Our brother, Raúl Carvajal Kim, would not hesitate to say that the past few weeks “have been one helluva ride.” Raúl bid adieu from these goodly states on the night of Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 26 days after having been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Many would say that Raúl marched to the beat of his own drum—living his life the best that he knew how. He was a lifelong scholar whose favorite books were Homer’s “The Iliad” and Caesar’s “The Conquest of Gaul”; both books lay near him on his last day. He participated in archaeological digs in Egypt and France while pursuing an M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Arkansas and a B.S. in Sociology and Anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Some may say that Raúl was a true Renaissance man, pondering philosophical musings ranging from what makes a good fountain pen, to the reasons for our existence, to why the Dallas Cowboys should be included in every fantasy football bracket. Raúl was stationed in Germany while serving in the U.S. Army, where he quickly learned the only German he ever needed: Hast du bitte eine Zigarette? His love of music was apparent in his meticulously curated record collection that included Led Zeppelin, Rush, Queen, R.E.M., and Sheena Easton. A self-proclaimed foodie, his favorite food was anything that brought him joy. Raúl was the first to ask you for your last dollar, and the first to give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
Raúl was predeceased by his beloved little buddy, Neeners, a Morkie. Neeners was the light of Raúl’s life before his proudest achievement and greatest joy: the birth of his son, Landon. Sadly, Raúl is survived by his parents, Raúl Carvajal López and Un Nam Kim Carvajal of Newport News, VA. He also is survived by his “bossy but I am so proud of them” sisters (presented here in order of age and not bossiness): Teresita (Peter) Dias of Angier, NC; Migdalia (Darrell) Winchell of McKinney, TX; Ermelinda (Reynold) Kraft of Allen, TX; Norma Carvajal of Alexandria, VA; and Yolanda Carvajal of Newport News, VA. Raúl relished his role as older brother for his younger brother, Luis (Katherine) Carvajal-Kim of Sammamish, WA—introducing him to Bob Dylan, The Smiths, and Alexander the Great during his formative years; reminding him that you can’t win ‘em all during sessions of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II; and teaching him about the benefits of ATS 34 steel. Raúl was an uncle to four nieces and one nephew, and a granduncle to two grandnephews.
Our family is forever in debt to the staff of the Dallas VA Medical Center who helped Raúl have a peaceful and painless passing to the Elysian Fields. Raúl will be laid to rest at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery so that he will always have visitors stopping by to engage in a quick conversation about the mysteries of life. In lieu of flowers, we ask that at the end of this pithy homage to our hermano querido, all raise a glass of Raúl’s favorite drink (Coca-Cola Classic) in his honor and reach out to a family or friend to let them know that you love them.
Raúl: you raged against the dying of the light until the very end. We know you are living it up, wherever you may be—eating kimchi with Halmeoni, drinking Tang with Mamagüela, and cursing up a storm with Don Julio. Godspeed, Raúl. The party goes on…