John Charles Rager

January 19, 1950November 27, 2018

John C. Rager passed away peacefully on November 27, 2018 at the age 68 with his immediate family and friends by his side. He was born to Bruce and Mary Rager on January 19, 1950 in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. John was a graduate of California State College earning a BS degree in 1970. Shortly after graduation, he was drafted to serve his country in US Navy for 4 years. After serving in the military, John furthered his education and achieved a MFA in Scenic Design, Costume Design, and Technical Theatre from Ohio State University in 1980. Soon after, John was offered a position as an Asst. Professor and Faculty Designer at Rutgers University. John was the set designer for hundreds of theatrical productions including venues such as Connecticut Opera, Opera Express Hartford, Dutch Apple in Lancaster, PA, Broadway Palm in Ft. Myers, FL, and Landers Theater in Springfield, MO.

He was a resident of New York City for 20 years where he adored his Hell’s Kitchen Broadway neighborhood and all those who shared his life there. In 2004, John relocated to Las Vegas to work as Stage Technician for Cirque du Soleil’s KA and later retired from MGM Resorts in 2016. John was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers and Ohio State fan. He enjoyed Broadway shows, the New York Times crossword puzzles, trips to Western, PA, a good cup of coffee; but most of all, he loved being a loving Daddy to his Lakeland Terriers, Oliver and Charlie.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Marilyn Santucci. John leaves to cherish his memories, his devoted husband of 27 years and lifelong partner, RuBen Permel of Las Vegas, NV; sister, Marian Hileman of Wilksboro, NC., two nephews, Scott Rager and Carl Santucci, Jr.; a niece, Janie Santucci; and extend family members and supportive friends. A private Celebration of Life honoring John Rager will be forthcoming.


John Charles Rager

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Tammy Parrales

December 2, 2018

I always remember John watching his morning new channels, enjoying his favorite New York talk shows and having his strong cup of coffee. I enjoyed our morning chats when I visited John and Ruben. My deepest sympathy in his passing to Ruben and his family.