Word just came that my cousin in California died this morning. We met about 4 years ago, a connection made through the marvels of the Internet. Ray was the first cousin of my grandfather Hodge and belonged to a branch of the family that pulled up their Texas roots in the 1930s and moved to California. A few years ago, Ray and his wife Marykay came to Austin for a visit and I was able to spend an afternoon with them.
Ray standing with me at left, Marykay seated at far rightRay did not know our branch of the family existed until our correspondence began. He was most generous with his memories and provided me pictures of his mother Rosa and his brothers. He and Marykay quickly adopted me as family. We emailed back and forth until his health began to fail last year.
Ray was 93 years old, so I knew the time remaining for him was short. However, it is never easy to hear of the loss of an elder member of the family. Ray was a true gentleman with charm running out of his ears. I knew him for a brief four years. I'll miss him forever.