Weslaco - Ricardo Vargas Jr. AKA "Bear", 73, passed away on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen.
Ricardo was born on July 19, 1950, to Ricardo II and Isabel (Contreras) Vargas in Weslaco, Texas. Ricardo grew up in Weslaco with his huge family. Ricardo’s mom birthed thirteen children; although three died at birth, ten siblings were still in the Vargas home. Ricardo was passionate about sports when he was a child, playing with his siblings and neighborhood friends. Ricardo played football, basketball, and baseball in high school. After graduating from Weslaco High School, Ricardo attended Pan American.
Ricardo met Elidia Hernandez on a blind date, and they were married in 1978. Ricardo and Elidia raised three children in Weslaco. Ricardo encouraged his children to participate in sports. He also continued to root for his alma mater, attending as many Weslaco Panther games as possible.
Throughout the years, Ricardo’s enthusiasm for sports and competition intensified. He played golf, tennis, boxing, volleyball and enjoyed bowling. Ricardo was also competitive at Dominoes, monopoly, and most board games. He also loved the thrill of gambling, especially on his favorite sports teams. When Ricardo wasn’t playing sports, he watched television-related sports. His favorites were the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Astros. A perfect evening for Ricardo was having friends or family over, grilling, and watching a game. Ricardo also enjoyed traveling; Vegas was a favorite spot.
Ricardo had a few careers during his lifetime. He began his professional career at Texas Migrant Council. Followed by Texas MHMR as a counselor for fifteen years. Then two years at Convergys. Later he worked at AT&T in customer service and then finally, Ricardo spent his last years as a collection agent for the Texas Comptroller until retirement.
Ricardo became a widow in 2003 when Elidia succumbed to lymphoma. Fortunately, he found love again and married Maria Elida Carranza in 2008.
Ricardo and Maria Elida were actively involved in their church, One Way Road to Heaven Ministries, in Donna, Texas. Ricardo spent most of his free time cooking for fundraisers, distributing care packages and food for those in need all over town, and anything else that would come up.
Ricardo had a contagious laugh and a smile that lit up the room. He was funny, strong, loving, and kind. Most importantly, Ricardo was a Christian who loved the Lord, exemplified throughout his life. Ricardo was willing to help anyone in need and always had a cheerful attitude.
Ricardo is preceded in death by his parents, Ricardo II and Isabel Vargas; his first wife, Elidia H. Vargas; second wife, Maria Elida Carranza Vargas; siblings who died as infants, Arturo Vargas, Margarita Vargas, and Justin Vargas; siblings who died later in life, Arturo C. Vargas, Isabel Vargas, Margarita V. De la Rosa, Guillermo Vargas, Cointa Flores, and Daniel Vargas.
He is survived by children, Rick Vargas IV (Belinda), Javier Vargas (Lorena), David Carranza Jr., Amanda M. Vargas (Jaime), grandchildren, Ricardo Vargas V, Grace Victoria Vargas, Marcus Aguilar, Mallory N. Vargas, and Matthew J. Vargas, siblings, Roberto Vargas (Alicia), Alejandro Contreras (Lourdes), Alicia Vargas, Enrique “Henry” Vargas (Blanca), brothers in law, Francisco De la Rosa, David Flores, sister in law, Jennifer Vargas, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Tuesday, August 8, 2023, 3-9 pm, with a prayer service at 7 pm. A celebration of life will be held Wednesday, August 9, at 10 am at McCaleb Funeral Home, followed by burial at Highland Memorial Park.