RICARDO S. ESCOBAR
PHARR - Ricardo S. Escobar passed from this life into eternal life on February 12, 2023, at age 89.
Better known to most as Richard Escobar, he was born February 5, 1934 in Pharr, Texas to Jose Maria and Rev. Lucia S. Escobar. He attended PSJA primary schools until the family moved to Donna, Texas where he graduated from Donna High School in 1953.
On December 26, 1961, he married the love of his life Aida Imelda Cano and went on to have two children, Rick and Cynthia, and together made their home in Pharr.
The word most synonymous with Richard was Sports. All throughout his life, he was involved in all kinds of sports. He lettered in football and track in high school. In his senior year, Richard placed in five events in district meets which earned him MVP for that year. He participated and placed in local, regional and state meets.
He continued to be active in college track and field events, often serving as team captain. He even set a record with a 22-foot long-jump. During his senior year, the team ran away with the Big State Conference Championship. Richard graduated from Pan American College in 1958 as a Physical Education major.
He competed in sports throughout his life, participating in Senior Olympics and Senior games. And when he wasn't out in the field running, he bowled and played softball. His most rewarding and exciting experience was participating with and helping found the South Texas Strider's Club, a non-profit organization that sponsors Valley meets and Fun Runs.
But the most endearing work of his life, was in teaching and coaching children of all ages to become involved in sports. Although competition was sometimes the goal, Coach Escobar let all children know it was for health and fun that one got involved in sports. He was involved with the Pharr Parks and Recreation Board, Boys Scouts, the Boys and Girls Club in Pharr and 4-H Club.
In 1994, Richard retired from the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo School District after having served for 37 years as an Elementary Physical Education Instructor and later as a Coordinator for the district's Elementary Physical Education Department.
He was an avid Texas Longhorns fan but first and foremost he was a Dallas Cowboys fan. No matter what kind of season the Cowboys had, he was a staunch defender of the "Five Rings" and "America's Team."
Richard was a devout member and leader in the United Methodist Church. He participated as a Young Adult, was an active member with the United Methodist Men, and was a Sunday School and a Vacation Bible School teacher. As a lay leader with La Trinidad Methodist Church, he provided support for its mission churches at El Capote and in Las Milpas.
He served his country for 12 years with the Texas National Guard until being activated into the Army during the Berlin/Cuban Crisis in 1961. He achieved the rank of Army Staff Sergeant, Truck Master for Headquarters in the 49th Armored Division.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Jose Maria and Lucia Saenz Escobar; four brothers, Ruben Escobar, Romeo S. Escobar, Joel Rene Escobar, and Jose Maria Escobar IV and his son-in-law, Robert Perales. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Aida; his children, Ricardo C. (Nella) Escobar), Cynthia Escobar Perales; granddaughters, Reeanna and Renay Perales; siblings, Alfonzo P. (Dora) Trejo, Mara Orpha (Neil) Johnson, and Lucia Angelita Escobar; also, his many nephews and nieces.
Everyone who remembers Richard is asked to celebrate his life in their own way. If he helped you in any way, look up and send him a word of appreciation. Richard was an amazing husband, loving father, grandfather, son, uncle, cousin, colleague, and friend. He will truly be missed by all and will not be forgotten.
In his loving memory, the family requests any donations be made to the PSJA Education Foundation. (https://www.psjaisd.us/domain/29) (601 E. Kelly, Pharr, TX 78577)
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., with a 6 p.m. prayer service Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at Memorial Funeral Home, 208 E. Canton in Edinburg. A Devotional will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, February 16, 2023, at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, followed by 3 p.m. burial at Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 3605 N. Taylor Rd. McAllen, TX.
Military honors will be conducted by VFW Post 8788 of McAllen.
Funeral services are under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home in Edinburg.