Russell Howard Vaca

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Russell Howard Vaca of Kansas City, KS passed away peacefully April 3, 2020 from Covid 19 at KU with his loving wife and 2 children by his side at the age of 64. Russell was born on Easter on March 25, 1956 to John and Marilyn Vaca. He was the second blessing to their growing family which included an older brother that he looked up to and a little sister that came about 1 ½ years later. Russell graduated from Washington High School in 1974. At the age of 17, he met the love of his life Ramona Vaca (Nilges) through his now brother in law and she’s had his heart ever since. She fell in love with his beautiful green eyes and his smile. Russell and Ramona dated for approximately 2 years and were married on September 11, 1976 at Christ the King Catholic Church. In February of 1978 they added a little boy to their family and on Easter in April of 1979 they added their little girl.

Russell was a lover of antique cars and trucks. Throughout his life he owned various makes and models of vehicles, with his favorite being his 1967 Chevy Nova. He was always so proud of his vehicles. Early on, Russell started out working in the grocery business with his dad and brother. Around the time that he was married, he transitioned into working in the lumber business. He worked for Sutherlands, E. A. Nielson Lumber Company and Welborn Lumber. He also had a second job that he loved; delivering donuts for Judy’s Bakery. He would take his children with him on the routes at night.

Russell and his wife moved to Colorado for about a year to pursue his dream of living in the mountains, but returned to Kansas City after the birth of their first grandchild. Russell joined the Unified Government of Wyandotte County Parks and Recreation in 2002 and invested every bit of himself in his work. He was a very hard-working man and always took pride in everything that he did. He made many close friends along the way.

Russell enjoyed spending time with his family, looking at cars and watching sports. He loved the KC Royals, KU basketball and the KC Chiefs. He wanted nothing more than to see his Chiefs win a Superbowl in his lifetime. Little did we know what was to come 2 short months later.

Russell is survived by his wife of 44 years and soulmate Ramona Vaca of Kansas City, KS and their children Russell Vaca Jr of Kansas City, KS and Jennifer Lucas (Jen) of Trenton, MO. He is also survived by his mother Marilyn Vaca, brother John Vaca (Kay), and sister Diane Vaca. He also leaves behind 6 grandchildren: Colyn, Julianna, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Lillianna and Alexander. He loved nothing more than being a grandpa. He also leaves behind many extended family, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his father John Vaca.

Russell’s family would like to thank the wonderful staff on Unit 61 at KU for the kindness and care that you gave him and our family throughout this time.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Go Fund Me page that a dear friend from Florida set up for his wife Ramona titled “Give Back to Ramona” to help with her finances and well-being.

Due to current restrictions a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.