Leon Alvin Raines

December 20, 1921July 17, 2012

Leon Alvin Raines, loyal husband and father, returned to our Lord on the afternoon of July 17, 2012 at the age of 90 with family by his side.

Leon, born on December 20, 1921 in De Leon, Texas, was the only child of Lottie Lorraine Wenzel. He was the eldest of two sons born to Rene Arthur Raines.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Rosemary Dues Raines, his mother, Lottie Lorraine Wenzel, his step-dad, Charles Stephen Wenzel, and his father, Rene Arthur Raines.

He was tenderly raised by Lottie and Charles, learning life lessons from them, which included the value of hard work. With the exception of brief periods during the depression and in service of our country during World War II, he spent most of his life in Houston, Texas. Leon attended Hohl Elementary and Marrs High School in Aldine ISD from which he graduated in 1939.

His career in construction began as a young adult, working beside his step-dad. Together, they built Leon and Rosemary's first home where the couple started their family. Leon joined Tobin and Rooney Construction Company where he was a hardworking, faithful employee, quickly rising through the company's ranks. While there, he supervised teams of workers on metal lathing projects for 46 years. He helped construct many prominent buildings across the state of Texas including Houston's St. Luke's Hospital. He retired in 1984 and was a life member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 213/551. He was recently honored for his more than 70 years of membership in the United Brotherhood by being specifically recognized for his lengthy and faithful dedication to that organization.

Leon proudly served his country during World War II, as a member of the Army Air Force at both Ellington Air Base and in Kwajalein in the South Pacific Campaign. When asked, he was eager to retell stories of his World War II experiences. He was a self-educated, well-read man with a lively interest in history, nature, music and movies. He enjoyed his work as well as many and varied hobbies. Those hobbies included fast cars, trucks and motorcycles, boating, hunting, fishing and playing dominos, particularly the game of 42. He especially loved deer hunting which he actively continued until his 80th birthday when his physical infirmities caused him to lay that passion aside.

The love of his life and his most precious companion was his lifelong partner and wife, Rosemary. He met his beautiful bride while serving as best man at a friend's wedding where Rosemary was the maid of honor. They spent the next 67 years raising a family in Houston and enjoying their children and grandchildren.

Leon is survived by his daughters, Janice Swonke and husband Jerry, Judith Raines and husband Dave Kem, Joan Raines Cockrell, and son Jeffrey Alvin Raines. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Adam Swonke and wife Jacquelyn, Eric Swonke, Marc Swonke and wife Kiley, Brooke Raines Mulkey and husband Jake, Madeline Cockrell, Nate Cockrell, and great grandsons Colin Scott Mulkey and Joel Raines Swonke.

A visitation will be held on Friday, July 20th at 1:00 p.m. followed by a funeral mass at 2:00 p.m. at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 3600 Brinkman, Houston 77018. Immediately following the mass, interment will take place at Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas.

Honored to serves as pallbearers are Adam Swonke, Marc Swonke, Eric Swonke, Nate Cockrell, Jake Mulkey, Patrick Trojanowsky and David Trojanowsky.

The family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the staff of Garden Terrace of Houston as well as Vantage Hospice for their attentive and loving care of Leon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Leon’s name to the St. Rose of Lima Legacy of Faith, 3600 Brinkman, Houston 77018 or the St. Dominic Village Endowment Fund at 2401 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston 77021.


  • Gathering of Family & Friends Friday, July 20, 2012
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, July 20, 2012

Leon Alvin Raines

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August 7, 2012

Judith, Dave & all,
I think about you and pray for you each day as I know you will miss your Daddy forever. I can imagine that in your mind you know it is all OK but in your heart there is a big loss. I always enjoyed talking to your Dad and especially enjoyed the few times we went to Juanitas for Mexican Food. My entire family and I send you heartfelt love and condolences. God bless.

July 22, 2012

Our prayers and condolances go out to the Raines Family.
Ron and Susan Swonke

Michael Kloss

July 20, 2012

Raines Family,
Your Dad and family are in the thoughts and prayers of my family. God bless and be with each and all.

Frank Panzica

July 19, 2012

Raines Family, So sorry to hear of your loss. Mr. Raines always exhibited that quite pillar of strength that is the hallmark of great husbands, fathers and grandfathers.I trust he will be greatly awarded in heaven--God bless him and your family.

Ronnie Vitulli

July 19, 2012

I had many great times with Mr. Raines as a kid. He would scare the heck out of me when I rode with him in his Ford pickup truck. He was tough but caring at the same time who was always respected by the kids in the neighborhood. I know he is at peace with all his fellow neighbors who have passed before him from Shepherd Park Plaza. My thoughts and prayers to the Raines family.

Darrell Stallworth

July 19, 2012

Janice, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. God bless you, and may perpetual light shine on your Dad.

Barbara Lindberg

July 19, 2012

My dog Missy and I visited Mr. Raines many times over the last few years. He had a deep appreciation for "a fine looking dog" and Missy and I just loved visiting him. God speed Mr. Raines.