Rudy Vargas 1942-2009

Chicano Activist

By Jorge Castro
Published on LatinoLA: June 6, 2009

Rudy Vargas 1942-2009

June 4, 2009

Dear Friends and Relations,

It is with a sad heart that we convey this message of the passing of our dear friend and brother Adolfo "Rudy" Vargas. The longtime Chicano warrior, activist and filmmaker succumbed to an ongoing illness this morning at the UCI Medical Center.

Rudy was born in East Los Angeles, California. His father was the now deceased, Rudy Vargas and his mother is Magdalena Vargas. His paternal line emanates from Rancho de Santa Barbara, Guanajuato, MX and his maternal line comes from San Francisco de Borja, Chihuahua, MX.

Rudy /"Bugsy" grew up with a large family. His brothers are Eddie, Steve (deceased), Ronny, Johnny and Richard and his sisters include Eileen, Sandra, Yolanda, Dianne and Trudy. He had a tumultuous upbringing but he enjoyed the loving support of his extended family which included his grandparents, aunts, uncles and a multitude of cousins.

Rudy grew up on Downey Rd. In East LA and attended Lorena elementary school, Stevenson Jr. High and graduated from Garfield High in 1961. He went to ELAC and then on to Cal State LA (CSULA) and got his Master's degree from UCLA's School of Film and Television in 1977.

Rudy Sr. worked at the B.F. Goodrich plant where labor disputes were contentious and strikes frequent. Rudy Jr. became of aware early in his life about issues of injustice and labor as dad walked the picket line and the family was limited in the food and goods they could eat and purchase.

After a brief tour of duty in the U.S. Army, Rudy served as an aide to then U.S. Senator Pierre Salinger where he began to understand and serve the needs of the community. He saw higher education, social justice and media activism as key to advancing the cause of the poor and undeserved Mexican-American community.

Rudy was instrumental in helping many, many people get into college and be able to pay for it, as the coordinator of the E.O.P. program at Cal State where he also help start the Chicano Studies Department.

Rudy's career in film and television was remarkable in that he recognized the powerful impact the media can convey about a people's image and social standing. He developed documentaries for public television and created independent films which included such titles as "Realidades", "Una Nacion Bilingue, "Consuelo", "Yanomami: Keepers of the Flame". He culminated his career at Cal Poly Pomona as the Executive Producer of I&IT Learning, Mediavision.

What Rudy treasured above all were his family and friends. He frequently opened the doors of his home to host a myriad of events which usually involved his secret recipe BBQ, good music, plenty of wine and lots of good times.

Rudy is survived by his wife Julene, his mother Magdalena Vargas, 5 children, 5 brothers and 4 sisters including his aunts Elvira, Lucy, Mary, Carmen, Nena, Becky, 24 nieces and nephews and 6 great nieces and nephews.

We will miss you greatly Rudy and we send your spirit back to your creator with a lot of love and pray you are received in Heaven as warmly and as lovingly as you were cherished here on Earth.

The services have been scheduled for Tuesday June 9th at St. Denis
Church in Diamond Bar, CA.

2151 S Diamond Bar Blvd
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
(909) 861-7106

Viewing at 9:00 a.m. Mass at 10:00 a.m. and a reception to follow which will include an indigenous ofrenda /offering.

Thank You.

Jorge and Sandra Vargas- Castro
(714) 243-6018

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