Robert Gene Farris passed away Sept. 24, 2013, and was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on June 21, 1930, to Carlton Kitrell Farris and Ruby Lee Richensen Farris.|
He attended grade school there until they moved to Oklahoma City, where he attended junior high.
His father and his partner had just purchased Brumley's Department Store (Edinburg) and started other stores, beginning the Terry Farris Store chain all over Texas and Louisiana. His family then moved to the Rio Grande Valley in the summer of 1945, settling first in Edinburg and later McAllen.
Bob began high school at New Mexico Military Institute (Roswell), where he graduated with honors in 1948. While attending the University of Texas, he pledged Phi Gamma Delta and he became a Figi. He was active in their sports, charity work and various activities. He also joined ROTC at the University.
Due to the Korean War, Bob married his high school sweetheart, Betty Raimond, in December 1951. He received his 2nd lieutenant (Army) commission upon graduation. They both graduated from the University of Texas in May 1952.
Bob reported for duty in July 1952, at Fort Lee, Virginia. He completed his basic training as an officer and was assigned to report for duty at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. He was stationed there until he was to report for duty in California to embark for Korea.
While in Korea, Bob was with the Quartermaster Corps and was head of the transportation unit. He was on the front lines aligned with the 3rd Infantry.
His father-in-law, Vance Raimond, founder and President of Valley Transit Company, asked Bob if he would be interested in working with Valley Transit, although he had worked summers and later as assistant manager of Terry Farris in Raymondville. Bob chose to attend U.T. Law School first.
After law school, Bob came to work with Valley Transit in 1955 and proceeded to expand the company across South Texas. He was elected President in 1963 and grew the company north with offices in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Laredo and Corpus Christi. Under his leadership, Valley Transit grew to be the second largest bus company in Texas.
Bob was active in his church and many civic organizations.
He was Chairman of the First United Methodist Church Finance Committee, Harlingen Chamber of Commerce, Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Algodon.
He was Organizer/Director of Harlingen State Bank, Texas State Bank, Texas Regional Bancshares, and the Marine Military Academy.
Bob is survived by his wife of 62 years, Betty Raimond Farris; three sons, Bobby (Robin), Bill and Brad; three grandchildren, Houston (Christy), HollyAnne (Daniel), and Will; and two great grandchildren, Holden and Caroline.
He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Virginia S. Farris, and his niece, Anne Farris Marchant and family: Bill, Katherine, Christopher and Elizabeth; like family, Herminia Hernandez, their housekeeper of more than 45-plus years or almost, and her daughter, Bertha Rodriguez; and Cresencio (C.G.) Rodriguez, his driver and friend.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 27th at the First United Methodist Church, 321 E. Harrison Ave., Harlingen, Texas, with a private graveside service preceding the service.
Pallbearers: Bobby Farris, Bill Farris, Brad Farris, Houston Farris, Connie de la Garza, Col. Glenn Hill.
Honorary pallbearers: Frank Boggus, Glen Roney, Paul Moxley, David Alex, Charlie Feldman, Chaplain Mac, Nathan Winters, Curtis Bonner, Chip Bonner, Dr. Ken Landrum, Roy Martinez, James Russell, and Ramiro Castaneda.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First United Methodist Church, 321 E. Harrison Ave., Harlingen, Texas 78550 or the Marine Military Academy, 320 N. Iwo Jima, Harlingen, Texas 78550.
You are invited to sign the guest book or leave a memory at www.buckashcraft.com.
Arrangements are with Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home.
Published in Brownsville Herald on Sept. 26, 2013