Local business man remembered for his work on Bonfire Memorial and other monuments

Published: Nov. 4, 2019 at 8:03 PM CST
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Monday the Texas A&M Bonfire Memorial reopened to visitors after renovations were made to the walkway.

In August the site closed for the work to make the site more ADA-complaint.

If you've ever been there or other prominent parts of campus, you've seen the skills of Rocky Choate. Choate died last week at the age of 66.

"In 1978, he started Choate Monument Company. Got his storefront in the early 80's and just began to build his business," said Chris Ross, who now owns Choate Monument Company. He is also the son-in-law of Rocky.

The family and company are still coping with the loss.

"We're sad. We're sad and we're also relieved for him because he struggled about the last six years of his life with a lot of health problems and he was very brave through all that," said Ross.

He said their work helps others.

"We’re happy to play that role but it’s quite an honor and a privilege to do something that’s literally set in stone that you know that’s there for our lifetimes," said Ross.

While Rocky's no longer here, his legacy lives on through his inscriptions and monument work.

"I know Rocky was very thankful to be able to be a part of that memorial. He had been in the area for a long time and had a big connection to Texas A&M and it was just a huge opportunity and he was very grateful to be part of that something that would stand there to memorialize the folks that were lost he was glad to be a part of that," said Ross.

Rocky also loved to take care of people.

“I would like to say beyond the work that we do here I know Rocky touched a lot of lives," said Ross.

"He was a big conversationalist. He any of his customers will tell you he made people feel comfortable. He liked talking with customers and just building the bond with them. And he’s really impacted a lot of people in our community," he said.

Rocky Choate also worked on monument work at Veterans Park in College Station as well as at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.