Armando Rubio, age 73, of Oklahoma City, passed away Thursday, February 18, 2021. He was born May 6, 1947, in El Paso, Texas, to the late Andres and Ramona Rubio, and was raised in Juarez, Mexico. On January 15, 1972, he married Margarita Garcia, in Los Angeles, California. They raised their family in Oklahoma. He was proud to be an American and an Oklahoman who was involved in the Hispanic community and who planted deep roots in this state.
Growing up, as a Mexican resident, Armando was not familiar with the United States until as a teenager, his father told him it was his duty as a U.S. citizen to register for the draft. So he registered for the U.S. Army in 1966 and was drafted a few months later. Traveling from Juarez to El Paso to report for duty, Armando was certain he would be sent home because he spoke only Spanish. However, when the Army sergeant asked if anyone in the room didn’t speak English, he missed the question because it was asked only in English. So he stayed, getting his hair cut, getting welcomed to the U.S. Army, receiving his fatigues. He could see the lights of Juarez at night and almost walked back home. But, although he probably could have cleared up the language misunderstanding and returned to Juarez, “another day became another day, another day,” he said. His path eventually took him to Germany for the Army and then to California after he got out. His California job for General Motors eventually led to a job in 1983 in Oklahoma City as an assembler at the GM plant.
Armando realized quickly there were no Spanish media in Oklahoma City and eventually got his license from the American Broadcasting School in Del City. Over time, Armando wanted to become more involved in the Hispanic community. He started volunteering to help Latinos with their income taxes. He leased time from KTLR 890 AM, formerly KBYE, to do a radio show in Spanish, selling ads and producing the show while still working full-time for GM. He began working part-time for Tyler Media as it launched a Spanish radio station. He went to the company full-time in 2000 as it launched a television station. At the same time, he retired from GM after a 30-year career. He served as Telemundo T30’s station manager and hosted a weekly show that discussed issues important to Hispanics here.
Armando was recognized throughout the community and served on boards and as a volunteer to help members of the local Hispanic community, including the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, the Salvation Army and the Capitol Hill Main Street. In 2015, Armando was the recipient of the Guardian Angel Excellence in Leadership Award from the Latino Community Development Agency. In 2017, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award/Excellence in Media Award from the Oklahoma Media Network.
Armando is survived by his wife of 49 years, Margarita Rubio; son, Rigoberto Robles and his wife Alicia; daughter, Tania Woods and her husband John; grandchildren, Abigail and Avery Robles and Miles Rosas, Ryan and Finley Woods; and brothers, Gabriel and Andres Rubio.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Alberto Rubio; and sisters, Juana Silvia Flores and Susana Rubio.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Latino Community Development Agency for the Armando Rubio Scholarship Fund (designate in memo line) at LCDA, 420 SW 10th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73109 or at www.lcdaok.com.
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