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.
Elizabeth Ortiz de Valdez
As many, many others, I had the blessing of knowing Virginia, her family and her work.
Our encounters were brief and not too frequent, but Virginia always had a smile for me and a genuine attitude of caring , a personal touch.
As my little granddaughter will say: Virginia went for a” beautiful vacation in heaven”. Jose, your companera de vida will always be remembered con carino, admiracion y respeto.
Un abrazo con carino filial.
George L. Paul
Jose and Family:
This is truly sad. I will forever remember Virginia’s smiling face and kindness, and wish all of you the best in carrrying on without her.
I was saddened to just recently learn about Virginia Cardenas departure to our eternal place in life. Having attended many fiestas tipicas mexicanas at hers and Jose’s home always left me wanting to be closer to her. She had a genuine compassionate and friendly disposition about her, not to mention the most contagious smile that lit up a room. We spoke many times about getting together for lunch and me desiring to collaborate with her on some latino effort as I felt being just an acquaintance was a privilige. I am sad we never connected outside her parties and regret even more I did not attend the last party she gave for a friend celebrating her 60th birthday. Jose, tu gran amor y companera del alma te estara esperando cuando llegues a su lado con esa gran sonrisa y un fuerte abrazo. Con mucho aprecio, Conchita