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Monday, May 30, 2016

Remembering Raye Haney

I was saddened by the passing of Raye Haney this past week. Ms. Haney, along with her husband Dub, have been very involved in our community for many years.
I knew them from church; they joined First Baptist Church in Kerrville when I was in middle school, so it's hard for me to remember a time when I did not know the Haneys.
Along with her husband, Dub, Ms. Haney was a constant participant in community events. There were few events here which they didn't attend, and for many of those, Ms. Haney brought along her camera, taking photos she'd share with others. They were so involved in community affairs this newspaper named them Citizens of the Year in 1996.
Here are some of the organizations Ms. Haney helped as a volunteer: the Hill Country Cowboy Camp Meeting; the Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce; the Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair; the Kerrville Senior Games; the Kerrville Centennial; both the Ingram and the Hunt garden clubs; the Christmas Tree Forest on the courthouse lawn; and the Kerr County Historical Commission. I'm sure I've left a few out by accident.
Here's the thing I'll always remember about Raye Haney: her smile. It was so genuine. Whenever I saw her, she had such a warm smile and greeting for me -- but I observed she greeted everyone that way, whether she'd had the pleasure of meeting them beforehand, or not. She was kind and friendly to everyone.
She was also a faithful visitor at area hospitals, stopping to let folks she knew who were patients there know she was praying for them. Her visits were welcome and thoughtful.
She often shared stories of Kerr County's history with me, and more than once she shared historic photographs with me. She often helped me identify people in photographs, and other details, such as when and where the photograph may have been taken.
One of the best known photographs in my collection is an interior shot of Pampell's, taken from the balcony above, looking down at the crowded soda fountain. For those of us of a certain age, it is a photograph that brings back many nostalgic memories of milk shakes and ice cream floats enjoyed there. She's the one who told me when the photograph was taken: after a big July 4th parade. After the parade passed by the crowd just surged into Pampell's, where it was cooler, and where ice cream and refreshments were available. You can see the happiness on so many of the faces in the photograph.
Though born in Fredericksburg, Ms. Haney most of her life was spent here, in Kerr County. Together with her husband, she made our community a better place. Her memorial service will be held Saturday, at 2 pm, at Trinity Baptist Church in Kerrville. While I know she is now in a better place, visiting with her long-time friend Pauline Mosty, I will certainly miss her. If you're the praying sort, I hope you'll say a prayer for her family -- and especially for Dub.
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who remembers seeing Raye and Dub Haney at an important event in Austin: my wedding, where I finally tricked Ms. Carolyn into tying the knot. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times May 28, 2016.

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