Ruben John Vasquez, known as RJ, was born to Estanislao and Catherine Vasquez on October 7, 1945, in Anahuac, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
He came to the United States at 6 months of age and lived with his family in Texas. The family then moved to Wiggins, Colo., where he was an athlete who played many sports in high school and upon graduation from Wiggins High School, he entered the military enlisting to the United States Marine Corps. He was stationed at Camp Lejeume, NC, for four years. Upon being honorably discharged, he then went to work for GAC Finance in Greeley, Colo., where he later transferred from Greeley to Wichita, Kans., ultimately ending up in Kansas City, Kans. It was there where he met Delene Abati who would become his wife (just six months later) on June 5, 1971. The couple started married life in Roeland Park, Kans., and later moved to Prairie Village, Kans. In 1977, they settled in Kearney, Mo. Throughout that time he worked for many large corporations including what was once Trans-World Airlines (TWA). In 1983, he enrolled in radiology technology school and graduated in 1985 as a registered radiology technologist. He worked in various capacities of the radiology industry for nearly 25 years eventually retiring from working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leavenworth, Kans., in 2008.
RJ is survived by his wife of 52 years, Delene; two sons, Marc and Nicolas; daughters-in-law, Kate Mitchell and Trina Gutierrez; and seven grandchildren, Jakob, Aiden, Mackenzie, Jackson, Reid, Mia and Lydia. He is also survived by sisters, Alicia, Mary Jane, Guadalupe, Eloise and Pomposa; and brother, Juan.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Estanislao and Catherine; brother, Manuel; and sister, Martha; as well as brothers-in-law, Simon, Carlos, Raymond, Mike and Harmon.
In addition to having a love of spending time with family and traveling, RJ was passionate about this country. After serving in the Marine Corps, he later spent significant time serving in Army, Navy and Air Force reserve units. In 1991, during his time in the Navy Reserve, he was deployed to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, where he helped a team build a field hospital that was used to triage casualties during Desert Storm. He also served as chief radiology technician for the facility.
RJ’s family will host a receiving of friends on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Fry Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, 208 South Jefferson, Kearney, Mo. A Celebration of Life will take place at First Baptist Church Kearney, 303 S. Grove, Kearney, Mo., on Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in his name to the United Services Organization (USO), a service he enjoyed in airports all over the country.
Our Sincere Condolences
Marc – On behalf of you professional family at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), our heartfelt condolences are with you and your entire family. May you find peace and comfort in the many fond memories you must have of your father.
– Phil Kirk
We send our love and support to our colleague Marc and his family. We loved reading about Marc’s father’s Ruben’s love and service-filled life. We are so sorry for your loss and hope you find peace and comfort in your happy memories.
Bridget Bean and Boyden Rohner
Nic, you and your precious family are in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your Dad and his sacrifices to our freedoms. Praying for you in this difficult time.
Tammy Gerlits and son, Garrett Forshee, Jamestown KS