Robert C. Rawley

Robert C. Rawley

September 11, 1929 – April 21, 2019

Preceded in death by wife of 64 years Beverly Rawley.  Survived by sons: Neal (Ruth), Tom (Bobbie), Gerard “Jack,” and Patrick (Jan); daughters: Ann Kastrup (Doug), Kate Negus, and Sue Branigan (Joe); 24 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren.

VIGIL SERVICE:  Thursday, April 25th at 7pm at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, 8200 No. 30th St., with family receiving friends from 5pm to 7pm at the church.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Friday, April 26th at 10:30am at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church.  Interment:  Calvary Cemetery with military honors.  Memorials are suggested to St. Philip Neri Catholic Church or St. Croix Hospice.

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Bob was born in the family home in Falls City, NE and passed away in his Omaha home in the arms of his three daughters. While growing-up in Falls City, he attended k-12 at Sacred Heart Catholic School which was, and is, associated with Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Parish.

He achieved a modicum of success as an athlete while attending high school:  playing QB for the six-man football team;, playing on the Irish 1947 Class D State Championship basketball team; and being voted onto the Class D All-State basketball team.  While pitching for the Knights of Columbus fast pitch softball team, he pitched all the games and won the tournament championship.  In a Falls City Journal article on this subject the writer referred to him as the “Falls City Flash,” a moniker he claimed to know nothing about.  Later he was named the Richardson County Athlete of the decade for the 1940s. These were things he never talked about; he only said he played on the team.  We learned these facts only after we found a scrapbook in his mother’s attic that she kept of his career.

After graduating he headed to Omaha to attend Creighton University.  It was at this time he met his wife-to-be, Beverly J. Anderson.  They married in January of 1951 before his last semester of college.  Upon graduation he was promptly drafted into service in the U.S. Army.  Because he held a college degree in accounting, they offered him a position in Officers Training School where, upon graduation, he would teach auditing to Army officers.  He turned down this offer because it would have meant signing up for a longer enlistment.  Even so, theArmy still had Pvt. Rawley teach army officers auditing!

After leaving the Army in 1953, private citizen Rawley had a wife and two kids and needed a job.  He put on a suit and walked unannounced into the office of the first CPA firm he ran into, Gilchrist CPA.  He was hired on the spot.  He developed a specialty in auditing investment firms and was eventually hired away by one of the companies he was auditing, Chiles & Shultz.  He took over their accounting and entire back office operation, eventually bringing them into the computer age.  With the passage of time the company became Chiles and Co. When Warren Chiles wanted to retire, he sold the company to Bob and several of his co-workers.  They in turn convinced Charles Heider to become a shareholder and CEO of Chiles Heider Investment Co.  Bob was the CFO and member of the Board of Directors.  Subsequently, with the growing success of the firm, they purchased Travel and Transport and Lincoln Tour and Travel.  Bob was a director of both of those firms.  Chiles Heider sold out to Shearson, and Bob sold his position in Travel and Transport to the company ESOP.

His success in business, while impressive, was not the true measure of Bob’s life.  Bob was a gentle and humble man and a privately devout Catholic.  He understood that being a role model was a full-time lifestyle choice.  We never saw him intoxicated, never heard him brag, cuss, swear, take the Lord’s name in vain, tell an off-color joke, or make a slur of any kind. He badmouthed another person and he shunned drama.  He always honored his parents, sister, wife and children. Generous with his time and thoughts, he was the personification of largess.

He believed in working hard to obtain one’s goals and that there was satisfaction in earning one’s way.   In today’s world it is becoming less popular to believe in heaven—however, Bob believed in heaven and our family believes he earned it.

Thank you, Dad, for giving us life and setting a standard to follow.  We love you.  God bless you in your transformation.

 

12 Comments

  • Justin Forgrave Posted April 22, 2019 1:25 pm

    “Goodbyes are not forever, are not the end; it simply means I’ll miss you, until we meet again.” – Unknown

  • Dale Gardner Posted April 22, 2019 8:54 pm

    Bob’s son Tom is a friend of 40+ years and through him I was privileged to meet Tom’s parents, Bob & Bev.

    I can’t exactly remember how long I’ve known Bob but it was always pleasure every time we met. Bob was very likeable and for me, easy to take to. His direct, no nonsense demeanor was always refreshing to experience.

    Robert Rawley will be missed by many.

  • Mike Macdissi Posted April 23, 2019 7:39 am

    So sorry to hear about the passing of your father. He was a wonderful man and raised a family any father would be proud of. We enjoyed being neighbors in north Omaha and class mates with Pat and Sue.

  • Mike Carolus Posted April 23, 2019 8:47 am

    Sincere Sympathies to all friends and family of Mr. Rawley. I remember playing pick up basketball and having to guard Mr. Rawley, He was maybe 50 and strong as a moose. Behind the back passes, a quick-release jump shot that he did not miss one time. Have never forgotten how I got schooled. I know that Bob, his wife Bev, our parents and loved ones who share faith in Christ, will rest peacefully.

  • Jack and Cathy Zingle Posted April 23, 2019 11:17 am

    We never had the opportunity to meet Robert but, if Tom is any indication of the goodness of his father, Robert will be missed by many people. We offer our best regards for his family.

  • Dick & Jennifer James Posted April 23, 2019 12:02 pm

    We were honored to farm the Rawley-Neville family farm for many years. It was a joy to work with your family. Our prayers and sympathy are with all of your family.

  • Shadow Ridge Dental Posted April 24, 2019 3:56 pm

    Our thoughts are with your family at this tender time. We just loved Robert.

  • Jim Fortune Posted April 24, 2019 10:52 pm

    Tom took right after his Dad, they played together on a men’s fast pitch team
    I had a lot of fun watching the games Bob would pitch always an athlete

  • Michael Pagel Posted April 25, 2019 9:49 am

    Thinking of the Rawley family… just know that someone so special can never be forgotten.

  • Debra Anderson Posted April 25, 2019 1:21 pm

    Sounds like a man’s man. Rest in peace.

  • Patrick Turner, Dallas, TX Posted July 11, 2019 2:18 am

    Mr RAWLEY was my 8th grade basketball coach at Blessed Sacrament grade school in 1963-64. He was the epitome of class, grace and dignity. He and his wife, Bev, were best friends of my parents, Dan and Rosemary Turner. My 96 year old mother is still living and had many adventures with Mrs. RAWLEY over the years. RIP. Bob, you were a good man!

  • Robert Rawley Posted December 29, 2019 1:16 am

    I miss Grandpa. Life without you has not been the same /. What I wouldn’t give to go fishing with you or just sit at the table and listen to the tales of your life. I know heaven is brighter with you in it. Thank you for paving a path for us to follow and I will see you soon.

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