The Obit For Ray Stewart

Raymond Loyd Stewart

Published in Valley Morning Star from May 19 to May 20, 2010

Raymond Loyd Stewart, 85, passed away peacefully on May 16, 2010.
Ray was born in Perrin, Texas in 1924 to Thomas J. Stewart and Emily Pauline Jones Stewart and was a 4 year letterman at Perrin High School from 1939 to 1942.

He was awarded a basketball scholarship to Texas Wesleyan College in 1942, where he attended school until he volunteered to be inducted into the Army Air Corps in 1943.

He served his country in WWII from 1943 to 1946 and because of his athletic prowess was recruited for its sports team, the Rapid City-South Dakota Army Air Corps., to serve as a morale booster and entertainment for the service men and women.

While playing in the service Ray was scouted and signed by the professional baseball team the St. Louis Cardinals on May 1, 1946.
In 1947 Ray came to the Rio Grande Valley and in 1954 after being selected as one of the top four high school basketball referees in South Texas by the San Antonio Express-News, he was called out of the stands at a college basketball game, similar to the 12th Man of Texas A&M lore, to work the game.
This began his 31 year career as a college basketball referee; working over 1,700 games.

In the late 1950's he managed ``The Sportsman' baseball team and was inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. Ray was known in the Valley as ``the voice' of the Harlingen Capitols and the Rio Grande Valley Giants. With his booming voice he was the only public address announcer and official score keeper for both of these teams for many years. He continued his love of the game of baseball when the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings came to town and was their public address announcer and official score keeper as well.

Ray worked for Mr. Lewis Boggus, saying he was the finest man he ever knew. After 17 years he moved into the insurance business selling group health and life insurance for John Hancock Life Insurance Company for the next 25 years, before retiring.

Ray's philosophy was to be fair and honest with everybody because that's the way he wanted to be treated.

Ray is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Thelma; his two children, Tishna Stewart Fagan and Clifford Scott Stewart; and his loyal dog Karma.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm at Heavenly Grace Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. David Mann officiating.

As per his wishes, his body will be cremated.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Heavenly Grace Funeral Home and Crematory.