1931 – 2019
Raby J. Wallen, 88 years and 29 days of age, of Bedias, passed away peacefully at Seasons Assisted Living, a caring and loving community, in the compassionate care of Encompass Hospice staff on Monday, July 22, 2019 in Navasota, Texas. Funeral services were scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 27, 2019, at Bedias Baptist Church in Bedias. Visitation was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. prior to the service also at Bedias Baptist Church. The burial followed at 3:00 p.m. at Brookside Memorial Park in Houston, Texas. Brother Nathan Hoke officiated.
Raby was born on June 21, 1931 in McLean, Texas to John Flem and Minnie Esther (Nix) Wallen. Raby was born as the Great Depression hit the U.S.A. The government came out and shot his father’s cattle and paid him $2.00 a head to force them to leave as they lived in the Panhandle “dust bowl” of the Great Depression. His father proceeded to cut off the rear end of his Buick and put a wooden bed on the back, which now became a “whoopee”. His mother sewed a tent from their clothes, loaded 10 kids on the “whoopee” and hit the road to find work. They became migrant workers throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas picking cotton and all kinds of fruit.
He learned at 5 years old to obey his father and work hard with no complaining. Working in the fields and moving to find work, taught him work ethics and gave him strength. His wife, Christine, said during 69 years of marriage she never heard him say “I can’t” or “I don’t want to”. Whatever was set before him he handled.
Raby began his railroad career in 1951 working for the Santa Fe Railroad in Amarillo, Texas. In 1952, he went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Skidmore, Texas. From 1974 to 1979 he was a shareholder and area manager for Trac-Work, Inc. In 1979, he returned to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad, which was bought by Union Pacific Railroad where he worked until 1986 when he retired in Hutchinson, Kansas. Raby started as a track laborer and retired as a Division Engineer-Track. He was the only person to ever work for Southern Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad as a Division Engineer-Track without a high school nor college degree.
He was a member of Bedias Baptist Church since 2000, Gideon International Prison Ministry since 1994 and Odd-Fellows since 1979.
Raby enjoyed deer, turkey and hog hunting along with fishing. He loved teaching his grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, nephews, nieces, great nephews, daughter in law and Bro Nathan how to hunt, skin a deer and cut them up. He could work faster than anybody, had the greatest laugh, the best stories and favorite sayings. We’ll miss you calling to sing Happy Birthday.
Raby is survived by his loving devoted wife of sixty-nine years, Alice Christine (Mobley) Wallen; sister, Iva Lou Spillers; daughter, Dixie Louvena Key (Johnny Ray); son, Daniel Gordon Wallen (Alice Elizabeth); daughter Betty Lavonne Dinerman (Terry Allan); son, Philip Lee Wallen (Connie); Raby was blessed with 12 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.
He is preceded in death by his parents, eleven of his siblings, and three grandsons, Raby Allen Wallen, Rex Schultz, III, and Benjamin Dinerman.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Raby’s memory to the Bedias Baptist Church (P.O. Box 176, Bedias, Texas 77831).