Ruben Anthony Varela was born on the 13th day of February 1948 to Santiago and Eloisa Varela in Los Angeles, California. They later moved to Huntington Park, CA where he graduated from Huntington Park High School (made famous by the movie Grease). Private First-Class Ruben Varela served our country in the Vietnam War from 1967–1968 as a helicopter gunner and infantryman.
Upon his return, he married his beloved sweetheart, Priscilla Montoya. Four daughters, Regina, Jennifer, Rachel, and Olivia were born while they lived in Southern California. Ruben worked for Pacific Bell Telephone Company as a lineman and installer – back in the days when cell phones were never heard of.
In the early 1980’s Ruben and family migrated to the Spokane Valley, WA area to start a new life in the Great Northwest. As opportunity was abundant, Ruben also signed-up with the Washington Army National Guard. For nearly two decades, he drove HMTT (pr. hemmit) Refueling Trucks for tank support. Serving his country was high on the bucket list. Ruben was also employed full time as an X-ray machine service technician. He loved the challenge to troubleshoot and repair machine problems.
All four of his daughters eventually married beginning in 1990. Ruben and Priscilla celebrated their 50th anniversary March 25, 2020. Asked recently what the highlights of his life were, he stated “the birth of my granddaughters and my only grandson; all of whom I am very proud of”.
Ruben was a simple but humble man with simple pleasures – never requiring more than an ample supply of happiness and family to surround him, Seattle Seahawks included, as was bacon for breakfast and kettle popped popcorn during a good football game. Priscilla would often make his favorite meal as an expression of her love for him: “Beef Taquitos with Guacamole and Spanish Rice”. Hot tortillas with peanut butter were definitely a runner-up. Sleep Walk, by Santo & Johnny (1959), a favorite song of his, could be heard playing in the background.
He is survived by his spouse, Priscilla Varela, sisters Priscilla and Martie, daughters Regina, Jennifer, Rachel, and Olivia; grandchildren Jessica, Erica, Megan, Jeffrey, Alayna and Madeline; and great-grandchildren Penelope and Adeline.
Ruben will be interred at Washington State Veterans Cemetery; and while his body is there, Ruben’s eternal spirit is in the presence of the Almighty Lord God and His Son Jesus. Ruben loved the Lord and strived to please God daily. “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV). Entered into rest November 26, 2021 11:53PM.
Open casket visitation Thursday, December 9th, 2021, 11:00AM-3:00PM – Hennessey Funeral Home, 2203 N Division St, Spokane, WA 99207, Rose Chapel. | Ceremonial burial Friday, December 10th, 11:15AM to 11:45AM - Washington Veterans Cemetery, 21702 W. Espanola Rd., Medical Lake, WA 99022. Please arrive early between 10:45AM-11:00AM and wait in your car in the parking lot for instructions.
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