It is with our hearts breaking and great sadness that the family of Antonio Matthew Rangel (Tony) announce his peaceful passing at the age of 73, on November 21, 2019 at 12:41 in the afternoon. He was able to be comfortable at home surrounded by his beloved wife, family, and both his treasured grandchildren embracing him, both their heads on his chest, as he passed from this world to the next. He is preceded in death by his parents Antonio and Hortensia Rangel, brother Andy Rangel, and sister Cecelia Dunn. Tony is survived by his wife Jane Rangel of Citrus Heights, son Joseph Rangel of Honolulu, daughter-in-law Tiffany Rangel of Hauula, favorite nephew Thor Dunn and spouse Erin Dunn of Roseville, his grandchildren Carmen and David Rangel of Hauula, and other siblings. Services will be held at Price Funeral Chapel located at 6335 Sunrise Blvd, Citrus Heights, CA, 95610. Monday December 2, 2019 at 9 am the viewing will begin. The funeral service will start in the same place at 11 am on the same day. Immediately following there will be a committal service held at Calvary Cemetery located at 7101 Verner Ave, Citrus Heights, CA, 95621. All are welcome. Concluding the graveside committal service a reception will be held. All are welcome.
Tony was born on July 14, 1946 to Antonio and Hortensia Rangel and big sister Cecelia in Stockton CA. He lived in Tracy and grew up in Fair Oaks CA. Tony successfully finished Orangevale Union Elementary School June 8, 1960. He attended Bella Vista High School for the following 4 years where he excelled in sports making the Bella Vista Star Football team in 1963 and the wrestling team, winning titles for his school. Even to this day a large photo of him in wrestling gear resides in the school office. Tony was known for being mischievous by his teachers. So much so that when his son attended the same high school some of the same teacher were still there and said “Tony Rangel’s son! Oh boy, here we go again!” Tony graduated from Bella Vista in 1964. After high school he decided to serve our country and Joined the Marine Corp. [SEMPER FI!] in 1965 where he was injured in combat and received the purple heart. He also received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation. He lost many friends in that war and was only one of three that survived that tour from an entire platoon that went out on mission. His close friend Smitty also remained from the same platoon after they both saved each others lives multiple times. They reconnected a few years ago and remained close until Smitty’s passing last year. After Tony’s injury he returned for a second tour. He received an honorable discharge from the Marine Corp in 1969. Upon his return he found his parents and siblings homeless, literally living under a tree and he took his earnings from his time away in war and purchased a home for his parents to take care of his siblings. Shortly after his return from Vietnam he met his true love Jane. They caught each others eye the first time they passed by each other in July 1969 but only spoke a few words. They ran into each other again and again only speaking a few words. January 2, 1970 Jane was on a boring date with someone else. Tony saw Jane and asked her to dance. After the dance he asked her if he could tell her other date to go home. She said yes, so Tony instructed the other date to leave during a private conversation. Tony and Jane were inseparable from that moment. They have been together over 50 years and married almost 49 years in January. Tony attended Cosumnes River College for a while earning high honors and making the Deans list in 1975, however did not graduate. On May 3, 1977 his son Joseph was born as a miracle baby as Jane was not supposed to be able to conceive. Tony was excited beyond words at the news he would become a father. His son was his pride and joy and he worked hard helping him tour the world coaching Joseph in Taekwondo. Tony worked as a longshoreman warehouse stocker for many years until they closed.
Having only a few classes left and not wanting to leave things unfinished, Tony was encouraged by family to go back to college and finish his degree. He proudly graduated American River College with an associates degree just before the turn of the millennium December 16th 1999. He gained a daughter-in-law to his small family, Tiffany, in January 1999 whom he loved to tease and banter with. She got him a job working alongside her at Home Depot where their relationship moved from just in-laws to friends and father and daughter. He worked there until his massive heart attack, linked to his time in Vietnam for exposure, in July 2004 where he officially retired. His family was told he would not survive. But Joseph and Tiffany researched medical books and insisted Tony’s doctor put in a pacemaker/defibrillator. After much arguing with the doctor, they persuaded the doctor to preform the surgery, thus saving Tony’s life several times over giving them an extra 14 1/2 years. This also allowed for him to see the births of both his grandchildren and the time to play with them. His first grandchild, Carmen, was born on December 15, 2008. Grandson David was born on April 24, 2011. Tony lived for those grandchildren from the moment he found out he would be a grandfather. They brought him great joy for the last 11 years. Toward the end he had not been able to speak or respond much for over a week but upon seeing them show up at his bedside he heard their voices talking to him and he opened his eyes, tried to sit up and said loudly “Hhhhhiiiiiii” with the biggest smile on his face. Those were his last words just two days before he went to be with God.
First and foremost Tony was a family man. His home is filled with photographs of his time with his beautiful wife, son, daughter, grandchildren, extended family and friends. When you enter the home you can feel the love and care he had for them. He always lent a hand when he could. He was always loud and boisterous and made friends everywhere he went. When he walked into a room you always knew you would be laughing with him as he teased, joked, and had fun with everyone he came in contact with. Doctors looked forward to his visits as one of their favorite patients. Everyone knew him in town. Even workers at his favorite restaurants, grocery stores, or hardware store loved seeing him walk through those doors. Tony enjoyed working with his hands and worked on cars and in the yard. He always kept a neat and tidy house where everything had it’s very specific place. His tools were kept immaculately clean with all the manuals in place as well. He took pride in his home.
He loved his son Joseph and spent much of his free time coaching Joe in Taekwando. He was always there for every event in Joe’s life from competitions, graduation, police academy graduation, marriage and the birth of the grandkids. There was no keeping him out as he heard the first cry of his new granddaughter Carmen. He burst into the door saying “where is she!? Where is she!?” And holding her even before mom was cleaned up and had the chance to hold her too. The joy radiated from his face every time he looked at them. He even rushed to the hospital at 2 am as soon as little David was born too. Nothing could keep him away.
Tony was passionate about gardening. Every year he would till a small piece of his property and grow tomatoes, strawberries, zucchini and other vegetables he shared with family and neighbors. He got the grandkids involved in helping him too and enjoyed watching them taste the fruits of their labor. Tony LOVED roses. He has roses lining the front and back fence all the way around the yard. Roses so fragrant you understand what Shakespeare meant when he wrote “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” He could be found in the yard often tending them in all kinds of weather.
Tony always offered a hand. Helped Tiffany with electrical, plumbing, or yard work for their home. He worked side by side with her at Home Depot and with her in her home too with repairs and such. He taught her much about home repair when she got stuck and gave fantastic cleaning tricks. He always wanted her and the kids to be safe and insisted on buying the breaks and tires for her car when they got worn down. Their safety gave him peace of mind. Tony loved being a grandpa or Paka as the kids called him. He played with them always. Took them outside to ride bikes or pulled them around in a Red Radio Flier wagon. Took them trick or treating and cleaned their ouchies. Pushed them on the swing set he had in the back yard and took them to McDonalds or indoor rock climbing encouraging them to be brave. When it became difficult for him to walk he got himself and electric scooter and raced against Carmen and David down the street; they on their bikes and he on his scooter. Nothing would stop him from playing with them.
Tony LOVED food. Second only to his family. Cooking it or eating it. BBQing, baking or stovetop cooking. He made a Thanksgiving turkey or ham every year even if Tiffany was doing the cooking that year, he still made his own. Joe loved his sweet potatoes, Jane his Bbq ribs, Carmen and David his famous Mamwhich. Tiffany was honored to be handed the family recipes in confidence for the Ham, yams, and stuffing to which she proudly makes today with his grandkids.
Through the years Tony found peace at the Ocean in Pacifica and loved the Redwood forest. He was funny and intelligent. Kind and ornery at the same time. Driven and gentle. He was faithful to God, his wife and family. The house is quiet without him, and he will be missed beyond words. But we know he is with God and keeping a safe eye on us all.
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