William Joseph Rouke


William Joseph Rouke, 91, passed away on Friday, July 28, in Pagosa Springs.

William (Bill) was born April 27, 1926, in Detroit, Mich., to Frank and Francis Rouke. He graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit and worked as a draftsman for Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, the oldest architectural offices in America. He attended Wayne State University and finished his degree at Michigan State University. Bill had a successful career as a structural engineer, licensed in 20 states, and designed and built multilevel parking garages. He later moved to Van Horn, Texas, where he owned and operated motels and construction companies. Bill retired and moved to Pagosa Springs permanently in 2000. He had a wide range of interests, including sports, being a pilot, boating, tennis and golf. His favorite sport was racquetball, which he played three times a week into his 90s. He was a member of the Pagosa Lakes Recreational Center since its inception and made many wonderful friends there throughout the years.

He is predeceased by one brother, George Rouke; three sisters: Marion Lawiki, Gertrude Lerminiaux and Bernadette Furlan; and a son, Kevin Rouke. He is survived by spouse Margaret Rouke; six children: daughter Eileen Rouke-Alpine, Texas; son Stephen Rouke (Lisa), Alpine, Texas; son Mark Rouke (Guido), Fort Meyers, Fla.; daughter Susan Rouke (Coop), Denver, Colo.; daughter Shawna O’Briant (Dan), El Paso, Texas; daughter Shea O’Briant (Tim), Pagosa Springs, Colo.; seven grandchildren: Amy Stinnett (Austin), Autumn Rouke, Heather Rouke (Chris), Carter Rouke Stern, Gabriella Rouke, Alexandra Rouke and Samantha Reed; and great-grandchild Hannah Clark. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews who lovingly referred to him as “Uncle Buddy.”

We would like to thank the entire medical team and staff at Pagosa Springs Medical Center for providing kind, thoughtful and dignified care of Bill and for being a support group for the entire family; we cannot express how much we appreciate each and every one of you.

A memorial will be held at the Community United Methodist Church on Friday, Aug. 11, at 1 p.m. Floral contributions will be accepted or contributions to the American Cancer Society.