Obituary October 7th, 2001
Mr. Rolia "Raleigh" H. Whitinger, 85, passed away at a local nursing home.
He was born in Genoa, Ohio on June 26, 1916 to Nellie Myers and Rolia A. Whitinger. They were farmers in that area and worked with many of the folks rom the Valley for many years. Mr. Whitinger went into the military service in 1944 and was in the European area for 18 months of service . He was proud to say he was in the Company F 23rd Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry of the United States Army. He always wanted to move to Texas and in 1961 he brought his family to the Rio Grande Valley. He was employed as a small motor mechanic for many years in Mercedes, Harlingen and San Benito and was loved by all who knew him. He and his family arrived in San Benito on August of 1970 and his children all graduated from San Benito High School.
Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Annabelle of San Benito, daughters Erica (Joel) De La Garza of Austin, Margaret Ellen Whitinger of San Benito, Victoria Ann (Rogelio) Cruz of San Antonio, one son, John Whitinger of San Benito, grandsons, Juan Pablo Cruz and Cristobal Cruz of San Antonio and Joel De La Garza II of Austin, three nieces, Sara (Marty) Gould of Belton, Violet R. Forney of Maumee, Ohio and Shirley Schwemberger of Belton; two nephews, John Rupp of Lindsey, Ohio, and Jim Rupp of Perrysburg, Ohio and many grandnieces and nephews and great-grandnieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Virginia W. Rupp of Toledo, Ohio.
Per his request, his body is being donated to medical science . There will be no interment.
Rolia Harvey Whitinger's part of his remains were laid to rest on August 15, 2008 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio after a long battle with UTMB over his disarticulated remains. Poorly managed records at the University of Texas Medical Branch and at The Anatomical Board of the State of Texas indicate that Rolia's torso was sold for profit by University of Texas Medical Branch employees. This was discovered sometime after his body was donated and shipped on October 3, 2001. University officials did not reveal that they had body parts of Rolia until January 25, 2007. Even after confirmation via DNA the University did not release the remains to the family under stipulation of their interpretation of Texas Law that mandated donated remains MUST be cremated. His remains were finally released on August 8, 2008 to Zoeller Funeral Home in New Braunfels, Texas. The Veteran's Administration provided a plot for burial.
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