William Raba ’86, a leading business executive, an Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Architecture, and a strong supporter of Texas A&M construction science education, passed away Aug. 13, 2021 at 60 years old.
“William will be so missed as someone who truly lived up to what it means to be an outstanding alumnus,” said Patrick Suermann, head of the Department of Construction Science. “He and his wife Merry left an indelible mark on the construction science program through their generous time, world-class talents and selfless gifts.”
Raba’s leadership of Raba Kistner, an engineering, project management and environmental consulting firm, vaulted the San Antonio-based company to a consistent spot on Engineering News-Record’s annual lists of the top 500 U.S.-based firms of their kind.
As the firm’s president and vice chairman of the board, Raba was instrumental in its expansion into 14 regional offices in four states and Mexico. He oversaw the firm’s strategic planning and corporate development, its safety and risk management procedures and its information technology.
He was also principal in charge of the firm's project management role in Kyle Field’s redevelopment.
Raba, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction degree at Texas A&M, and his wife Merry ’84 established a lasting legacy of support for College of Architecture students.
In 2019, they established the Merry Raba ’84 and William Raba ’86 Graduate Fellowship Fund, a $150,000 endowment to support the Department of Construction Science’s graduate program director.
“This gift is helping to elevate our world-class program and will provide more opportunities for students to focus on their high-quality graduate education,” said Suermann. “We are grateful for the Rabas’ generosity, and their dual gift of student fellowships and director support is an innovative approach in strengthening our program at every level.”
Raba was also a highly regarded civic leader in San Antonio, heading education, economic development, and nonprofit initiatives.
He earned Northside ISD’s Pillar of Citizenship honor for raising $2.8 billion in five district bond elections as the district’s education foundation finance chairman.
He also played a leading role in fundraising efforts to pass additional municipal and educational bonds, including an $850 million Alamo City measure, a $450 million Alamo Community College District package, and a San Antonio ISD package in 2017.
Services will be held Monday, August 23, 2021 at 7 p.m. at Porter Loring Mortuary North with visitation from 5-7 p.m. A mass will be held Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Helotes, Texas.
Obituary available at Tribute Archive.