: Sept. 13-15. Gates open at 6 p.m. The rodeo is 7:30-11 p.m.
  • Where: Dixie Sunbowl, 150 S. 400 East, St. George.
  • Tickets: General admission for adults is $12 or $5 for children under 11. Tickets are available each weekday from Sept. 10-15 at the Lions Building north of the Sunbowl. You can also buy tickets by calling 435-673-3301.
  • For more details on the Dixie Roundup click here.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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