Our father, Richard V. Vargas, age 89, went to be with the Lord on March 23, 2020. He was born on a sugarcane plantation on the Big Island of Hawaii on Jan. 15, 1931, the sixth of eight children born to John and Tomacia Vargas. He graduated from Pittsburgh High School in 1949 and immediately joined the United States Navy. He served as an Electrician’s Mate P Second Class aboard the U.S.S. Jason during the Korean conflict, and loved his time traveling Japan.
He married Mary Rodrigues on April 10, 1954. The couple were together for almost 66 years.
For 30 he worked as a telecommunications installer for AT&T and was proud of his crew’s record for earning high efficiency marks. The job combined physical and mental work, building the phone system when cables, switches, and relays were housed in a physical plant. Many of his colleagues became life-long friends. He divided his life between Hayward, California and Cottage Grove.
As a Hawaiian-born Puerto Rican, he was very proud of his heritage. The unique music, food, and customs of Puerto Rico blended beautifully with Hawaiian culture. Richard was a believer in the King James Bible, a proud member of The American Legion, and an avid golfer.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Vargas; four children Jamie Vargas (Diane), David Vargas (Richelle), Marita Vargas, and Laurie Hammond (Scott); 13 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; three sisters, Priscilla Maschek, Libby Luxemberg and Marilyn Sanchez; a large number of nieces and nephews.
Details for a memorial service at Cottage Grove Bible Church will be announced later.