Mary K. Vargas

Mary K. Vargas, age 81, of Dubuque, Iowa, completed her earthly journey on December 26, 2022, at home, surrounded by her loving family.  To honor Mary’s life, a private family service is being held.  The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving Mary’s family.


Mary was born on December 28, 1940, in Dubuque, IA, a daughter to Laverne and Katherine (Kass) Heiberger.  She met the love of her life, Claudio Vargas, while living in Chicago and the couple eventually made their way back to Dubuque to be close to family and raise their children of their own.  Mary did spend some time working outside of the home throughout her working years.  Andes Mint Company, John Deere Dubuque Works, Olmart Packaging, and Zebra Technologies are where she spent most of her time, but most recently she enjoyed her last years with the Tri-State Blind Society.  Mary made many friends along the way and always valued her close friends and family above all.  In her free-time, Mary and Claudio were avid bowlers and earned many trophies which still adorn her home today.  They also enjoyed venturing out to their favorite restaurants, and an occasional trip to the casino was also on their list when time allowed.  Mary loved her family more than words could describe and anytime her grandkids and great-grandkids were close by was always considered a successful and fruitful day in Mary’s eyes.  We will miss Mary with all of our hearts and hope to find some peace in time through the legacy of love which she leaves behind.  The world is surely a little lesser place today without our sweet Mary walking among us.  Thank you, Mary, for leading with love and continually allowing your light to shine brightly in the world around you.  We love you forever and hope that you and Claudio are catching up after your short time apart and we’ll treasure every memory until we meet again.


Those left behind to cherish the memory of Mary include,


her four children,

Antonio “Tony” (Tammie) Vargas, Dubuque, Iowa,

Desiree (Jeff) Nelson, Panama City, Florida,

Dominic (Lori) Vargas, Dubuque, Iowa,

and Michael “Mike” (Laura) Vargas, Dubuque, Iowa;


her adored grandchildren,

Shane, Justin, Danielle, Faith, Alexandria, Kayla, Emma, and Ashley;


her great-grandchildren,

Leah, Madelyn, Paisley, and Sophia;


her siblings,

Al (Bonnie) Heiberger, Dubuque, IA,

Sandy Bockes, Marion, IA,

and Betty Heiberger, Dubuque, IA;


along with numerous extended family, friends, and neighbors.


Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Claudio Vargas; her daughter, Nereida “Cissy” Romero; her sister, Patricia Heiberger; and her brother-in-law, Joe Bockes.


Mary’s family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Hospice of Dubuque for all of their tender care and support.


Online condolences may be shared with Mary’s family at

To honor Mary’s life, a private family service is being held.

2 comments on “Mary K. Vargas
  1. Julie Klar says:

    Tony, Desi, Dominic and Mike, I’m so very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. I have so many memories of growing up on Ellen St and time spent at your house and with all of you. Sending my deepest condolences, prayers and hugs.

  2. Phil Wagner says:

    My condolences go out to the Vargas family at their time of sorrow.Good times were a norm back in the day.Mary will be missed.God bless.

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