Raymond R. Vela, 80, passed away with his family by his side at his home on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. He was born Aug. 31, 1940 in Cedar Valley to the late Epolito and Victoria Regalado Vela.

Raymond was a graduate of Boling High School. He received his AAS from Wharton County Junior College, BAS from University of Houston, MSW from University of Michigan, and ABD from Texas Southern University. He served our country honorably in the United States Navy.  

Raymond married Mercedes Marin on Sept. 13, 1959 in New Gulf. Together they raised three children. Raymond spent his time watching his grandchildren, nieces and nephews playing various sporting events. He also enjoyed his time fishing, serving others and counseling. 

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brothers -in-law: Felipe “Sonny” and Alfonso “Poncho” Marin; grandchildren: Michael and Michaela Vela, Teague Owens Rab; great-grandchildren: Mia Harper, Scarlett Owens and Michael David Owens, Jr.  

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mercedes Marin Vela; children: Raymond David Vela and his wife Melissa of Bryan, Michael Ray Vela and his wife Gloria of Wharton, and Judy Lynn Owens and her husband Christopher of Baytown; grandchildren: Christina Kirkpatrick, Anthony Vela and wife Amy, Christopher Owens and wife Olivia, Michael David Owens and wife Mona, and Mercedes Owens; and grandson-in-law Patrick Rab; great-grandchildren: Xavier, Issaac, Noah, Mariah, Nathanial, Gabriel, Ryley, Aaden, Christopher, and Vincent.

Visitation was held Friday, Oct. 9 at Wharton Funeral Home after 6 p.m. and a rosary was recited by Deacon David Valdez at 6:30 p.m. A private funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church with Fr. Antonio Perez. Burial will follow in Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery in Wharton.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Vela family deeply regrets to inform you that the funeral Mass and burial will be limited to family.

Raymond’s family would like to thank Houston Hospice of El Campo, Fr. Michael Rother of St. Phillip’s Catholic Church and Fr. Charles Dwomoh of Hungerford for their excellent care.

Funeral services are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home.  Condolences may be left at whartonfuneralhome.com

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