Having experienced multiple organ failure, Rafael died peacefully at the Virginia Hospital Center, surrounded by his loving family.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 28, 2017 at the Cunningham Funeral Home, 811 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA. He will also be remembered at the 8:30 Mass at St. Ann's Church in Arlington, VA, on July 28. as well as in the prayers of the faithful during all Saturday-Sunday Masses at St. Ann July 29-30.
Rafael worked at the Washington Evening Star in the 1960’s and with the National Geographic Society in the early 1970’s. He spent the rest of his career in IT in the Army, most recently in its Corps of Engineers.
After retiring from the Corps, he did volunteer work, with emphasis on ensuring people were fed and had shelter, at the Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia and the Arlington Food Assistance Center. He also taught citizenship classes through the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington Hogar Immigrant Services, provided tax assistance through AARP, and volunteered for several years during the annual Susan G. Komen ® Race for the Cure.
He is survived by his wife, Natalie Pargas, his children Jonathan, David and Jennifer Pargas, by three granddaughters, Natalie, Isabelle and Loretta Pargas, by his brother Roy Pargas and sisters Loretta Ann P. Rosales and Maria Cristina P. Bawagan, as well as by nieces and nephews. They will all miss his quiet presence, his corny jokes, and his most generous heart.