NewsLocal News


Harrel's Kingsville Pharmacy employees and customers remember beloved employee "Red"

pic red 2.jpg
Posted at 5:32 PM, Sep 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-19 18:32:05-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A beloved staple in the Kingsville community passed away last Tuesday after losing the battle to cancer.

Oscar Vela, who many knew as "Red" because of his red hair growing up, worked as a pharmacy technician at Harrel's Kingvsille Pharmacy. He worked there for about 23 years since the business bought out the old drug store that Red had worked at as a pharmacy clerk.

During his time working at Harrel's, Red grew many friendships with customers, co-workers, and even strangers along the way.

"He was a gentleman. He was always a gentleman. Busy, busy, busy. He was always ready to serve whoever he needed to serve and give them information if they needed any," long-time customer Alicia De La Rosa said.

Many said that Red worked selflessly, always putting himself before others. Some of his friends said he made everyone feel welcomed and in good hands. He would even go out of his way to hand deliver medication to customers.

"Whenever a customer would come to get their medicine, he was already looking for it because he knew the name of that customer. He was very friendly and he knew the people. When he delivered medicine to your home, you felt comfortable with him. He was a good man," lifelong friend Roberto Moreno said.

Red's boss and friend Nick Harrel III said how many people from around the country would stop by the pharmacy just to meet the man who was featured on the Texas Bucket List and other television programs.

"Of course, it was supposed to be about the pharmacy, but it ended up being about Red. He stole the show. He was an outstanding person. He was very quiet, very humble and he just took care of people. He didn’t look for the glory in it. He just helped people out wherever their needs were," Harrel said.

Although Red may be gone, his memory will always stay and his legacy will never be forgotten, neither at Harrel's or with the rest of the city.

"When somebody that you’ve known 60 years passes away, a part of you dies. I will miss him for the rest of my life... Red," Moreno said.