Darrel Ray Read left this life on May 16, 2021, in Dumas, Texas. He spent his last days in hospice with his family present. He was 84 years old. A memorial service will be held on June 19, 2021, at the First United Methodist Church of Dumas at 1 PM.
Darrel was born February 19, 1937, to Homer Nathaniel (Nat) Read and Nola Lee (Wright) Read in Paradise, Texas. He joined brothers Robert Wesley and Billy Don. The family moved to Bovina in 1941.
Darrel graduated from Bovina High School in 1956. He was proud to be a Mustang and became the driving force behind the Bovina School Reunion. He was a member of the 1955 basketball team that reached the UIL State Semi-finals.
Following graduation, Darrel attended TCU on an athletic scholarship. He played football, basketball, and baseball during his freshman year. In his junior year, he became a full-time member of the baseball team. He also pitched several summers in the Western Canadian Baseball League.
Darrel married Patricia (Tish) Kay Patton on April 18, 1964. They began their married life in Bovina and moved to Dumas in 1972. Together, the couple had four children.
Darrel had short stints as a farmer and teacher before settling into a career in municipal utilities. He left the City of Bovina to become a Director for the City of Dumas overseeing the water, gas, sewer, and parks departments. He was selected as Man of the Year by the Panhandle Water Utility Association in 1985. Darrel became the Cactus City Manager in 1993 and remained in that position until his retirement in 2003.
Darrel was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Dumas. In various communities, he volunteered with the local fire department. During the mid-1970s and early 1980s, Darrel was active with the Dumas Little League, serving both as a coach and director, including league president several times. He was elected to one term on the Dumas ISD school board. He also served his country in the US Army.
Throughout his life, Darrel was consistent in two ways. First, he was an avid sports fan, especially baseball. He really supported the Rangers when they did the things the way he felt they ought to and tolerated them when they made questionable moves. He was a loyal Horned Frog fan to the end and enjoyed the recent success of the TCU football and baseball teams. Second, Darrel had a way with most people. He rarely met a stranger. If he teased you, Darrel liked you. He loved to joke and laugh, especially at your expense. Darrel would make an impression on you somehow. There was hardly ever any gray area with him.
In retirement, Darrel enjoyed traveling with Tish. The couple traveled by car, bus, train, ship, and plane to various destinations across the United States and in the Northern Hemisphere. Highlights included the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York; the Panama Canal; Yellowstone Park; Bishop Castle in Colorado; the Ark Encounter in Kentucky; and two cruises to Alaska along with many trips to see Ranger games. Darrel attended the 1995 All-Star Game at the Ballpark in Arlington, as well as the 2011 ALCS and 2011 World Series games hosted by the Rangers.
Darrel was preceded in death by his parents, both brothers, and a sister-in-law Patsy Read.
Darrel is survived by his wife Tish of the home and four children: son Shawn Read and wife Jinay of Amarillo; daughter Katrina Lookingbill and husband Wade of Channing; daughter Jana Nix and husband Josh of White Oak; and daughter Twila Read of Arlington. He had twelve grandchildren: Trent Kurts and wife Lacey; Josh Lookingbill and wife Katijo; Hannah Lookingbill; Matthew Skalsky and wife Gladys; Bryce Skalsky and wife Jessie; Darcey Nix; Shelby Nix; Quentin Read; Justin Helms; Kennedy Smith; and Carson Smith. He had eleven great-grandchildren: Madison, Mackenzie, Angela, Cassius, Chelsey, Jaisen, Mia, Noah, Kade, Jailee, and Myla. He is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Joyce Read and Sandra Jones, along with eight nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the FUMC Dumas Scholarship Fund in the care of First United Methodist Church, 401 Binkley Avenue, Dumas, TX 79029.