OSCAR RAUL CÁRDENAS
McALLEN - Husband, Son, Brother, Uncle, Nephew, Brother-in-law, Godfather, Partner, Aggie, Friend, Faithful Servant of the Lord.
These are but a few of the words that describe Oscar Raul Cárdenas. Oscar went home to the Lord May 13, after an amazing life that impacted everyone he ever met. Born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Oscar is now free of the wheelchair he had been confined to since the age of 11. Oscar was born July 3, 1960 to Dardanella and Ruben R. Cárdenas of McAllen. At an early age the diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy entered his life, yet never defined it. He was raised in McAllen and attended McAllen public schools through high school graduation. He then attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a BBA in Accounting in 1982. Oscar returned to McAllen and was employed by the Long, Chilton accounting firm for two years. Then began an incredible entrepreneurial journey. Oscar started and developed several companies, all in McAllen, culminating in Medical Accounts Receivable Services (MARS) and the Copy It Printing Center. Combining those two Oscar helped provide over 100 employees with gainful employment.
Not content with developing businesses Oscar was "active" (the word is inadequate) in community and church affairs. Among his leadership roles:
MDA of the Rio Grande Valley, President
McAllen Easter Seals President
McAllen Jaycees President
Valley Association of Independent Living, President
Border Capitol Bank – Board of Directors
Better Business Bureau President
Workforce Solutions / Lower Rio Grande Valley, Director
Museum of South Texas History, Board of Trustees
Holy Spirit Parish, Finance Committee
McAllen Airport Advisory Board, Chairman
Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Treasurer
Leadership McAllen, Treasurer
Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Building Committee
McAllen ISD, Special Education Committee
And the well-deserved accolades for Oscar include:
2004 McAllen Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year
1994 Muscular Dystrophy Association State of Texas Individual Achievement Award
1998 Namesake and founding recipient of the Valley MDA "Night at the Oscars" award
Entrepreneur of the Year – 1996 Finalist, San Antonio & South Texas
2008 Easter Seals Humanitarian of the Year
2000 Outstanding Individual Achievement Award – Texas State Independent Living Council (SILC)
Oscar had hundreds and hundreds of friends. If you were fortunate enough to meet Oscar, you didn't forget once you had. However, you may well have forgotten that he was in a wheelchair (he was absolutely not "handicapped" ) - he was that kind of guy. Very quickly the wheelchair disappeared and there was just Oscar. His enthusiasm for life and for people was infectious. It also sustained him for 50+ years – well past what most of us would have done in similar circumstances. Just the past two summers, he had a large van outfitted and took multi-week trips to see the U.S.
Oscar is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 19 years Dora, and by his parents Dardanella and Ruben Cardenas of McAllen. Also brother Dr. Carlos J. Cárdenas (Chris) and their sons Adam, Simon and Daniel of McAllen. Sister Diana Albrecht (Cecil) and children Hilary, Miles and Emily of Boerne. Also his "Tia" - Sylvia Cárdenas of McAllen. In-laws Jose and Josefina Castillo of San Juan, sister-in-law Julia Perez (Edgar) and daughters Christina, Jessica, and Amanda of Houston, brother-in-law Jaime Castillo and son Johann of San Juan. And "Chiquita" his beloved Sheltie will miss him. Plus dozens of aunts, uncles, tios, tias, cousins and primos. His friends, acquaintances and those he positively impacted are uncountable.
Special thanks to his care takers and friends, Roberto Reyes, Cristina Cavada, Isabel Arrezola and Cari Segura. Also all of the doctors and nurses at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance for their tender and compassionate attention.
Through the tears, though – this is a time for celebration. There are no wheelchairs in heaven.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 222 E. Van Buren Ave, Harlingen; Easter Seals, 1217 W Houston Ave, McAllen; or Valley Association for Independent Living, 3016 N. McColl Rd., McAllen; Holy Spirit Catholic Church Retreat Center 2201 Martin Ave. McAllen 78504
Visitation will be held Sunday at 5:00 PM with a Rosary at 7:00 PM at Holy Spirit Catholic Church 2201 Martin Ave. McAllen. Funeral services will be held Monday 2:00 PM at Holy Spirit Catholic Church with entombment at Roselawn Mausoleum. www.kreidlerfuneralhome.com
Sign the guest book at www.themonitor.com/obituaries
Published by The Monitor from May 15 to May 16, 2011.