AAFA #0492

1921 TX – 2012 TX




Waco, McLennan Co., TX—Thursday, 29 March 2012


            Raby Ardrell Alford, 90, passed away March 27, 2012, at a Gatesville nursing facility. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, March 30, at Scott's Funeral Home in Gatesville with minister Joe B. Baisden officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Restland Cemetery, Gatesville.

            Raby was born in the Schley Community near Gatesville on June 2, 1921, to Albert and Isa Curry Alford. He was a charter member and graduate of the Gatesville High School, Class of 1939, and a 1942 graduate of Tarleton Junior College, where he was radio announcer for the Tarleton Hour on Station WFAA, and a member of the Debate Club and the Tarleton State Champion Livestock Judging Team.

            After graduation in 1942, Raby went to work as a civilian aircraft mechanic at Duncan Field in San Antonio, Texas. He was subsequently offered a job at Albrook Field in the Panama Canal Zone. During his employment there, he worked on detached service to repair and transport downed planes anywhere in Central and South America back to Albrook Field for total repair. He was drafted into the Army, serving on Tinian Island, from which the Enola Gay aircraft flew the atomic bombs, and also on Saipan Island. Raby was honorably discharged in September of 1946, with the rank of First Sergeant.

            Upon his return, he and Lenola Baize were married on March 15, 1947, in Gatesville. They then moved to the Panama Canal Zone, where Raby was again employed as an aircraft mechanic at Albrook Field. Their daughter, Sherilyn, was born in Gorgas Hospital, Balboa, Canal Zone. They returned to Gatesville in November of 1948, purchased a ranch south of Arnett, and Raby started work as a field officer at the local Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation office. He worked there until June of 1949, when he was transferred to Burnet County as County Executive Director of the ASCS office. In September of 1950, he was transferred to the Bell County ASCS office as CED, and stayed there 27 years until his and Lenola's retirements in 1977. Their daughter, Marsha, was born in Belton. Upon retirement, Raby and Lenola moved to their ranch, where they enjoyed their rural life and friends.

            While in Belton, Raby was a member of the Lions Club, where he served several times as the interlocutor for its annual Lions Club minstrel. He was also a member of the Chamber of Commerce and of American Legion Post #55, where he served as Post Commander 1954-55. He was currently a member of Charles Jaegler Post #42 in Gatesville.

            Raby was a member of the Belton Church of Christ, where he served as a Sunday School teacher, a deacon and an elder. At the time of his death, Raby was a member of the Gatesville Church of Christ.

            He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Isa Alford; infant twin brother and sister, Eldean and Christine Alford; and brothers, Bill Tom Alford of Killeen, and Dr. Waylon Jack Alford of Victoria, Texas.

            He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Lenola; daughters, Sherry Havens and husband, Richard, of Hewitt, and Marsha and W. H. "Dub" Hicks of Gatesville,; three grandchildren, Major Eric Reid and wife, Leigh-Ann, of Lithia, Fla., Amy Howell-Perez and husband, Joe, of Flower Mound, and Alan Havens of Dallas; great-grandchildren, Christian Howell and Caden Perez of Flower Mound, and Meredith Reid and Rex Jameson "R.J." Reid of Lithia; many extended family members and friends; and great-granddaughter, Piper Reid is expected to arrive April, 2012.

            In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association , P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011; or the Cherokee Home for Children, P.O. Box 295, Cherokee, Texas 76832.


Photo from Restland Cemetery, Gatesville, Coryell Co., TX—www.findagrave.com

Permission granted by the photographer, Rick Copp


AAFA NOTES: SSDI records do not list his death.

            We included the obituaries of his brothers Waylon Jack Alford and Bill Tom Alford in Texas Obituaries.

            For more information about this family, see AAFA’s published genealogy, Descendants of John & Mary Alford of Frederick County Virginia.

            His lineage: Raby Ardrell 1921 TX1, Albert Finis 1898 TN2, Thomas Jefferson 1867 TN3, John B. 1831 TN4, John Bibb 1790 VA5, John 1760 VA6, William 1738 VA7, John 1696 ??8.