McGilley State Line Chapel

12301 State Line Road, Kansas City, MO


Ruben J. Zaragoza

September 18, 1954October 2, 2019

Ruben J. Zaragoza, 65, of Leawood, KS, was born September 18, 1954, to David and Rose (Martinez) Zaragoza. He began his journey on to eternal life, surrounded by his family when he passed away on October 2, 2019.

Ruben married Mary (Bernal) in March 1973. Together they always made family their main focus and were dedicated to living a Christian life. Ruben was very involved in Guardian Angels Church and was a member of the Finance and Development Committee, annual Festival Committee, and a weekly usher at Sunday Mass.

Ruben grew up in Kansas City’s West Side neighborhood. He served in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1974. He earned a Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Accounting from Rockhurst University in 1982.

Ruben began his successful career while working for United Telecom and Sprint in various positions. After completing nearly 25-years in the fortune 500 sector where his area of expertise was taking new business opportunities from the drawing board to life, Ruben made the challenging decision to pursue self-employment. He was the Founder and President of Zaragoza & Associates, LLC, a professional business consulting organization. His work and love for travel took him to many places within the US and internationally.

Ruben served on many board of directors and volunteer roles, including the Mattie Rhodes Counseling and Art Center in Kansas City, MO, Bethel Neighborhood Center in Kansas City, KS, and the United Way. He also served as an Advocate/Dyad at Patient and Clinician Engagement; a Patient Ambassador with the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute; and as an Advisory Committee member on several research grants devoted to improving the health and well-being of refugees and immigrants residing in the urban core communities across Kansas City.

Ruben received many accolades in all his business endeavors. He was frequently called upon to serve as an intermediary between the Latino community and healthcare research programs in Kansas City. Most recently, one of Ruben’s visions that came to fruition was the establishment of the Paleterias Tropicana at the Med, a restaurant and catering business located at the KU Med campus.

One of Ruben’s favorite pastimes was watching the Kansas City Chiefs and the University of Kansas Jayhawks. RCJH! Ruben thoroughly enjoyed his participation at the annual Tejano Music National Convention in Las Vegas.

Family was most important to Ruben. His pride and joy were his six grandchildren, who he affectionately had nicknames for. He took every opportunity to show his love by attending almost every activity they were involved in. His greatest pleasure was their walks to the park, something they did together every time they visited. The grandkids will miss their Poppy.

Ruben is survived by his wife, Mary, and children David (Alicia), Alex, Martin (Tracy), and Sarah (Robert), grandchildren Mia, Andrew, Anthony, Adriana, Lydia and Lucas, sisters Cecilia, Stella, and Stephanie, uncles Henry and Alfred, aunt Mary, and many beloved family members, especially nieces, nephews, and Godchildren. Ruben was proceeded in death by his parents, David and Rose.

Funeral arrangements will be handled by McGilley State Line Chapel. Visitation will be at Guardian Angels Church, 1310 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111, on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 8:30am with the Rosary prayed at 9:15am. Funeral mass will begin at 10:00am followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery, 6901 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64131. Reception luncheon will follow the burial and will be held at Guardian Angels Church Hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Guardian Angels Church, Kansas City Hospice – Kansas Office, or the American Cancer Society.


  • Mary [Bernal] Zaragoza, Wife
  • David (Alicia) Zaragoza, Son
  • Alex Zaragoza, Son
  • Martin (Tracy) Zaragoza, Son
  • Sarah (Robert) Moreno, Daughter

  • John Davila
  • Jesse Gonzalez
  • Vincent Gonzales
  • Andrew Morales
  • Robert Moreno
  • Issac Samayee

  • Guardian Angels Catholic Church
  • Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care
  • American Cancer Society


  • Visitation and Rosary Service Thursday, October 10, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, October 10, 2019
  • Committal Service Thursday, October 10, 2019


Ruben J. Zaragoza

have a memory or condolence to add?

Frank Teran

October 15, 2019

It was such a pleasure getting to know Ruben and having the opportunity to work with him. I am sorry to hear the news of his passing and I pray that God gives his family and loved ones strength during this difficult time.

Misty LookingHorse

October 10, 2019

It is so unfortunate I meet the most amazing individuals only after a serious life-limiting illness has been diagnosed. Ruben and his entire family are just that. I could feel the love the moment I entered their home. Thank you for sharing Ruben with me! He will hold a special place in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Hugs to all,
Misty Looking Horse RN, BSN, CM
Kansas City Hospice

Robert Barrientos

October 8, 2019

I want to extend me and wife's condolences to the Zaragoza family for their Loss. I met Ruben through Brenda. I really appreciated Ruben and his interests in discussing business ideas and projects.

His name will always be spoken in our family.

Robert Barrientos & Marion Broderick

Hadar Kimchy

October 8, 2019

Hello Mrs Zaragoza and Ruben's family
October 7th, 2019, Israel
I was very sad to read your message this late evening.
First, I would like to send my deepest condolences to you and your dear family. I’m shocked to read about the passing of Ruben Zaragoza. For me Ruben is and will always remain a Young-Forever man.
I’m Ruben’s friend from Israel, my name is Hadar. I think that we all met in summer 2010 while you and Ruben visited the Seattle area. We all went for a dinner in a restaurant near Bellevue together with my family.
I must say that Ruben for me was always a dear dear friend. A true example of a caring and loving person. He is someone who will never be forgotten!
We used to work together while he was working for Amdocs in Seattle on 2002-2003. it was an immediate click with a wonderful human being who care deeply for his family, his friends and his community. I have had few hundreds of hours of Ruben.. Talking about life, about sports/football and basketball, having many many lunches and few dinners together.. and every moment with Ruben and his positive spirit was a true joy.
On the fun side of things.. I actually had the honor to teach him how to play soccer for the first time in his life, it was a brutal soccer and we used to laugh a lot about his new soccer experience.
Every moment I spent with this guy was precious moment!
I had the privilege to sit with him and chat about life, about becoming “older” man.. about the impact on the physical abilities of elder guys, joking on our ages and about life in general. It was a true joy for both of us.
Ruben for me is an excellent example of caring for others, caring for family, humanity, make the world better place for many unfortunate people. The ultimate intermediating person I’ve seen.
I was lucky to know Ruben and I would like to thank him for everything!
He will remain forever in my heart and in my mind.. his spirit and legacy always with me!
Hadar Kimchy
Hod-Hasharon, Israel

Angela Villegas

October 7, 2019

My deepest condolences to your family. I met Ruben thru my parents at one of the Tejano Conventions in Las Vegas, he was the most respectful, nicest hard working guy I have met. Returning every year to the convention, Ruben remember our names & was always the most friendliest person. Tejano Convention will not be the same without Ruben, he will be missed dearly. RIP friend!!


October 7, 2019

I will always have pleasant memories of Ruben and I attending sporting events in the 70s and 80s. I was always impressed with his intelligence on a number of subjects. My deepest condolences to Mary and the entire Zaragoza family.

Donna Bowell

October 7, 2019

My heartfelt sympathy to you Alex and your family. May God provide good memories of comfort to all. Love & Hugs,
Donna Bowell

Freda Mendez Smith

October 7, 2019

Ruben really cared for his community. He would attend LULAC meetings and help us do things. I will miss Ruben, he was one to count on in the community and will be sorely missed.

Genaro Ruiz

October 7, 2019

My deepest condolences to the Zaragoza family. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Zaragoza, for what he did and especially, how we went about doing it. He was the soft-spoken voice of reason, with a big, caring heart and solid, Christian faith. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers...