Rogerio Rabago '53 July 12, 2022 11:08 AM updated: July 12, 2022 11:24 AM
Rogerio I. Rábago USAF (Ret.)
March 27, 1931 – June 26, 2022
Rogerio I. Rábago, age 91, passed away on Sunday, June 26, 2022, completing a life full of adventure and inspiration, laughter and learning, acceptance and adaptation, hope and faith—for all of which he felt and expressed humble gratitude. Rogerio was supported by the love of his life and partner in all adventures, his wife, Christa, and his children, Ronald, Karl, Paul, Eric, Richard, and Rebecca.
The kindness and support of others in his final passage was a gift of love. These included family, friends, and the various awesome members of his hospice and caregiver teams.
Rogerio was born and raised in Del Rio, Texas, to Ignacio and Maria Rábago. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Raul and René. In his childhood he developed a love of literature, especially tales of knights-errant, history, and philosophy. Rogerio was always up for learning something new but also clearly knew what he did and did not like. He would often tell his children, “De gustibus non est disputandum.” (In matters of taste, there can be no disputes).
He believed education was the key to overcoming any obstacles including those based on ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic status. He readily encouraged his children, grandchildren, or any child he met for that matter, to get an education and keep learning. Rogerio was a proud Eagle Scout and passed on his love of scouting to all his children. He graduated from Peacock Military Academy in 1949, attended Texas A&M University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in 1953. Several school friends and Air Force buddies became friends for life. After more than twenty years in the Air Force, serving with Christa and his growing family in locations across the U.S.A. and around the world, Rogerio retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1973.
Rogerio and Christa then settled with his family in Austin, Texas. He earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Texas and launched a second career with the Texas Education Agency. Rogerio and family became members of St. Louis Catholic Church in 1976. He served in several leadership roles with the Father Michael J. McGivney Council #5967 of the Knights of Columbus, including as Grand Knight. He obtained his Fourth Degree and was a Faithful Navigator. Rogerio was a quiet but loyal supporter of many charitable organizations, especially numerous animal rescue organizations, children’s charities, and Catholic charities. In addition to his work with the Knights, Rogerio participated in several organizations after retiring including the Military Officers Association of America Austin Chapter (serving terms as president and treasurer), Food Bank, and Seton Auxiliary and although not German himself, he was a proud member of the German Texas Heritage Society.
Rogerio’s homemade chorizo was legendary and better than any you could get in a restaurant. He was never afraid to speak his peace, and you always knew where you stood with him. All friends and family were welcome at his house. When his daughter brought home her friend Terri during high school “just for a week or two,” she stayed for two years and became a second daughter to him.
Rogerio will be remembered as witty and easy to laugh, absolutely committed to ensuring that Christa and his children were well-cared for until his last day. His favorite poem was Rudyard
Kipling’s “If.” He felt it important that everyone should read, at least once, H.L. Mencken’s, “Holy Writ.” And, after a scotch or two, he might just quote you portions of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” Rogerio was happiest after a big family meal when the wine flowed and soundtracks from the great musicians were playing on the record player. His family was pretty sure that Frank Sinatra sang “My Way” exclusively for Rogerio, and he never got tired of hearing it.
He is survived by his wife of over 6 decades, Christa, his six children, Ronald and his wife Patricia; Karl and his wife Pamela; Paul and his wife Carol; Eric and his wife Tammy; Richard and his wife Anne Marie; and Rebecca and her husband Ron. He had 9 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and numerous cousins and friends who sure will miss him.
A visitation will be held for Rogerio on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78752. The rosary service portion of the visitation will take place between 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A funeral mass will occur Wednesday, July 6, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at St Louis King of France Catholic Church, 7601 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78757. Interment will take place on July 6, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, TX 78209.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Rogerio’s honor to either Boys Town at boystown.org/give or the Annunciation Maternity Home at https://wp.thematernityhome.org.
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at: