Jose Rumaldo Vargas died on September 6, 2018 at his home, with his children by his bedside. He was a beloved son, brother, husband, grandfather, and great grandfather, and friend to many. He was born in El Paso, Texas February 7, 1921, in el Segundo Barrio, and graduated from Bowie High School in 1941. He married his beloved Bertha on September 6, 1943, leaving to fight in WWII shortly after. On D-Day, he landed on Utah Beach. His platoon participated in the liberation of France, including the Battle of the Bulge. This is where he lost any interest in camping and developed his dislike for the cold. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Jose and Lupe Vargas, and Bertha, his wife of 70 years, the love of his life. Joe died on what would have been their 75th wedding anniversary.
Joe was an incredibly loyal man, devoted to his wife, kids and grandkids. He worked hard every day, coming home in the evenings to sit and share stories of their days with our mother as she cooked dinner. After the family ate together, he walked across the street to visit with his parents. Saturdays, he spent his days off installing air conditioning units for friends and family, taking his kids to visit with friends and during the summer months, taking his three boys to watch the Sun Kings. A devoted Catholic until his death, Sundays always began with Mass. He was a lifelong Democrat, passing on his passion for justice and thought to his kids and grandkids. After returning from the war, he worked as a sheet metal worker for the railroad, and then worked in civil service for 35 years at White Sands Missile Range. After retirement, he taught his trade at the Job Corp for another 20 years. He traveled extensively, twice returning to the D-Day beaches of Normandy, always reminding us about the horrors of war. He was such a kind man, and a joy to be around. It is why he will be missed so desperately by his family and friends who adored him.
He is survived by his children: Bertha Yvonne (Tom Winter), Alice Elizabeth (Roberto Valdez), Joseph R Vargas, Robert M Vargas (Rebecca Rauber), and David S Vargas (Patrice Sovyak), 13 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by 2 grandchildren, Nicole Winter and Aviel Vargas, and his daughter in law Alma Flores. Pallbearers will be Joseph R Vargas Jr, Michael Vargas, Elia Vargas, Brian Winter, Jessica Vargas, and Desiree Winter. Honorary pallbearers are Mary Vargas, Sierra Vargas, William Vargas, Laura Winter, Emily Rauber. Music liturgy provided by Clarissa Valdez, Frances Valdez and Mishelle Vargas.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 from 5pm to 9pm with a 7pm rosary at Martin Funeral Home East located at 1460 George Dieter. Funeral mass will be held Thursday, October 4th, 2018 at 11am at Sacred Heart Church, 602 S Oregon St. Interment to follow at Ft Bliss National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations can be made Annunciation Home, 1003 East San Antonio, EL Paso Texas or MECA, 1900 Kane St, Houston Texas 77007
Published in El Paso Times from Sep. 30 to Oct. 1, 2018.