Richard “Dick” Douglas Vara, 82, of Jacksonville, Florida, passed away, Thursday, February 22, 2018.
Richard elected cremation using the services of the Neptune Society. At this time no definite plans have been made for a celebration of life service. Memorials may be made to the Horse Sense and Sensitivity of Jacksonville, FL.
Richard was born October 30, 1935 in Forestville, New York to Joseph and Hazel Vara.
He attended Silver Creek High School, eventually earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Rollins College in 1982.
On July 7, 1955 he married the former Neline Borello, his sweetheart from Brocton, New York. Richard retired from the U.S. Army in 1979 with over 20 years of military service.
After retirement Richard moved to Palm Bay, Florida where he attended Rollins College and started and sold numerous businesses. Richard then became a National Park Service Park Ranger for over 10 years in Fort Mantanzas National Monument and the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, where he was also a law enforcement officer. Richard subsequently relocated to Jacksonville, Florida where he enjoyed riding horses, working as a “ranch hand”, as well as substitute teaching in the Jacksonville, Florida public school system.
Richard was riding horses as recent as November 2017. He also enjoyed traveling and camping across the United States, as well as spending time with his four children, seven grandchildren and five step-grandchildren.
Richard is survived by his wife, Neline Vara, and his two sons and two daughters, Vance Vara and his wife Patty of Gaithersburg, MD; Joseph Vara and his wife Sherry of Fredonia, NY; Valery Gregory and her husband Michael of Jacksonville, FL; and Velitia Aronica and her husband Charlie of Honesdale, PA. He is also survived by his brother Donald Vara and sister Paula Beaver.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Hazel Vara, as well as two brothers, Samuel and Joseph.