Col. (“Bill”) William P. Rorabaugh, eighty-five, retired army officer, died at his home on Veterans Day. Born in Mountville, PA, he was a son of the late Mortimer and Alice Irvin Rorabaugh and was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel, Dover Air Force Base.
He is survived by his wife of sixty-five years, Veronica (“Bonnie”) Bonner Rorabaugh, and daughter, Dorothy Anne (“D’anne”) Rorabaugh, Castle Shannon, PA. Also surviving is one granddaughter, Lauren Sanker (Dan) of Pittsburgh, PA, two great-grandchildren, Kyler and Arianna Sanker, and one sister, Mary Rorabaugh Skiff, Youngstown, AZ. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Col. James Russell Rorabaugh (Ret.), Matthew Irvin Rorabaugh, and his sister Mildred Rorabaugh. In addition, there are a number of nieces and nephews plus great-nieces and great-nephews residing from the east coast to the west coast.
His first military assignment following graduation from Penn State University was the Engineer School, Ft. Belvoir, VA, starting as a student, then as an Instructor. He served in the Korean War commanding a Combat Engr. Co. Completing a photogrammetry semester at Perdue University, he was next assigned to the Army Map Service, Washington, D.C. Graduating from the Senior Advanced Class at the Engineer School, Ft. Belvoir, VA, he earned a Master’s in Industrial Engineering from New York University.
After commanding a Combat Engr. Co., Bad Hersfeld, Germany, he was assigned as a Senior Instructor at the Engineer School, Ft. Belvoir. Missile defense assignments while attached to the Air Force, were in CO, WA., and WY. A tour of duty in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, included TDY, Bitburg AFB. He served two command assignments in Vietnam during the war in that country. After graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College, he served with SENSCOM, Red Stone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL. He assumed command of the 44th Engr. (Broken Heart) Bn., Korea, as the Battalion Commander. The Pentagon in Washington, D.C., his next-to-last assignment, was followed by duty at Ft. Meade, MD, where he concluded his distinguished military career of thirty years. He was the recipient of numerous citations, awards, and medals throughout his service, the last being the second awarding of the Legion of Merit Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), prior to his retirement in 1975.
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, recruited him for the position of Project Engineer to take care of the huge expansion on that campus. He continued in that capacity until his “2nd retirement” in 1996. Bill and Bonnie have been residents of Dover since 2003.
A gathering will be 6-8 pm Friday, November 16 at the Pippin Funeral Home, 119 W. Camden-Wyoming Ave., Wyoming. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 am Saturday, November 17 at the Carpenter Chapel, Dover Air Force Base Housing Side, Dover where friends may also gather one hour earlier. Burial will be at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.
Page 2 of 2 - In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Home of the Brave, 6632 Sharps Rd., Milford, DE 19963.
Letters of condolences can be sent via www.pippinfuneralhome.com.