Louis Ray Harvey, age 82, went to his heavenly home on Friday, October 5, 2012. Lou was born in Houston, Texas, on December 23, 1929, the younger son of Charley Christopher Harvey and Carrie Lucile (Cummings) Harvey. Lou grew up in the East End of Houston and graduated in 1948 from Austin High School. He attended Texas A&M, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. As a freshman at A&M, Lou attended class at the Annex at the Bryan Army Airfield. There, Lou and other members of the Class of '52 organized the first Texas A&M Fish Drill Team. He remained a loyal Aggie his entire life and was proud that his four sons attended A&M.|
Lou married his high school sweetheart, Juanita Kirk, on June 2, 1950. They had Larry, their eldest son, in Bryan, Texas. Upon graduation from A&M, Lou was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served in Korea in a Field Artillery unit during the final year of the Korean War. Lou and Juanita's second son, Gary, was born while Lou was in Korea. When Lou returned to the States, he and Juanita lived briefly in Marshall, Texas, where their third son, Robert, was born. Soon thereafter, they moved back to Houston, where their youngest son, Kenneth, was born.
Lou and Juanita lived and raised their children in the Spring Branch area of Houston. An occasionally stern and somewhat stoic father, Lou reflected his American Indian heritage in his bearing and demeanor - taking after his mother in this respect. But he was always immensely popular with the children in the neighborhood, who gave him the name "Mr. Horny Toad" and would cheerfully greet him in the evening when he came home from work.
Lou worked as an industrial engineer for Cameron Iron Works from 1956 through 1992. He retired after 36 years with Cameron to care for Juanita, who passed away in September, 1992, at age 61 after a 19-month battle with breast cancer.
After Juanita's death, Lou lived on Lake Conroe, where he and Juanita had moved a few years earlier. He took up motorcycling and toured the country on a Honda Goldwing. He briefly organized Friday-night "poker nights" with his sons, until his daughters-in-law shut them down.
After several years living alone, Lou met a fellow volunteer at Conroe Regional Medical Center, Helen Miller Hancock. Lou and Helen were married on July 19, 1996, and made their home in Conroe, Texas, for 14 years before moving to Bossier City, Louisiana, in 2010. Lou and Helen were a wonderfully happy, loving couple that enjoyed visiting family and friends in the Houston and Shreveport areas and traveling in the U.S., Europe, and Mexico. Helen lovingly cared for and assisted Lou in the months since his diagnosis with astrocytoma (brain cancer) in June, 2012. Lou passed peacefully in their home in Bossier City, which was his wish.
Lou was baptized (along with his four sons) and became a member and officer of Concordia Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas, on January 5, 1958. He was active in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod for the rest of his life. At the time of his death, he was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Bossier City. Lou found comfort in the "sola gratia" of the Lutheran faith and lived in the certain knowledge of his salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Lou was preceded in death by his parents, Charley and Carrie Harvey; his first wife, Juanita Kirk Harvey; and his brother, Raymond Harvey. He is survived by his wife, Helen Harvey; sons and daughters-in-law, Larry and April Harvey, Gary and Jill Harvey, Robert and Vicki Harvey, and Ken and Becky Harvey; by his grandchildren, Jennifer Dornbusch, Bradley Harvey, Kristyn Christie, Brent Harvey, Coleman Harvey, Michael Harvey, Tom Harvey, and Mary Harvey; and by his three great-grandchildren, Brian Dornbusch, Ariel Dornbusch, and Kaitlyn Christie. He is also survived by Helen's sons and daughters-in law, Jim and Kathy Hancock and Terry and Jan Hancock, and Helen's grandchildren, Daniel Hancock, Michael Hancock, Madeline Campbell, Nathan Hancock, and Terah Hancock.
A visitation will be held at Forest Park Lawndale on Wednesday evening, October 10th from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Thursday morning, October 11th, at 10:00 a.m., at the chapel of Forest Park Lawndale, and interment will follow immediately thereafter. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Lou to the Texas A&M Foundation.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Oct. 9, 2012