|Birth: ||May 20, 1954|
|Death: ||Dec. 12, 2006|
Raul Robledo, Jr. Age 52. Of Trenton. December 12, 2006 after a courageous battle.
Beloved husband of Cheryl nee Augustine. Loving father of Amanda (Joshua) Banas, Wendy and Anthony. Dearest grandpa of Evan Gregory Raul Banas.
Dear Son of Raul and Sophie nee Vargas. Brother of Alfred (Veronica), Linda (Michael) Stack and Sandra (Steven) Rabin.
Son-In-Law to Kenneth and Ruth Augustine and the late Shirley Augustine. Brother-In-Law of Kenneth (Yvette) Augustine, James (Teresa) Augustine, Judith (Patrick) McClain, Paula (Jeffrey) Walz and Brenda (Brian) Lee. Also survived by many nieces, nephews and other loving family and friends.
Services: Saturday, December 16, 2006 In State 9am at St. Timothy Catholic Church, 2849 Manning, Trenton, MI 48183 until mass at 9:30 am.
Visitation: Thursday, December 14, 2006 5 - 9 PM and Friday, December 15, 2006 2 - 9 PM at The Trenton Chapel-Martenson Family of Funeral Homes, 3200 West Rd., Trenton, MI 48183. Rosary Friday 7 PM.
Memorials: Memorial contributions may be made to the donor's choice.
Raul has a new grandson, Maddox from his son Tony.
Evan has a brother, Noah Henry
You can shed tears that he is gone
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all he's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he's gone
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what he'd want: smile; open your eyes; love; and go on.
~~~ Who was Raul Robledo Jr? ~~~
~ by Cheryl, Mandy, Wendy & Tony ~
All of you knew him in so many different ways.
A Friend who cared about your needs before his own.
A Co-worker who never left you with an empty stomach
A Teacher who, on his own time, taught hundreds of people the value of life with his instruction of CPR. For many years, he taught CPR to the 6th graders of the city of Trenton. He always enjoyed it when a former student would come up to him and say "Hey, you're Mr. CPR!"
A Coach who, no matter whose kids were participating, would share his contagious love for sports. It never mattered if the teams won or lost, he would always say, "Just have fun!"
A Neighbor who was always there after a winter storm to snowblow the walks, or in summer to invite you over for a BBQ.
A Volunteer who loved his community; whether collecting donations for the Knights of Columbus at 5am or walking the beat at local festivals and parades for the Trenton Auxiliary Police.
A Sports fan. His beloved Bears…..da Bears! Schedules would be rearranged just so he could catch a glimpse of the Bears or the Tigers….even if it was just the highlights. Game schedules would be checked months in advance so that he would catch the best pitchers and players of opposing teams.
A much-loved Uncle with a contagious laugh and Donald Duck imitation that always got a smile. The pool toy provider, grill sergeant, and guy who always had the movie you wanted to watch!
A caring Brother and Brother in-law who, when needed, acted like a father, a mediator, and a confidant. He would go the extra mile to bring a smile to someone's face….Coca Cola in glass bottles, New Kids on the Block tickets, paczkis and fresh tortillas. He was the head of the Kool-Aid house.
A beloved Son and Son in-law who loved dearly in return. If he couldn't express it in words, he always found the perfect card to let you know how he felt.
A proud Grandpa who by God's good grace was able to see his first grandchild's face.
And to us, his nucleus; he was a husband and a dad who was involved in every aspect of our lives. Dad would keep strict rules when we were growing up; no phone after 9pm; no pop during the week; hold a job or do sports; go to camp during the summer…. but he was always our biggest fan. Later, Dad only had two rules: #1 – my house, my rules; and #2 – nobody turns Billy Joel!
He always shared our interests in art, laws, current fashions, and military regimes, whether he understood them or not.
He was a best friend and confidant for Mom, her soul mate. He was our hero and our papa bear. His love made us the people we are today.
Many people admire our family's closeness. It starts with a strong nucleus. Every day is family day… we never needed a special excuse to celebrate our love for one another. We always ended our conversations with ‘I love you' and we would never leave the house without a hug and a kiss.
And all of this is so … ‘Raul'!
He will always be our Ritchie!
Words can't express how much we love him. And we want to thank him for being the best dad and husband ever! He will be missed but never forgotten.
Raul specifically requested that this song be played. So, when you hear this again, you will think of him and SMILE. (The song played will be Smile, by Nat King Cole)
........... "SMILE" .................
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile
~~~ The Golden Child ~~~
~~~ Michael Stack ~~~
I've started writing this on Sunday morning, December 3, 2006, the day after visiting with my brother-in-law and his family at their home in Trenton, Michigan.
If you knew Raul you will not find any of what I have to say very surprising.
My earliest memories of Raul go back to 1968 on a little league field behind T. F. North High School in Calumet City, IL. I was 11 years old and playing my first little league game against the first place team, First State Bank! They had a catcher on that team who inspired the phrase trash talk. When I came up to bat the catcher told me that the pitcher threw a really hard fast ball so I shouldn't get too close to the plate, I might get hit. Now he didn't tell me that the pitcher was going to hit me, he just put the thought in my head. I proceeded to strike out in 3 pitches. The catchers name was Al Robledo! Whenever you do anything really embarrassing you look around wondering who may have seen you. There, leaning against the back stop was an older kid who was obviously offering support and encouragement for the other team. In particular, the catcher! The older kid was Raul! I immediately recognized the fact that he had to be the brother to the guy who was catching. Now that one moment wouldn't have stayed in my mind except that every time First State Bank had a game that guy was always standing in the same spot behind the back stop, and was always there to support his brother. That was a practice that continued throughout the rest of his life, supporting his family and being there for them. After little league my family moved to Thornton, Illinois. I never gave the Robledo brothers another thought as I was starting high school and a new chapter in my life. In Thornton, I met a guy who was to become my best friend, Kenny Augustine! One day he asked me to come in to his house and he introduced me to his family. I met his parents, and his brother and sisters. Ken's oldest sister Cheryl wasn't home and Brenda wasn't even born yet. I noticed an 8 by 10 picture framed on one of the end tables and Ken told me that was his oldest sister and her boy friend. Now I hadn't met Cheryl yet, but I immediately recognized her boyfriend as the guy standing behind the back stop watching his brother's baseball games in Calumet City. I pointed to the picture and said " I know him", and in retrospect I realize that at the time I didn't even know his name, just that he was Al Robledo's brother, the guy that told me I was going to get hit with the baseball. I would get to know Raul though!
Born May 20, 1954, the first born child of Raul and Sophie Robledo. Raul and Sophie were married in 1948 and immediately wanted to start a family. It wasn't meant to be though, it was as if God was telling them "wait, I have something very special in mind for you!" Five years later that something special turned out to be a someone special, Raul Robledo Jr.! I think that God liked how things turned out for Raul and Sophie so he continued to bless them. Al came next in 1956, their first daughter and my wife, Linda, came in 1958, and their youngest daughter, Sandy was born in 1962. Not only four very beautiful children, but four very talented, gifted children. God has continued that pattern in Raul and Sophie's grand children as well. Because of Raul and Cheryl I met my future wife Linda at their apartment in Calumet City where I had gone with my brother to meet up with Kenny on a Friday night when I was on leave from the Navy. My first thought when I saw Linda was "wow, why didn't I notice her at those baseball games?"
No really though, I was just in for the weekend, it was a hello, nice to meet you, and goodbye. Then I would go back to Charleston and for sure not see any of these people for at least the next 2 ˝ years. Except for one factor, Raul! We had returned to the apartment on Sunday night, my brother Jerry, Kenny and I, for a birthday get together for Raul who had just turned 24. This time the apartment was packed with people. All kinds of family and friends were there. We were just about to leave and go catch a movie, when Raul approached us in the kitchen and said to my brother, "Jerry, if you want to take my sister out you're going to have to ask her yourself". I turned to him and said, "if you don't ask her out you're crazy". Now Jerry being shyer than anyone realized said, "why don't you ask her out?" I did and here we are! Thanks Raul for being so genuine and saying exactly what's on your mind.
Raul and Cheryl, started their own family and have three beautiful children of their own. Mandy, Wendy and Tony!
I learned a lot about being a good father from Raul. If you were ever in the same room with Raul when he was with his wife and children he would have been hard to miss. He was the one standing there glowing with pride. I remember having lived across the street from Raul and his family in Dolton, IL. Before they moved to Michigan, how first two and then three little faces would wait in the window for Dad to arrive home from work with a big greeting for him. Raul would be smiling from ear to ear! Over the years there were many times when Raul would work more than one job to provide for his family. He wanted them to have nice things so that made the effort worth every minute. He also managed to learn CPR, and learn it well. So well that he became a certified instructor! I remember once after working a night shift waking up to a training session going on in my living room. There seemed to be at least 30 women there along with some children whom Raul was teaching the art of CPR and first aid. He drove in from Michigan, taught the class, and drove back to Michigan. Always thinking of others before himself, he did this for his sister, always the supporting brother. As recently as September of this year when I spoke to Raul at Sarah's Bat Mitzvah and mentioned to him that I had to recently recertify on CPR because the post office wants all of their managers to be CPR capable and certified. He told me that if I ever needed to he could come up and certify me. This of course just a couple of months ago, when he is already very sick and needing his rest. Always thinking of others, always putting others before himself!
He used to like to tell us guys a story after our pick up football games about his days as a high school football player at Thornridge High School.
There was an athlete who went to Thornridge when Raul did who was one of the top high school athletes in the country. The young man's name was Quinn Buckner and he went on to a very illustrious career, first leading the Indiana Hoosiers to the National Championship and their undefeated season and then as a professional basketball player. Raul was very proud of the fact that he once tackled Quinn Buckner in football practice and earned the nickname ‘Torpedo Robledo'. I think that if Quinn Buckner ever had gotten to know Raul, he would be the one telling the story and saying, " Hey, I once got tackled by Raul Robledo".
In every family there is always a certain amount kidding or teasing that goes on, and in most cases, as is the case here, it is done in a loving good natured way. I have noticed or I should say have heard the expression the Golden Child come up. Usually it would be the girls teasing Al that he is the golden child, or they would be teasing their mom, about Al being the golden child, but that was just teasing or kidding, nothing serious. The real golden child was the first born, Raul, who like The Good Samaritan that Jesus speaks about in the Bible, would be the person who would stop and help you if you were the person lying on the side of the road, and not only help you, but would take you to the Inn, would leave the means to care for you, and would return to make sure everything had gone well and that you were okay when you left there. My wife told me yesterday when we were driving back home from Michigan that Raul had saved at least 3 lives. She also told me that one of the people whom he had saved had recently called to thank him again and to let Raul know how he was doing. I'm not sure who the person spoke with when he called but he for the first time learned of Raul's illness and that things were not going well. The person became very distraught and upset when learning about this and I was given the impression that if he could that person would trade places with Raul for what Raul had done for him. That's the kind of impact that Raul had on peoples lives.
Yesterday, I was very apprehensive about what I was going to say to Raul when I saw him, having heard that things had gotten noticeably worse since the last time that I had seen him. I decided that I would speak to him about everyday things and carry on like there was nothing wrong because I was certain that is how Raul would want it. Raul acted exactly that way, it was just a visit, he joined in on as many conversations as he could, despite being very hoarse, and yes, he beamed with pride whenever Cheryl or one of the kids had anything to say. This all worked well for me until it was time to go. I knew that this could be the last time I would get to see him, and was, but still wanting to put on a brave face I decided to just tell him I love him. I think he sensed how I was feeling and when I bent down to kiss his cheek and tell him, he kissed my cheek first and told me. I had to get out of the house quickly because I was about to lose my brave face, as I did. I was able to compose myself before my wife and children came out to the car and I thought, ‘good, back with the brave face'. We backed out of the driveway and there was first Cheryl and then Raul waving from the front window as if to reassure us. And then after driving a short distance I lost it but good.
I read something this past Wednesday, the day after Raul left us, in my devotional that immediately brought Raul to mind. Throughout these last few years, with Tony being overseas, with his illness throwing him a different curve almost every day, throughout everything. Raul never lost faith. He knew that he was going to be here to see his son come safely home from the war. He knew that he would be here to give his first born daughter in holy matrimony, and I always sensed that he believed he could overcome his illness. (which gave all of us hope as well) He was even here to see a picture of his first grandchild. If anything his faith grew stronger and stronger through all of his ordeals. The verse that I read was in the book of Isaiah. ‘Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. There is no doubt in my mind or heart where Raul is today.
The Golden Child has gone home! A person who has been a very positive influence on so many lives, who has always been a very loving support for his family has just made heaven an even nicer place to be. Raul, We will love you and miss you always.
~~~~~ What Cancer Cannot Do ~~~~
~~~~~ Cancer is so limited... ~~~~~
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot destroy peace,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot suppress memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot steal eternal life,
It cannot conquer the spirit.
MY COUSIN BECKY'S DEAR NEPHEW
Thank you so much to all for your flowers and sentiments; they are very much appreciated.
Michigan Memorial Park
Created by: Breadlady45 from Chicago
Record added: Dec 15, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 17027792