Valentine Antona Jr.
On September 18th, Rick Antona graduated to heaven to be with his Lord and Saviour This city lost the kindest, most unique, joyful, trusted, and compassionate individual.
Ricardo "Rick" Valentine Antona Jr. was born to Ricardo "Big Rick" Antona Sr. and Mary Anne DiStefano Antona on July 19, 1967 in New York, New York. Rick's family relocated to northwest Houston where Rick graduated from Klein High School in 1985. Upon graduation, Rick sought to further his education at Texas Tech University, where he played football.
In 1992, Rick met Kerry Helm, the love of his life. The two were married on May 1, 1993 and began their lives together. The couple would go on to have two beautiful children: Ryan Michael, born in 1999, and Olivia Valentine, born in 2002, both of whom are currently enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2001, Rick lost his beloved mother Mary Anne and soon after lost his cherished grandmother, Eleanor DiStefano. He considered them, along with his father, some of the greatest influences in his life. He devoted all that he had to his family. They were always his greatest joy.
His second love was owning his own company. He was the definition of a self-made man. Rick joined the jewelry business as a gemologist in 1992. After almost two decades in the industry, Rick opened Uptown Diamond, a jewelry store and diamond cutter on San Felipe in Houston's Tanglewood neighborhood.
What some would describe as "the coolest job in the world," Rick crafted jewelry for some of America's most exclusive clientele. He also designed and created championship rings for the largest sports teams and universities in the United States and internationally. With his business, he became a staple for so many families that not only became lifelong clients but genuine friends along the way. Rick loved the people he worked for and those that worked with him.
Rick made it a point to have Christ the center of his family. He enrolled his children into Second Baptist School as preschoolers where they later graduated high school They are also long time members of Second Baptist Church. Some of his last words were confirming his faith in Jesus Christ to his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Michael and Karen Helm.
There are countless stories about Rick making others laugh which was his ultimate goal. Rick is survived by his wife, Kerry Antona, son Ryan Antona, daughter Olivia Antona, father Rick Antona, Sr., and sister Jennifer Oswald, as well as numerous other family members. He was a man that truly loved life and enjoyed every day he was given. He is unforgettable and will be dearly missed by all.
Funeral services will be held at Second Baptist Church at 6400 Woodway Drive, Houston, Texas 77057 on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 1:00pm. The reception will immediately follow with a band led procession to Carrabba's at 1399 S. Voss Road, Houston, Texas 77057. Family and friends will gather for a special committal service at 12 noon on Friday, September 24 at Memorial Oaks Cemetery, 13001 Katy Freeway in Houston, 77079.
In lieu of flowers, donation to Second Baptist Church is greatly appreciated.
Published by Houston Chronicle on Sep. 22, 2021.