Texas Transsexual Widow Denied Death Benefits HOUSTON -- The transsexual widow of a Wharton firefighter killed in the line of duty will not receive his death benefits, a judge announced Tuesday. Thomas Araguz, a firefighter with the Wharton County Volunteer Fire Department, died fighting a fire at Maxim Egg Farm in Boling, Texas, in July 2010. Araguz's family and ex-wife sued his widow, Nikki, in an effort to prevent her from receiving about $600,000 worth of death benefits. They argued the marriage was not valid because Nikki Araguz was born a man.