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McALLEN - Candelario (Cande) Ontiveros Jr., 60, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on December 6th, 2018. He passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family and friends following a long and valiant battle with a rare form of kidney cancer.

Cande once introduced himself to a crowd of people he did not know by noting that he was “born at a very early age.” That happy event happened on August 10, 1958 in Edinburg, Texas. He was fortunate to have been part of a large and loving family. Throughout his life, he was a natural leader, combining a gentle and dignified charisma with a

strong sense of right, wrong and purpose. After serving as a class officer throughout high school, Cande was elected President of the McAllen High School Student Body Class of 1976. A perennial class favorite, Cande was also elected Lord of the Mirror, McHi’s Prom King.

Cande was involved in many community and civic activities, even as a teenager. He was his party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor at Texas Boy’s State, and served on the McAllen Bicentennial Commission at the request of McAllen Mayor Othal Brand.

Likewise, he served as Student Body President of Pan American University and was also elected President of the Texas Association of Students, the umbrella organization for collegiate-level student governments across Texas. After graduation from Pan American, Cande earned his law degree from the Thurgood Marshall Law School of Texas Southern University, where he once again served as President of the Student Body.

After practicing law, first in Houston and later in McAllen, Cande began a successful career in business. Most notably, he purchased a small ambulance company in 1996 and, as CEO, built MedCare EMS into one of the finest 911 emergency services companies in Texas. MedCare is based on the principals of respect for patients, employees and the communities it serves, integrity and outstanding service. MedCare has received numerous professional recognitions as an excellent service provider and innovator. As an example, the Company was one of the first to use computerized predictive artificial intelligence analysis to optimize patient response times. While he set the tone, Cande was very proud of the professional management team that he helped build and the further independent support that team provided, particularly during the past several years during his personal medical challenges.

Over the course of his career, Cande also helped found and operate companies involved in banking, telecommunications and natural resources. Most recently, Cande and Ronnie enjoyed spending time with their children on their Hermosa Ranch in South Texas.

Cande also believed in giving back to his community. He served as President of the McAllen Boys and Girls Club, on the City of McAllen Ambulance Advisory Board and was appointed to a statewide EMT advisory board by Governor George W. Bush. He served on numerous other charitable and civic boards, including the Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce, Good Samaritan Nursing and as Chairman of the McAllen Economic Development Corporation and Comfort House Services. He loved his community and his country, and was awarded the “Proud to be an American” Hispanic Exemplary Award by El Americano News.

Cande and his family supported charities too numerous to mention. Beyond financial support, Cande and the MedCare professionals provide countless volunteer hours in support of civic, charitable and educational activities across the Valley.

More than his many accomplishments, Cande will be remembered very simply as a person who really never meet a stranger and knew how to be a true friend. He quietly, often anonymously, helped many many people, giving freely of his time and treasure.

He is survived by his beloved wife Veronica (Ronnie) Lyzette Flores Ontiveros, his sons David Xavier Ontiveros, Michael Alejandro Ontiveros, Armani Flores, Candelario Eli Ontiveros, Ryan Samuel Ontiveros and his daughter, Mariana Ontiveros.

He leaves behind numerous brothers and sisters, Melecio Ontiveros, Antonia Ontiveros, Jose Ontiveros and his wife Nancy, Cesar Ontiveros and his wife Debbie, Martha Ontiveros Castillo, and her husband Joel Tamez, Maria Veronica Ontiveros, Julieta Ontiveros Rosenberger and her husband Luke and Nora Ontiveros, widow of his late brother Roberto. Cande is also survived by many cherished nieces and nephews.

Cande was predeceased by his precious daughter Samantha Gabriela Ontiveros, his brother Roberto Ontiveros and his parents, Martha and Candelario Ontiveros Sr.

Public viewing was from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 9th at Rivera Funeral Home at 1901 Pecan Boulevard in McAllen. Rosary followed at 7:00, also at Rivera Funeral Home. The funeral was held on Monday, December 10th at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart in downtown McAllen. Burial followed at Valley Memorial Gardens in Mission on 3605 North Taylor Road at Nolana.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be directed to the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation and/or the McAllen Boys and Girls Club.

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