Virginia Cárdenas passed away on July 1, 2012. She was born on May 7, 1952, in Apizaco, Tlaxcala, Mexico, and emigrated to the United States (North Las Vegas, Nevada) at the age of seven. Virginia married her junior high school sweetheart, José, in 1972, and after he completed law school, the couple arrived in Phoenix in 1978. They moved to their current address in Chandler in 1986. Virginia never forgot her Mexican roots and spent most of her career working with recent immigrants or their children, first at Chandler High School and thereafter at Arizona State University where she worked as the eighth grade advisor in the Hispanic Mother Daughter Program. Virginia’s other great passion was arts and culture, a passion reflected not only in her personal art collection, but also in her service for many years as Chair of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and as a longtime board member of Xicanindio Artes, now Xico Inc. Her arrival in Heaven will bring joy to her father Sixto and her sister Alma, but those of us who remain and who loved her so very much are deeply saddened and we will miss her dearly. She is survived by her husband of 40 years, José A. Cárdenas; her three sons, Javier (wife Jennifer), José Luis and Sergio (wife Elizabeth); her mother, Virginia Vela, her brothers Alfonso, Fernando, John, Anthony and David Vela; her sisters, Rosy Corbeille and Lucy Vela; by her grandchildren, Sophia, Dominic, Santino and Matthew; by many nieces and nephews and by other extended family. Visitation will take place at St. Mary’s Basilica, 231 N. 3rd St., in central Phoenix on Friday, July 6, from 6 pm to 8 pm (Rosary at 7). A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, 3450 W. Ray Rd, in Chandler, at 11:30 am, on Saturday, July 7, 2012.