Stephanie Paniagua, 19, of Wharton, passed away suddenly at her home on Sunday, June 7, 2020. She was born May 8, 2001 in Wharton to parents Nicolás Paniagua and Rosa Maria Arias Paniagua.
Stephanie was raised in Wharton and was a 2019 graduate of Wharton High School. She graduated in the top 15% of her class with 60 college credit hours as part of WHS Roar Academy. She was attending Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, where she aspired to become a cardiologist. She longed to help people. Stephanie was a tutor, in her own words, “I am Hispanic with my bilingual asset; I yearn to help students who are behind in school due to their language barrier. My main goal is to help those kids who fall behind and struggle in the classroom, those kids who are most likely to become high school drop-outs.” She was passionate about politics and civil matters as well. She was an activist for the BLM movement and immigration rights. Stephanie loved music and attending concerts with her family and friends were some of the happiest moments of her life. She also enjoyed playing tennis with her best friend, Ybette Vasquez.
Those left to mourn her loss are her parents Nicolas and Rosa Paniagua of Wharton, brothers: Luis Alexi Paniagua and Julio Cesar Paniagua of Wharton, and Jose Rosario Arias of Mexico; paternal grandparents: Jose Luis and Filiberta Paniagua and maternal grandparents: Placido and Rosa Paniagua Arias; godparents: Jose and Brenda Palmerin; aunts and uncles: Joel Arias Paniagua, Saul Arias Paniagua, Juan Arias Paniagua, Jose Guadalupe Paniagua, Jaime Paniagua, Yarely Paniagua and Maria Irais Paniagua; cousins: Karen Lizbeth Pantoga, Lexi Maria Aria Pantoga, Marie Guadalupe Arias Zamudio, Monica Arias Zamudio, Mery Sari Zamudio, and Kevin Zamudio.
Visitation was held on Sunday, June 14 starting at 5 p.m. with a rosary recited at 7 p.m. at Wharton Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was celebrated at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 15 at Holy Family Catholic Church with Father Antonio Perez officiating. Burial will take place at a later date in Mexico. Honorary pallbearers were the Wharton High School Class of 2019.
Funeral services were under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home. Condolences may be left at whartonfuneral