Raymond Depwe, 81 of Port Arthur, Texas passed away Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas.
Ray was born November 6, 1931 in Orange, Texas to Clarence Depwe and Druscilla Linscomb Depwe. He graduated from Lutcher Stark High School in Orange and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Lamar State College in 1956.
Ray participated in the U.S. M.C. Platoon Leaders Program at Lamar and entered OCS at Quantico after graduation. From 1956-58 he served as a 1st Lieutenant assigned to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton. From 1959-1978 he was a member of the Marine Corps Reserves and served as Company Commander of the Port Arthur unit on Pleasure Island. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Ray worked as an engineer for the Texas Highway Department for 19 years in Port Arthur. He began private practice in 1976 and became the owner and president of Soutex surveyors, Inc., in 1979. After retiring from Soutex in 1997 he worked as a land developer and continued to work as a licensed civil engineer with 54 years of experience recently he completed two subdivisions in Groves. He was also a licensed surveyor, but in recent years had discontinued surveying due to health issues.
Ray was Den and Pack Leader of Cub Scout Troup #82 at the Presbyterian church of the Covenant for 20 years. He served as an active sponsor of the Surveyors Soccer Team for 13 years beginning when the boys were five years old and continuing with them through high school graduation. Ray also sponsored two adult bowling teams, Land surveyors I and II. For 26 years Ray has been a volunteer fund raiser for the Regional State Center in Port Arthur to enable clients to have special activities. He has also served on the RSC Advisory Committee.
In 2003 Ray initiated and funded the first Southeast Texas Basketball Awards Program for 29 school districts in region V. He continued to support this program now in its 11th year. Ray had been selected 4 times as "Affiliate of the Year" by the local Board of Realtors for services to the Board. A past president of the Rotary Club of Port Arthur, he initiated the "Holly Day" fund raiser which assists charitable organizations. He also served as King Gumbo III for the annual "Taste of Gumbo". He was awarded the Service to Mankind Award by the Port Arthur Noon Sertoma Club in 2012.
Ray had served as a member of the "Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas Committee" since its inception and has been one of its directors. He was a supporter of the U.S. Marine Corps Military Academy for high school youth. He also sang in the choir at the First Baptist Church in Port Arthur.
Ray enjoyed gardening and helping friends with their plant problems. He was a history buff and has talked to many groups about the exemplary life of Arthur Stilwell.
Ray was married to his wife, Mayda , for 55 years, and they resided in Port Arthur for all these years.
He was preceded in death by his siblings, Harvey Depwe, Jesse Depwe and Ruby Depwe.
Survivors include his wife, Mayda Depwe of Port Arthur; sister, Emma Sue Johnson of Dallas; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mack and Jean Cruse of Valencia, CA, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 24, 2013 at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves with Reverend Kyle Morton pastor of First Baptist Church of Port Arthur officiating. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park.
A visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday evening from 5:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.