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ACU Remembers: Ken Rasco

By on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized with 8 Comments

Ken Rasco 250x300After 23 years (1927-50), Clara Bishop was a hard act to follow as registrar of Abilene Christian University.

But Kenneth Hugh Rasco (’48) bettered her longevity mark in the Registrar’s Office with a record career spanning 35 years (1950-85). And if you were one of the tens of thousands of students to attend ACU during those three-and-a-half decades, his thumbprint was on your transcript and he personally approved your Commencement credentials.

Colleagues and students alike spoke of the kindness, humility, grace, patience and eye for detail with which Rasco carried out a role crucial to the success of any university and its academic endeavors. Those attributes also describe his life outside the tedious work he did in the Hardin Administration Building and the profession to which he dedicated his career.

Rasco died today in Abilene at age 93. A memorial service will be held at University Church of Christ on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 11 a.m., conducted by Piersall-Benton Funeral Directors, with burial afterward at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Abilene. Visitation with the family will be 5-7 p.m. Friday at Piersall-Benton (733 Butternut, Abilene, Texas 79602).

Ken was born Jan. 23, 1921, in Tyler, Texas, and graduated from Tyler High School in 1939. He was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving from 1942-44 as a left-waist gunner on a B-17 in World War II. He earned four Air Medals with four oak leaf clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism during his 35 missions over Germany and France. Ken Rasco registrar

He married Marianna Yarbrough (’53) on Jan. 1, 1954, in Fort Worth. Later, she retired from ACU as professor emerita of family and consumer sciences after nearly 40 years of service to her alma mater.

He graduated from Tyler Junior College with an Associate of Arts degree in English in 1941 and from ACU in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He earned a Master of Arts degree in 1949 from Northwestern University and also did graduate studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and DePauw University.

Ken joined the ACU faculty in 1949 as an instructor of English, retiring in 1986 as assistant professor emeritus of English and registrar. He was active in the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

He served as a deacon at Abilene’s University Church of Christ, where he and Marianna have been longtime members.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Berta Lou McGlathery Rasco; brothers Edwin Rasco and Alvin Mack McCary; and a sister, Ethlene Buffington. Among survivors are Dr. Marianna Rasco, his wife of 60 years; a daughter, Dr. Amy Coffey (’79); a son, Kern Rasco (’80); five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a sister, Merle Holmes (’54). Memorials may be made to the Ken and Marianna Yarbrough Rasco Scholarship at ACU (Gift Records, ACU Box 29132, Abilene, Texas 79699-9132).

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  1. I remember Ken Rasco well when I was at ACC. Sorry to hear he passed.

  2. Bobby Grey Harrison says:

    I roomed with Ken in the summer of 1947 in a garage-like house on the back of property belonging to Jack McKinney’s parents. I graduated from ACC in 1949. I have found memories of Ken during the years that I was at ACC. Sorry to hear of his passing.

  3. Amy CoffeyMD says:

    We want to thank our ACU family for this wonderful tribute. To add to this is that he continued to work as an Academic Advisor part time until he fully retired with Marianna in 2003. Few places made him as happy as being on the ACU campus and getting to interacting with the students, faculty and the administration!

  4. Colleen Crawford says:

    I transferred to ACU from Lipscomb and Ken helped figure out the mess of going from a quarter system (Lipscomb – at the time) to a semester system.
    He was such a joy to visit with and made me feel go welcomed to ACU. He cared – truly cared about each student. Praying for His peace and comfort to be with the family.

  5. Holli Goodman says:

    Jeffrey and Morgan, what an amazing legacy he has left! I am sorry I didn’t know him better as he sounds like a godly man. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.

  6. Hazel Fillmon says:

    My first job at ACU, when I returned to Abilene in 1974, as a young widow with three teenagers, was secretary to Ken Rasco. He was the most gentle, hard-working, caring “boss” I ever knew. It was a joy to come to work every day. The decision to change positions and become dorm director at Sikes Hall was due in part to the encouragement from Ken. God’s blessings to the whole family.

  7. Doris Howard McLeod says:

    I arrived on the campus in September 1951 and I worked for Ken Rasco. I did filing in the office. He was a very kind and a nice boss. Geneva Marshall was his assistant when I was there.

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