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Frederick "Fred" Rusteberg '68 July 22, 2020 10:29 AM updated: July 22, 2020 10:38 AM

Frederick William Rusteberg, 74, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on July 19, 2020, at his home in Rancho Viejo, Texas, after a long health battle.

Born in Brownsville, Texas, on July 1, 1946, Fred was the first and only son of Jessie Cabler and Frederick Henry Rusteberg, Jr. To the delight of his family, he was born 10 long years after his four sisters. He grew up on their family tomato farm in Villa Nueva (near present day Veterans High School). He attended Brownsville High School and then Texas A&M University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Finance and later completed his graduate studies at Texas Tech University. While at Tech, Fred met and then married the love of his life, Frances Hill.

As a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army, Fred was trained as a Huey helicopter pilot and served as Flight Operations Officer responsible for overseeing South Korean airfields, based in Seoul, South Korea, during the Vietnam War era in the early ‘70s. After serving in Korea, Fred and Frances moved back to Brownsville, where he began working on the railroad relocation project in his capacity as assistant Port Director at the Port of Brownsville. He began his banking career as Vice-President at First National Bank in 1977. In 1984, he became the founding President and CEO of IBC Bank in Brownsville where he served for over 35 years until his retirement.

Fred had a strong belief in serving his community and has received countless recognitions. He has been honored with a Congressional Record by the US Congress, has been recognized as an Outstanding Citizen by the State of Texas, the Boy Scouts of America and the Brownsville Historic Museum. Fred served on the Brownsville Community Foundation Board, the Brownsville Rio Grande Railroad Board, and was Tri-Chair for the City of Brownsville’s comprehensive 10-year plan, Imagine Brownsville.

Promoting education in South Texas was one of his greatest passions and Fred helped raise millions for education, chairing numerous successful school bond issues. He was Chairman of the Strategic Planning Team for BISD in 1997 and 2006, served two terms as Chairman of the University of Texas–Brownsville Development Board and was a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council at UT-Austin. His family established the first scholarship endowment at UTB/UTRGV.

Fred is preceded in death by his parents, Frederick Henry Rusteberg, Jr. and Jessie Cabler Rusteberg, sisters Betty Richardson Stevenson, and Freda Stone. Fred is survived by Frances, his loving wife and life partner of 49 years, his two children William “Rusty” (Tammy) Rusteberg of Brownsville, and Liz (Chad) Hainley of Rancho Viejo, and two grandchildren Jessie and Will Hainley. He is also survived by two of his siblings, Joy (Bill) Burns of Harlingen and June (Adolph) Dittman of Brownsville, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

More than anything, he loved his family and friends. Throughout their marriage, Fred and Frances loved traveling and cruising around the world. Fred was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing with his golfing buddies and his dog Bella. He will be remembered as a great banker, a great boss, a great mentor and a great friend. But more importantly, he was an outstanding and loving husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother, and uncle.

Due to gathering restrictions, a private burial service will be held.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in memory of Fred W. Rusteberg to: the Episcopal Day School, 34 North Coria, Brownsville, Texas 78520, or St. Joseph Academy 101 St. Joseph Drive, Brownsville, TX 78520 or to UTRGV Fred & Frances Rusteberg Endowed Scholarship for Business 1201 West University Drive, EITTB 1.210, Edinburg Texas 78539 and First Presbyterian Church, 435 Palm Blvd, Brownsville, TX 78520.

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