Rader, William Karl

William “Bill” Karl Rader, Colonel, USAF (Retired)
May 12, 1943 – June 27, 2014

Colonel William “Bill” Karl Rader was born in Houston on May 12, 1943, as the only child of Ora Ivan and Mignonette Treschwig Rader. He died Friday, June 27, 2014, at Main Methodist Hospital in San Antonio at the age of 71. His parents precede him in death.

Bill is survived by his wife of 44 years, Cookie Rader; his sons, Michael and Matthew; his daughters-in-law, Kimberly and Margaret; his grandsons, William and Ethan; and his granddaughter, Jane.

Bill was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He attended Texas A&M University where he served in the Corps of Cadets as a member of Squadrons 5 and 8 and the Ross Volunteers, and he graduated with the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of ’65. Bill joined the United States Air Force in October 1965, and served his country honorably for twenty-seven years as a helicopter and fighter pilot. He was a decorated veteran of two Vietnam combat tours, and retired at the rank of Colonel in July 1992.

Following Bill’s retirement, he and Cookie moved to San Antonio and settled in Fair Oaks Ranch. Shortly thereafter, they became members at St. John Lutheran Church in Boerne where Bill enjoyed being engaged in church activities. He cherished spending time with his family and friends, liked playing golf, and supported Texas A & M Athletics and the Corps.

Bill was a cherished husband, beloved father, loyal friend, and humble servant of the Lord. He will be fondly remembered and dearly missed.

A service celebrating Bill’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at St. John Lutheran Church in Boerne. Internment will take place at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you send donations to the St. John Lutheran Church Building Fund at 315 East Rosewood Avenue, Boerne, TX 78006 or to a charitable organization of your choosing.

To leave condolences for the family and to view a video of Bill’s life, please visit www.ebensberger-fisher.com and select the Obituaries tab.

Arrangements with Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home of Boerne.

Service Information:

Funeral: A memorial service will be held Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Boerne. 

Interment: Internment will take place at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery at a later date.


Bill was such a wonderful man. He taught me a lot about life and Our Lord. I’m so blessed and thankful that our paths crossed. As our lives here on earth continue I know Bill is in my heart. I love you Bill and Precious Cookie.
Renea Grobe, Fredericksburg, Tx

My wife and I met Bill and Cookie about 19 years ago when we joined St John. They were such a fun couple to be around and would always make us laugh! They helped me through the darkness time of my life when my wife Tammy died. God Bless Bill, Cookie and the entire Rader clan! I’m sure Tammy and him are sitting around in heaven talking about us!
Mark Alberthal, Boerne, TX

many years. I remember the first time that Tom saw Cookie and Bill looking at the lot before their built their house across the street from us. He told me that you will really like this couple. Well…turns out that we loved being their neighbors and friends…more like family. We have shared together so many special moments in our lives with them. My memories of Bill are way too many to mention. He was the best of the best and we will miss him here in the cul-de-sac Cookie and boys, we are here for you anytime. The obit is beautifully written and says it all about Bill and his love for his family, his faith, his love for the Aggies and his loyalty to her country. Many hugs to each of you.
Cathy & Tom McKeown, Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

I have been blessed to be Bill’s Bro-in-Law for 44 years. I remember visiting him and Cookie and the boys in Myrtle Beach in the early 80’s and he took me on a tour of his Squadron; novel briefing and debriefing room! He also gave a great tour of Aggie-land: the route that the marching band took and positioned us at specific spots where specific things happened before each game. Another great tour he gave was of downtown San Antonio including the hotel bar where Teddy Roosevelt recruited some of his Rough Riders. Bill was the consummate Texan-Aggie Gentleman and loving husband and father. We will sorely miss him
Bill and Frances Castlen, Dothan, AL

Dear Cookie, So sorry to hear about Bill! He was a great guy and a very dedicated to our Thrivent ministry when I had the pleasure to work with him for several years. He will be missed by all, but he is in a better place now! God’s blessings to you and your family, Doug & Brenda
Douglas A. Hug, Camp Verde, TX

I am so sorry for everyone that knew Bill and especially sorry for each of you. I will think of him every time I see an empty chair in our men’s Breakfast Group.
Ronnie E Huie, Rair Oaks Ranch, TX

Cookie: I will be thinking about you and your family today and my heart goes out to you. Much love, Donna
Donna Monroe, Augusta, Ga

Mike, condolences to you and your family from me and my family. We will say a special prayer for your family at service on Sunday.
Russ Fell, Rice Lake, WI

Every little girl should have an uncle like Uncle Bill. Larger than life with Texas sized belt buckles, fantastic cowboy boots, Uncle Bill was the quintessential cowboy and gentleman. He had a booming voice and an infectious smile. He could be intimidating – until you saw the twinkle in his eye. I feel blessed to have known Bill Rader my entire life up to this point. He will be deeply missed. Love, Jenny
Jennifer Castlen, Suwanee, GA

Dear Cookie, Mike and Matt….So very sorry to hear about Bill and sorry I cannot be with you today…..I pray God will hold all of you in His loving arms as you face the days ahead….Know my thoughts , love and prayers are with you….Jean Reavis
Jean Reavis, College Station, TX

Cookie I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my heart and prayers. Condolences to you and the family.
Jerry Lane Schiff, Norcross, GA

I was so shocked to hear of Bill’s passing. Bill was one of the most honorable men I have ever known and was such a tribute to America and also to TAMU. He will be so missed. John Focke
John B. Focke, Boerne, TX

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
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