Armando Chapa was born on January 1, 1941, in Houston, Texas to Jose and Alberta Chapa. Growing up in his neighborhood of “Magnolia” he attended Harris Elementary, Edison Junior High, and Milby High School. There he was a standout athlete, teammate, and learned life lessons that would shape him into the impactful servant leader the City of Kyle would see him become.
Armando enrolled and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, following the guidance from his father to continue his education. After graduation, Armando stayed in Central Texas and began working at Gary Job Corps Center in San Marcos. During this time, he knew there was someone missing from his life. He returned to his neighborhood to find his companion, Evangelina. They married in September of 1966 and began their life together in Hays County.
In 1974, Armando was recruited to work with the Hays-Blanco Special Education Cooperative. Thisopportunity moved the family to their current home in Kyle, where they added to their family and raised five daughters Veronica, Cynthia, Rebecca, Jessica, and Cassandra. As a coordinator with the Co-Op, Armando displayed his amazing work ethic, passion for serving others, and a sense of humor that uplifted those around him and it did not go unnoticed. He was promptly promoted to a Special Education Supervisor and then to principal at Hays Middle school in 1977.
To serve at these capacities Armando showed loyalty and determination by returning to school and earning his master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Prairie View A&M and receiving his necessary certifications from UT and Prairie View respectively. Armando would continue to serve Hays Consolidated School District for another 27 years as Principal of Kyle Middle School and a counselor at Barton Jr. High.
Even before his retirement in 2004, Armando had already established quite a legacy in the Kyle community. He earned the endearment of “Papa Chapa” for modeling to others what it means to put family first and then treating everyone he served with love, dignity, and respect as he did for his own family. As an avid reader he knew the details were important, and the small things matter. This mindset encouraged him to be a highly visible community member. His presence allowed him to make deep long-lasting relationships that would shape the lives of so many people around him. He became a role model for the Hispanic community and an advocate of education for all. He had such an impact that before he could truly settle into retirement, Hays Consolidated named their fourth middle school, Armando Chapa Middle School, in his honor in 2006.
God blessed Armando with a unique gift for servant leadership. For anyone in need, Armando was willing to help and encouraged others to do the same. As a member of St. Anthony Marie De Claret Knights of Columbus for 40 years he was able to live his faith and lived out his commitment to serve his community. He used his love of sports to promote the then Hays Rebels as a statistician, announcer, and journalist. Even when his daughters were not participating you could find him as a proud supporter because he knew that the students were the heart of the community. He was a mentor to so many people even after retirement for Hays CISD and in Lockhart ISD. He also continued to serve his alma mater by attending sporting events and working within the UT sport systems.
Armando never ceased to be present for the community and his family up until the time God called him to his final resting place on April 13, 2022. He peacefully rejoined his parents and leaves behind his siblings, Josephina Benavidez, Lydia Jaquez, Guadalupe Chapa and Raul Chapa.
Armando is survived by is wife of 55 years, Evangelina “Angie”, his daughters, Veronica and her husband Doug Biglen, Cynthia and her husband Michael Vandegarde; Rebecca Chapa; Jessica and her husband Jonny Zeplin; and Cassandra and her husband Cedric Newton. His legacy will also live on through his grandchildren, Christopher Michael Chapa, Matthew Chapa, Jaxson Vandegarde, Jace Vandegarde, Joseph Zeplin, Juliana Zeplin and Jordan Newton. His loved ones also included his extended family of nephews and nieces.
Beyond his family, Armando will be fondly remembered as a pillar to the community he so humbly served. Through his many special qualities and characteristics his legacy will continue through The City of Kyle’s Resolution established on April 19, 2022, Armando Chapa Middle School, and through those within the community which he served.
To the Medical Team of Ascension Seton Heart Specialty Care and Transplant Center and to Dr. Fidelis Amadi, we thank you for your commitment, dedication and support you have provided to Armando and Angie these past five years.
There will be a Memorial Service for Armando Chapa on Thursday, April 28 at 6:00 p.m. at Chapa Middle School, Kyle Texas.
Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, April 29 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony Marie de Claret Catholic Church in Kyle, Texas with a reception to follow.
In lieu flowers, the family asks donations to be made in Mr. Chapa’s honor to the CMS Scholarship Fund