Final Flight on August 25, 2015
Paul Rodriguez, SMSgt., USAF (Retired)
June 04, 1932 - August 25, 2015
SMSgt. Raul Rodriguez, (Ret.), USAF, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully into the presence of our Lord, surrounded by his family on August 25, 2015 at the age of 83. He was born on June 4, 1932 in Isabela, Puerto Rico to Marcelino Rodriguez and Ernesta Soto Jimenez Rodriguez.
Raul was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for 28 years. He was a Vietnam Veteran from '67 – '68 and was a helicopter medic. Raul was awarded numerous medals including the Airman's Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Gallant Unit Citation, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Force Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Medal, USAF NCO PME Graduate Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, RVN Gallant Cross with Palm, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Raul graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Science. He worked with the U.S. Postal Service for 20 years after retiring from the U.S. Air Force. Raul was a member of the VFW and DAV chapter here in Austin.
His hobbies included photography and listening to music. He was an avid sports fan. Baseball and boxing were his favorite sports. He even coached a baseball team during his life. Raul loved being around his grandchildren and immediate family. He was a member of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church where he was also an usher.
Raul is preceded in death by his parents. He will be sadly missed by his loving wife of 55 years, Elsie A. Rodriguez; children, Nirna Serrano and husband, Victor, Caroline Mackerness, and Paul Rodriguez; brother, Edward Rodriguez; sister, Isidra Rodriguez; six grandchildren who bought him so much joy and pride in their accomplishments, Desirie Nethercut, Victor Serrano, Jr., Deanna Serrano, Gabriela Rodriguez, Sally Mackerness, and Natalie Mackerness; nine great-grandchildren, Robby Nethercut, Jr., Roger Nethercut, Michael Serrano, Nicholas Serrano, Abi Crouch, Shelby Crouch, Kolby Crouch, Beau Bale, and Bert Bale; numerous other relatives; and a host of friends.
The family will be receive friends from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., Sunday, August 30, 2015 with a Vigil Service and Recitation of the Rosary at 7:00 P.M. at Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home recited by Deacon Jesse Casarez. A Mass of Celebration will be held at 10:00 A.M., Monday, August 31, 2015 at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 4800 Convict Hill Road, Father Ray Pothireddy, Celebrant.
Interment will follow at 2:00 P.M. at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, 11463 State Hwy. 195, in Killeen. Full Military Honors will be rendered under the auspices of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard.