Pablo Sarabia Jr, age 77 of Corpus Christi, Texas died on August 27, 2021 in Abilene, Texas. A memorial service will be held 10:00 AM October 9, 2021 at Sawyer George Funeral Home, 12497 Leopard St, Corpus Christi.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Pablo Sarabia Jr. was born to Pablo and Genoveva Sarabia in Kingsville, Texas on October 27, 1943. The youngest of three children, he had 2 older sisters. He was raised in Kingsville and he learned to work at an early age. At age nine, his father asked the local Mexican bakery across from their home if work was available for his son. The bakery hired him during the summer and he was paid 25 cents per day and a bag of Mexican pan dulce. He continued to work in the summers and, around age twelve, he worked at a small grocery store sweeping, mopping, and bagging groceries for three dollars a week. Once in junior high, he started working for a local Coca Cola delivery driver and delivered cokes to the small stores around Kingsville while also refilling coke machines in various locations throughout the city. At the age of sixteen, his father asked the owner of Kingsville Laundry if he had a job for Pablo. The owner, Herman Ohlenbusch, asked "how big is he?' and his father replied, 'he is taller than me." The owner needed a strong back to pull the wet laundry out of the 500 pound washers in the laundry. He worked at the laundry, after school and in the summers. From that work, he was able to pay for his college tuition at Texas A&I University. He graduated from H.M King High School in 1962 and immediately enrolled at Texas A&I. He graduated from Texas A&I in January 1967 with a B.S. Degree in Education with majors in Industrial Arts and Biology and then volunteered to join the U.S. Army. In February 9, 1967, he enlisted in the army and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, MO for basic training. He then was sent to Fort Sill, OK for advance individual training (Officer Candidate School Prep) in Fire Direction Control for Artillery. Upon completion of OCS Prep, he started Officer Candidate School (OCS) for Artillery. The school started with 140 men but by the time he graduated approximately 70 had dropped out due to the rigorous training at Artillery OCS. He graduated from OCS on December 14, 1967 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was then given orders for a three-month school with the Special Warfare School at Fort Brag, NC. He graduated from the Psychological Operations Unit Officer's Course in March 1968. One month later, in April, he was on his way to Vietnam for a one year deployment. He was assigned to the United States Army Vietnam, 4th Psychological Operations Group and further assigned to the 10th Psychological Operations Battalion with headquarters in Can Tho as an intelligence officer. The whole Area of Operations for the Battalion was the IV Corps Tactical Zone in the Mekong Delta as advisers to Army of Vietnam Units. While he was in Vietnam, Pablo took one week of rest and recuperation (R&R) in December 1968 going to Japan where he met the love of his life, Fumiko. During his year in Vietnam, he was promoted to First Lieutenant and was awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in "Ground Operations Against a Hostile Force in the Republic of Vietnam." On his way back home, Pablo returned to Japan to ask Fumiko to marry him. He then returned to the U.S.A in April 1969 with an obligation of active-duty service in the Army until December 1969. During that time, he was assigned as the S-2 for the 1/78th Artillery Battalion, 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, TX. With the 1/78, he served as the S-2 (intelligence), Battery Commander, Artillery Liaison Officer and Communications Officer. As Battery Commander, his unit was one of the first to pass the Command Maintenance Inspection. This was an inspection of all equipment in the unit and was a surprise inspection, as you were not notified of the arrival of the inspection team until 4:00 a.m. on the day of the inspection. It meant you had to be ready at all times because you never knew when they were going to show up. While he was at Fort Hood, in September 1969, Fumiko arrived in Corpus Christi and was picked up by his father and mother at the airport and taken to Kingsville. His sisters (Nina and Nelda) did the paperwork necessary for a marriage and Pablo arrived on September 12 (a Friday) from Fort Hood. They were married in Kingsville by the county judge the next day, September 13, 1969 and went back to Fort Hood so that he could finish the rest of his service commitment. They lived in an apartment in Killeen, TX just outside the fort. Pablo completed his active duty service commitment on December 14, 1969 and was released from active duty. He had already interviewed for a position with Corpus Christi I.S.D and started teaching 9th grade Life Science at Coles Junior High. He realized that as a commissioned officer, he was always subject to recall to active duty until age 60, so in 1970, he joined an Infantry Army National Guard Battalion with headquarters in Corpus Christi as a First Lieutenant and as the Heavy Mortar Platoon Leader. He had to have a branch transfer to Infantry and had to enroll in the Infantry Basic Course and the Infantry Advance Course. During that time, he also completed the Army Command and General Staff College which is a requirement to be promoted above the rank of Major. In the Army National Guard, he was promoted to Captain and commanded Headquarters Company and Combat Support Company. He then transferred to Battalion Staff and was the S-1 (personnel) and S-2 (intelligence). He then was transferred to Brigade Headquarters and assigned as the S-1 for the Brigade and at that time he was promoted to Major. He then returned to the Battalion in Corpus Christi and was assigned as the S-3 (operations). He then transferred to the Army Reserve where he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and served as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee until his retirement from the Army Reserve in, 1994. He spent 3 years on active duty and 24 years in the reserves for a total of 27 years of service. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for service in the National Guard Battalion and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his service in the Army Reserve. During all these years, Pablo was also employed full time with Corpus Christi I.S.D. He obtained a M.S Degree in Educational Administration in 1973 from Texas A&I University and also a M.S. Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Corpus Christi State University (now Texas A&M University Corpus Christi). After Coles Junior High, he was transferred to Martin Junior High and taught Life Science until the District discovered that he also had a major in Industrial Arts (I.A.) and he was transferred to Tom Browne Junior High for one year to teach I.A. Subsequently, he was transferred back to Martin to teach I.A. until he was hired as a counselor in a special program for students that were suspended for six weeks. After a year as a counselor, Pablo was assigned as the assistant principal at the Student Learning and Guidance Center for four years. His next assignment was as the assistant principal at Cullen Junior High. At the end of four years, he transferred to W.B. Ray as an assistant principal until his retirement in December 1995, at the age of 52. He then worked for United Way of the Coastal Bend as the Director of INFO *Line for three and a half years at which time he chose to retire completely in September 1999. Around 2001, he was asked to come back to Ray and served as an assistant principal for 5 months. At that time Fumiko retired and they spent the rest of their years traveling and being together. Fumiko was his first blessing as his wife. His second blessing was their son David and his family. David, his wife, Sylvia, and their three granddaughters (Ariela, Olivia, and Clara) have always made Pablo and Fumiko extremely proud. What a joy they were to Pablo.
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