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Man took illness, life in stride

Richard Rubio coached his daughters’ softball teams, brought his daughter lunch everyday when she was in elementary school and was generally known as a giving and involved father.

Suffice it to say he believed in the importance of family.

“He was honorable, humorous and trustworthy,” said daughter Sonya Rubio, who lives in Clovis. “He was very involved in all parts of our lives. He made being involved really important.”

But after a battle with cancer, Richard is no longer around for his children. He died on Jan. 23 at the age of 50.

Richard, who married Lucia Mondragon on Feb. 7, 1975, worked for the state as an inspector and motor carrier safety specialist for 28 years.

But where he made his real impact was through his involvement with his family.

He coached his two daughters’ softball teams in the Clovis Girls Athletic Association for 17 years.

“One year he was coaching three teams and at one point he was coaching my mom, sister and me and we were all on the same team,” Sonya said.

Sonya said her dad loved coaching.

“He just liked doing something for us,” she said.

But his activity with his family didn’t stop on the softball field.

When Sonya was in elementary school, her teachers and the cafeteria workers call her dad “meals on wheels,” because everyday her dad delivered her lunch when she was at school.

In addition, he had a particular love for the Miami Dolphins.

During Thanksgiving 2003, Sonya said her family took their father to watch the Dolphins play against the Dallas Cowboys in Texas.

It was the last Thanksgiving he would experience.

In September 2003 he was diagnosed with liver cancer.

After learning about the cancer he was referred to a liver specialist at the University of Colorado’s Cancer Center.

But Richard’s cancer was so advanced that doctors couldn’t do anything to save him.

“Throughout his illness he took every step in stride and accepted things as they came,” Sonya said. “He touched the lives of so many people. He was a very loyal and compassionate person, and my friend. I can honestly say that there was nothing more important to my dad than his family. I believe that there is not one thing dad wouldn’t have done for our family.”

Sonya said her dad enjoyed living in Clovis, where he grew up and graduated from Clovis High School.

“He never wanted to move. He never wanted to leave here.

He thought this was a good place to raise kids,” Sonya said.

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