Reby Cary FORT WORTH--Reby Cary, an educator, political leader, entrepreneur, community activist and World War II veteran, moved to a house not made by hands Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, at the age of 98. CELEBRATION OF LIFE: 12:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, 2951 Evans Ave., Fort Worth, Texas. Visitation: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the I.M. Terrell Visual and Performing Arts Center with a public tribute of "A Life Well Lived" starting at 5:07 p.m. MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The ALPHA PHI ALPHA Education Foundation in honor of Reby Cary. Reby was born Sept. 9, 1920, on East Annie Street in Fort Worth, Texas, to the parentage of Rev. Smith and Maggie B. Cary. His father was founder of Rising Star Baptist Church. A product of the Fort Worth Independent School District (James E. Guinn Elementary and a 1937 graduate of historic I.M. Terrell High School), Reby received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Prairie View A&M College in 1941. A year later, he completed his Master's degree. Reby enlisted in the Unites States Coast Guard, becoming of the first African American in Fort Worth to be allowed in the ranks of apprentice seaman. He later became a radioman second class and was assigned to the USS Cambria, AA036 (Amphibious Personnel Attack). From 1952 to 1967, Reby was a counselor and history/government instructor at Dunbar Middle School. When the new Tarrant County Junior College opened in 1967, he became assistant professor of history there, and in 1969 he was the first black professor hired at the University of Texas at Arlington. Reby was the first African-American elected (and at-large) to the Fort Worth school board, where he served four years before leaving to run for the state legislature, becoming the first state representative elected to District 95. Although elected as a Democrat, Reby urged blacks and Hispanics to support the Republican Governor Bill Clements in his re-election bid. Although Clements lost, Reby convinced him to appoint Louis Sturns as the first black district judge in Tarrant County. Reby, an active member of the Beta Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity for 70 years, has spent the past few years writing more than 20 books to tell the stories of African-American individuals, institutions and organizations. He was an active member - indeed a pillar - of his beloved New Raising Star Baptist Church, where he faithfully served as a deacon and trustee. A devoted family man and an amazing father, Reby was preceded in death by his wife, Nadine Spencer Cary. SURVIVORS: Daughter, Faith Ellis (Bill); grandchildren, Caleb Larkin, Lauren Larkin, Blaine Ellis, William Ellis Jr., McKinley Ellis (Emma) and David Ellis (Katy); great-grandchildren, Nadia Larkin, Kaelie Gunter, Ian Larkin, Elijah Newman, and Leo Larkin; sister, Margaret Newton; sisters-in-law, Odetta Russeau (Clarence), Brenda Walker, Mary Evans, Sandra Taylor (George) and Jean Sumerlin; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Published by Star-Telegram on Dec. 16, 2018.