Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend, Austin suffered an immeasurable
loss when Sergio Rangel, along with his beautiful finance, Ari Said
were killed tragically in a car accident.
reported by the Austin Police Department, Sergio was driving a blue
Ford Mustang when it ran a red light and struck an Excursion causing
the Excursion to strike another car. Both Sergio and Ari were pronounced
dead at the scene. No alcohol was involved.
"This is a sad day for the world, even if Sergio had never
graced your presence, but an especially sad one if he did. However,
one thought that helps me deal with the depth of sadness my friends
and I feel right now, is that the love, happiness, and light this
one man brought to this world in his 27 short years, far outweighs
all the sadness I could feel in a lifetime." Continued Scott
A longtime favorite of the Red River Bar Scene, many knew Sergio
as "the best bartender and best friend a guy/girl could have."
His warm smile would lure you into the bar; his wit and humor not
only kept you there all night, it kept you coming back. Sergio started
his career downtown at Headhunters as a bar back, and moved his
way up quickly to bartender. He moved from Headhunters to various
other bars such as Room 710, Varsity, Encore and was a staple bartender
for the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls before their move into the Palmer
Event Center. However long he served as a bartender, it was only
what he did, it was not who he was. He was much, much more than
a smile behind a bar.
basically took care of everyone, walked girls to their car, made
sure everyone was ok, " said close friend of Rangel, Corri
you knew Sergio, you knew a true friend. You knew a genuine soul
that made himself happy by making others smile. You knew a friend
that would stand in your defense, drive you home, offer you a couch
(or party hat), and give you a hug that would make the coldest of
ice melt. If you knew Sergio, you knew no problem for too long.
knew a "kind, hilarious, and perfectly molded creation,"
said longtime friend and former girlfriend Nikki Mills. We all have
our funny stories and memories of Sergio but of many, Nikki shares
one in which the handle on Sergio’s toilet would fall off
every time someone would use it and in response Sergio would yell,
"Damn it, Nikki! This is why I can’t have nice things!"
friend, Aleks Jimenez shares a story in which he and Sergio would
stay up long after the bar had closed at their house watching Japanese
language instructional tapes.
would watch the tapes all night" said Jimenez, "and during
SXSW we met some Japanese people at Room 710. We got to use our
skills but later on, during the meet and greet part, we couldn’t
speak anymore Japanese so we told them we were sorry but had not
made it to tapes 3 and 4".
Regardless of what was on his plate, Sergio would go out of his
way to make you laugh. "He would cross the street to say hello,"
said friends Kristin and J. Bybee.
was one of those friends that no matter how many people he knew,
or how long it was in between the last time you had talked, he could
(and would) pick up right where you had left off. [This is very
true; every time I saw Sergio, it was like it was only yesterday.
could unite enemies and bring closer the bonds of friends. He melted
ladies hearts and was often referred to as "The Sexican."
He knew exactly what to say at all the right times and for the most
part, as luck would have it "things generally fell into his
lap" said Mills. "But instead of keeping it all to himself,
Sergio got the most pleasure out of sharing with his friends".
"He always had a big smile and a joke to tell", added
close friend, Mike Danger. "He would try and place my girlfriend
under one of his "Sexican" loves spells by kissing her
hand each time we saw him and sometimes I would have to shake her
like a baby to get her to snap out of it," continued Danger.
an orchestrator of jokes, Sergio enjoyed things that most didn’t.
It was true to his nature, just to make us laugh. He was an avid
fan of Pearl Jam which "no matter how much we made fun of him,
he still loved it anyway", said Mills.
I strummed through his CD collection, I found quite a few gems myself.
Most notably, amongst all the "funny" bands were countless
local bands. Sergio had two outfits, jeans and a button up or jeans
and a local band tee-shirt. Sergio loved his friends and he loved
his friends’ bands. He supported both by attending their shows
and then pouring them stiff Jaeger bombs and Lone Stars after.
most occasions, even after the doors Downtown closed, Sergio would
find himself in the center of attention at his home with his closest
friends. "Hat parties made everyone happy," said Tim "Timmo"
has to have a hat, and that shit is funny," continued Corken.
was also an avid reader which "made him really fucking good
at Jeopardy" said friend JT "Drunk" Smith. At the
Irish Wake, friends took home books, promised to start a "Get
Smart Like Sergio Rangel Book Club" and toasted while wearing
obnoxious, yet Sergio-savvy hats.
was the coolest cat I ever met. I was having a really hard time
when I moved to Austin and was living in my van for a few weeks.
I met him at 710. He barely knew me and gave me a home. He would
always leave these funny notes and books for me to read in my room.
He was always a blast to be around and will always be missed dearly.
I got a tattoo for him on my left wrist so he'll always be takin'
shots with me. R.I.P. Brother," said longtime friend and former
roommate, Andy Bastard.
Following the wake, friends gathered Wednesday at Headhunters to
both mourn the loss and celebrate the life of our cherished friend,
"Serge." "The place was PACKED, hardly any room to
move" said friend Mike Danger. Sergio never met a stranger,
and knew no enemies. Surrounded in candles and photos, friends gathered
as a toast was made in Sergio’s honor, The Bexar County Bastards
played a tribute show and a full-on water/drink/ice battle royale
was played out. Well up to Sergio’s shenanigan standards.
rest of the week friends would make the Mecca to Sergio’s
hometown, Needville, Texas for both the viewing and funeral. However
hard we all thought it would be, none of us were ready for what
Sergio had in store. Looking back, we should have known. Sergio
was consistent in the fact that he would do anything to make his
friends laugh and go out of his way to make us all feel better.
Friends, absolutely nothing changed outside of Austin. Whether it
was the "unusual, wildly inappropriate ice-cream truck"
or the "exploding eggs," commented friend Corri Mava.
had his hand in the whole thing. My personal favorite part was how
we were at a Catholic service and out walks a tiny Asian priest
with an accent that can only be described as "Elmer Fudd."
Some things are just way to obvious to be coincidental.
Sergio, thank you for that. Thank you for sharing with us your life
and laughs. Thank you for showing us what a true gentleman is. Thank
you for the lifetime of memories and stories that none of us will
ever be able to forget. Thank you for being a brother, a friend
and so much more than any of us had ever planned on. Thank you for
being that someone in all of our lives that changes us inevitably.
You truly are a diamond, a girl’s best friend.
on, Sweet Sergio.
We will never forget you.
Jamie Lee AmeriKill-
Sergio leaves behind a family that loves him more than words, a
dog, Barkley and countless friends.
I overheard friend James Fitzy try to explain what Sergio meant
to us to Serge’s family and he hit the nail on the head when
he said, "he was perfect" and "thank you".
Sergio’s family, we thank you for raising such a beautiful
son and such a sweet soul. We all are lucky to have been able to
share in the experience and adventure of Sergio’s life with
and thank you Jamie Lee – T.Rev]