Ricardo Chapa

March 27, 1930October 5, 2021

Ricardo R. Chapa, 91 years, passed away on October 5, 2021 at his home surrounded by his wife, Gretchen, of 27 years and his children. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Susie Torres Chapa, his son Richard Chapa, Jr, and brothers Reynaldo and Renato Chapa. He is survived by his wife Gretchen, daughter in law Yolanda Chapa, son, Michael Chapa, daughter and son-in-law Veronica and Daniel Beaudoin, daughter and son-in-law Victoria and Walter Graner, and daughter and partner, Patricia Chapa and Sandy Davis, 9 grandchildren (Richard Chapa III, Robert Chapa, Laura Rohm, Matthew Beaudoin, Stephen Beaudoin, Grace Graner, Jacob Graner, Daniel Graner, Brandon Chapa) and 6 great-grandchildren (Liliana, Bobby, Roman, Alejandra, Benjamin, and Santiago) His four sisters, Rosa Margarita, Blanca Chapa, Ruby Ornik, Rosalinda Torline and sister in law, Sonia Chapa

Ricardo was born and raised in Mission, Texas, and worked much of his life as an administrator with McAllen ISD. Before attending college at Edinburg Regional College/Pan American University (*UTRGV), Ricardo volunteered to serve his country in the U.S. Army for a year, U.S. National Guard for a year, and the United States Marine Corp. for two years where he was wounded in the Korean War in 1951 and earned the Purple Heart Medal among other medals distinguishing his efforts and company. He was released from service due to his injuries as a sergeant. Ricardo received a BA in 1954 from Pan American University, an MS in 1960 from Texas A & I, and a PhD in Educational Administration in 1975 from Michigan State University. He started his educational career as a 5th grade teacher and a school bus driver with McAllen ISD. Ricardo became principal at Zavala Elementary. Following his principalship, he worked two years as director of Escuela International Sampedrana in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, C.A. Ricardo was offered a fellowship from Michigan State University in 1969 to work on his PhD and where he served as High School Counselor at East Lansing ISD. Returning back to the Rio Grande Valley, Ricardo was offered a position as an evaluator for Region One Service Center in Edinburg, then he was offered a position as Dean of Men at Pan American University for four years. The latter part of his career brought Ricardo back to McAllen ISD as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for 16 years, Superintendent of Schools for McAllen ISD, and interim Superintendent of Schools for PSJA ISD and Sharyland ISD. After retirement, Ricardo served as a school board President and member for McAllen ISD for six years.

Ricardo has always had it in his heart to serve God through his church and community activities including being President of the Serra Club of McAllen and member for 44 years, Commander of the Alhambra Club, Director of the Cursio Movement of Mission/McAllen, Eucharist Minister at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Teacher of CCD, and President and member of the Kiwanis Club for 35 years. Ricardo enjoyed spending time with his family and friends at many weekend barbecues, watching all kinds of sports, especially the Dallas Cowboys, going on vacation with family at South Padre Island, and driving up to Dripping Springs for summertime gatherings, Easter, and Christmas celebrations. His infectious spirit will be sorely missed, yet his spirit lives on in all our hearts.

Visitation and Rosary will take place on Monday, October 11th at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (2209 Kendlewood, McAllen,Tx.)from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. with the Rosary beginning at 7:00 p.m. Funeral mass will take place on the following day, Tuesday, October 12th at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church (1108 W. Hackberry Ave. McAllen, Tx.) at 10:00 a.m. Burial after mass located at the Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery, (3601 N. Taylor Rd., Mission, Tx.)

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ricardo’s memory to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church Capital Campaign or to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church


  • Memorial Service

    Monday, October 11, 2021

  • Mass

    Tuesday, October 12, 2021

  • Burial of Ashes

    Tuesday, October 12, 2021


Ricardo Chapa

have a memory or condolence to add?

Juan Jose Herrera

October 14, 2021

El Primo Ricardo will never be forgotten. His teachings make this world a better place. Mis oraciones con mis primas y primos desde Agualeguas. Our condolences for your lost.

Micaela Gutierrez

October 12, 2021

We loved Richard very much. He was a terrific father, husband and human. We loved playing lotería with him or spending any amount of time. Besos y abrazos to his family.

Francisco Rivera

October 11, 2021

My sincerest condolences to Gretchen, the Chapa and Torres families.

After my End-Time-Service from the Army, I worked for Dr. Chapa, Assistant Superintendent @ McAllen ISD, microfilming.

Ricardo was a Mentor, an Inspiration, but moreso, he was a Blessing.

Semper Fi and Godspeed Dr. Chapa

Amy Rodriguez

October 11, 2021

I didn’t know Dr Chapa well, but I did have the pleasure of sitting quietly with him before our Lord in Adoration. He was always very friendly. My deepest condolences to the family. I will pray for his soul. May he Rest In Peace.

sandy salinas

October 10, 2021

My dearest family from the Valley as I call it. My fondest memories as a young girl were my visits to Uncle Richard during summer vacations. I too will miss his spirit and his love he had for life. You will be missed but I know you are at peace with Aunt Susie and my Mom smiling down and having a good time as you always did. RIP my prayers are with the family. Your loving niece Sandy Salinas

Dominique Chapa

October 8, 2021

Aunt Veronica, Victoria, Tricia & Gretchen,
My sincere condolences to all & rest of the family. Papo was an amazing human being inside & out, I’ve been honored to have spent many years over holidays and celebrations with him. He was kind, genuine & full of love. Santiago will he honored to hear all the about his wonderful life journey!!! Santi was excited to finally meet Papo this summer. They talked for hours :)
Until we meet again Papo! We love you! Watch over us & Santi!!

Michelle Abouk

October 7, 2021

Dearest Vicki, Tricia, and family,
Your father was such an amazing man who loved his family and his community! I will never forget him advocating for me when I was facing having to switch schools for the 15th time in my life. When my family moved to McAllen from St. Louis, MO, the McHi girls basketball team and coaches took me in and made me feel at home. When my family moved to a house on the “Memorial” side of town, someone reported me to UIL, and I was going to have to change schools again! Dr. Chapa really went to bat for me….I was able to stay at McHi, continue playing varsity basketball, and graduate from McHi. I really loved your dad! May the fond memories of your dad give you comfort during this difficult time. He’s with your beautiful mom, now! RIP DR. CHAPA!❤️🙏🏻✝️

Adana Sanchez

October 7, 2021

Chapa Family,
I am so sorry to hear the passing of your father. I loved this man as my own father. He raised such a beautiful family. (I am thankful Tricia has always been by my side even though we are not living in the same town). I looked forward to seeing your dad at the McHi football and baseball games. He has such a wonderful heart. I’m just happy he no longer is suffering. It gives me great comfort to know he is with your mom and my parents. They are hanging out like they did when we were little. The house on Highland will always be the Chapa home. I have so many memories there. Let me know if anything is needed love you guys as my family!!
Adana Guerra Sanchez

Guizelda Bueno

October 6, 2021

Tio loved football but one rival was golf. He would go golfing with Tio Rey and my Dad (Ernesto). All three would bet beers on the next hole. Tio loved social gatherings especially with food & dessert. I made pan de polvo which he ate each day until there was no more. I remember Tio and my Mom (Chita) singing hymns. He was consistent with listening to Mom and about faith. Mom and Tio were close. He did not do physical labor until I saw him in shorts, non matching shirt, dress socks and dress shoes. As I retained my laughter I asked if he forgot his tennis shoes. He told me he did not have tennis shoes; what was wrong with his shoes. His sense of humor will be missed. When he smiled there was joy in his eyes. You are now with God and at peace.

Elena Brooks

October 6, 2021

Dear Chapa family, how sad we all are to hear of Richard's passing. I cannot tell you how many times Mom (Elida Hinojosa) has said to me that our community has no idea of exactly how much there is to thank Richard for and how he was so selfless in his service always prioritizing what was right over what was easy or popular. Personally, my memories will forever be of him being such a kind and always-happy person and a treasured lifelong family friend. Our prayers go out to each of you.