My Roger was born to Caroline and Elzie Ezell on April 3, 1946. He was raised on Edloe Street in Southside Place (Houston). He loved to play basketball with his buddies and proudly bragged of his being the chief lifeguard and manager of the neighborhood Southside pool.
Roger attended Pershing Junior High and then Lamar High school where he played on the Varsity Basketball team until he graduated in 1964. He then attended the University of Texas in Austin and was a proud member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. One of his favorite pastimes was meeting up with his pals at the “Hole in the Wall” bar on the main strip, and there they would solve the world’s problems over a beverage or two.
Roger’s college education was interrupted when he was drafted in the early years of the Vietnam War, and he proudly served in the U.S. Army from February 1967 to December 1969 as a young lieutenant with the Ordnance Corps. He was also assigned as a Casualty Assistance Officer providing notification, advice, assistance and support to families of soldiers lost in the war. He became the lead member of a number of honor guard details tasked with military burials of active duty soldiers who had perished. Roger’s Army experiences helped mold his outstanding character, compassion, love of all mankind and love of his country. Following his military service, Roger returned to UT where he graduated with a major in Philosophy.
Following his graduation, Roger moved back to the Houston Montrose area. In the late 70s and early 80s, he (along with his friend, Chip Craft) were the managers of two popular venues: Theodores and Rockefellers. He booked numerous popular bands that played to a packed house on weekends. One of his (and Mary Nell’s) favorite musicians that Roger came to know was Shake Russell, who wrote their favorite song –“Two Silver Hearts.“ Roger also worked with his close friend, Bill Hill, researching, writing and producing presentations in the advertising field.
Roger read voraciously, and was a sports aficionado who could site statistics and records of baseball players from years gone by. He and Mary Nell spent many evenings watching the Houston Astros and tuning in to MSNBC to catch “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and the “Rachael Maddow Show.”
Roger attended the University of Houston Law School and received a J.D in 1985. The following year, Roger and Mary Nell were both hired by the Galveston County District Attorney, Michael J. Guarino. The two of them met and became fast and best friends in their shared office space. Roger was a superb trial lawyer and a gifted researcher and writer of legal briefs. As chief of the Criminal Appellate section, he argued before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on a number of occasions, and even “made some law.” For the last few years, Roger was the sole Galveston County prosecutor handling mental health commitments at St. Joseph’s hospital in Houston. He cherished his rides to the hospital with his friend, Bob Shattuck, who entertained Roger with lots of “old Galveston stories.” Bob would drive and on their return trip, Roger would buy their lunch at “The Dot.”
Roger and Mary Nell were married on December 27, 1992, and recently celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. My Rog had a heart of gold. Although he suffered with many health problems over the years, more than any good, kind- hearted person deserved; he was a proud man who always put up a good front, dressed impeccably and was loved by so many.
A private memorial is planned. For those considering a donation honoring Roger, please consider a donation to the ALS Association, the Galveston Island Humane Society, or any animal rescue organization of your choice.
Left behind to cherish his memory are his wife and soulmate of almost 30 years, Mary Nell Crapitto and their three furry feline friends: Calvin, Jack and Sam (“the boys”). He is also survived by his brother, Edward Ezell (Patt); his sister-in-law, Anna Crapitto Zander (Steve); Brothers-in-law Frank Crapitto (Doreen); Louie Crapitto (Grace) and numerous nieces and nephews.
“We love you to bits and pieces, my Rog. Rest in peace,”
Mary Nell and “the boys”