Tribute to Tarleton’s oldest grad – Maxine Price Ray


STEPHENVILLE (August 1, 2016) — Considered Tarleton State University’s oldest living graduate at 105, Maxine Price Ray died July 27, with memorial services held Aug. 1, in Fort Worth.

Born on the Texas Gulf Coast on June 29, 1911, Maxine was the oldest daughter of Robert (Dick) and Norma Harris Price. She grew up at Palacios-by-the-Sea.

Maxine attended John Tarleton Agricultural College from 1928 to 1930 and, based on a 2014 interview for the university’s magazine, she made every moment count.

She dated Earl Rudder (a World War II hero who later became president of Texas A&M University), was elected sponsor of Cadet Company C and was active in the girls’ Rifle Club.

“Tarleton is a great school,” she told the magazine’s editor. “I loved it.”

After graduating from Tarleton, Maxine attended Sam Houston State University and taught first grade at Palacios. A new, young minister at the Palacios First Baptist Church—Carroll Ray—won her heart. They married on Sunday morning, Nov. 13, 1932, and together served Texas Baptist churches in Italy, Laredo, Clarksville, Houston, Pampa and Perryton before Carroll became director of missions for the Top O’ Texas Baptist Area.

Maxine was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years; by their son, Carroll Ray Jr.; and by three sisters, Bobby Babcock, Nancy Sisson and Cherry Waldrep—all Tarleton graduates.

She is survived by her daughter, Ann Spivey, and her husband, Ed, of Allen; son, Robert P. Ray, and his wife, Sandy, of Benton, Ark.; daughter-in-law, Joyce Ray of Fort Worth, and their families; eight grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

To read more about Maxine and her time at Tarleton, visit

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