Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

August 27, 2013

On The Bright Side Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:00 am


This week’s On The Bright Side is dedicated to the loving memory of my dear cousin, Ray Fargason, who passed away on July 11, 2013. 


A beautiful memorial service celebrated the life of Ray on July 16, 2013 at Second Baptist Church in Lubbock.  The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra , the Lubbock Chorale and the Shinn/Henry Dixieland Band gave a musical tribute.  The orchestra and chorale were directed by his brother, Eddie Fargason  who is the orchestra director at First Baptist Church, Dallas in a special presentation of When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.  Other musical selections were Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desring and When The Saints Go Marching In.


Ray was the son of Claude and Bertinia Howell Fargason.  Ray grew up on a cotton farm in the Halfway community and was a graduate of Plainview High School.


He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas and was awarded his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the UT School of Law.  He was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.  He was the senior partner in the law firm of Fargason, Booth, St. Clair, Richards and Wilkins, LP.


Ray was very involved in numerous organizations such as the American Cancer Society and other cancer related organizations.  He enjoyed serving as a judge for the Miss Lubbock USA pageants.  Although he was a UT graduate, he was an avid fan of the Texas Tech University.  Through Ray’s leadership roles in the music and worship ministries at Second Baptist Church, his deep commitment in the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and his joyful participation as pianist for the jazz band Ad Hoc, his musical giftedness permeated every facet of his life.


Ray is survived by his wife Gail, brother Eddie Fargason, sons Patrick, Ted, Trent, daughter Lisa, and 11 grandchildren. 


On a personal note, Ray was a one-of-a-kind guy and a fabulous cousin.  Since our immediate families lived 600 miles apart, the visits to our Howell grandparent’s home in Plainview were special.  We looked forward to spending time with Ray and Eddie and their parents.


My sisters remember the happy times with our Howell cousins before our parents moved to East Texas before I was born.  Clara remembers that Ray would have to stop playing games to practice his piano. Ray would have much rather been outside playing cowboys and Indians and would come in with his toy guns in his holster and practice the piano. All his practice paid off because he was a fabulous pianist. 




Ray and I spent happy hours playing our favorite hymns together on the piano and organ although he was an expert pianist, he never made me feel inadequate because I only played with 3-4 fingers.


It is hard to put into words, all the things Ray meant to me.  He was cousin, friend, attorney, mentor, musician, comedian and great story teller.  He could make those around him laugh.  Ray laughed and made us feel happy and he had a knack for sharing love and happiness with all those who knew him.  Ray was a humanitarian who was ready to help those in need.   In fact,  the day before he died, he gave away his blood platelets to another patient since he knew his death was imminent.


Ray’s courageous battle with Multiple Myeloma over the past 7 years has served as a model of endurance, faith, perseverance, strength and resolute hope for all those who knew him.  Through his humor, love and generous spirit, Ray’s joy in life has been to nurture and enrich the lives of his family, friends and community.


Ray lived life to the fullest.  He taught us how to live and how to die.  His faith in God never wavered.  He knew after his death that he would be with his Lord and have a life in Heaven on the brighter side.

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