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Ernest A. Raba

Obituary for Ernest A. Raba

December 1, 1912 - December 3, 2007
San Antonio, Texas | Age 95


Ernest A. Raba, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and Dean Emeritus of St. Mary¬'s University School of Law passed away peacefully at his home on December 3, 2007, at the age of 95.

He was born of German immigrant parents, Ernst W. Raba, well known San Antonio photographer and artist, and Maria Fuhrwerk Raba, on December 1, 1912. A lifelong resident of San Antonio, he grew up on East Guenther Street in the King William area. He attended grammar school at St. Joseph Parochial School, and St. Mary¬'s Academy High School, the predecessor of Central Catholic.

He graduated summa cum laude from St. Mary¬'s University in 1934 and he received his law degree from St. Mary¬'s School of Law in 1937, graduating at the top of his class. After law school, he engaged in the private practice of law and reluctantly began teaching as an Adjunct Law Professor at St. Mary¬'s. In 1942, he was inducted into the Army and was soon admitted into the first Judge Advocate General¬'s School for enlisted men at the University of Michigan School of Law.

Upon completion of this program, he served first in the JAGC 8th Service Command Headquarters, in Dallas and later as Staff Judge Advocate at Fort Polk, Louisiana. It was at Fort Polk that Dean Raba met and married Betty Vivian Myers in March, 1945.

In January of 1946, recently discharged First Lieutenant Raba was appointed Dean of the St. Mary¬'s University School of Law. As dean, he oversaw the move of the School of Law from downtown to its current location on the campus of St. Mary¬'s University, extensive development, and accreditation with two national accreditation bodies.

While dean and law professor, he also served for several years as Vice President for Development of the University and was instrumental in extensive fund raising for the law school and the university generally. Despite many offers of other deanships, judgeships, and jobs in the private section, he remained at St. Mary¬'s. He retired as dean in 1978, as the longest tenured law school dean in the United States but continued to teach constitutional law and civil rights for several more years.

Among his many awards, Dean Raba was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award 1977; Distinguished Law Graduate Award 1982; the St. Thomas More Award 1988; and the Lifetime Achievement Award 2005.

Dean Raba was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; an infant son, Paul Michael; and his two brothers and four sisters.

He is survived by his children, Ernest Raba, Jr., M.D. Lyn, Cindy Malone Kenneth, Paul Raba, and John Raba, J.D. Angela, eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.

He was a brilliant man, a kind and loving father, and will be missed by all whose lives he touched.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to St. Mary¬'s University School of Law or a charity of your choice.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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