Saturday, July 16, 2005

OBT: Ray Bieber

Friends of mine in the bioworld will know of, at least, Ray Bieber. This news came today from Keith Hackland of Alamo and i think i'll just let it stand for what it is, a very nice encomium . . .


Hi Friends,

I am using Ray's email list off his last email to me, because it is all I have to contact some of the people he cared about. I don't know you all but certainly I know some of you. Also I have added to his list (under 'copy to') others who I know care about him.

For those of you who have not yet heard, Ray passed away on Sunday July 10th. I found out reading his obituary yesterday in our local paper, The Monitor. After a valiant fight he finally succumbed to brain cancer - last fall the doctors gave him only a couple of months to live. True to his character he squeezed a bunch more months of life out of his allotted time. Some of these extra days were his happiest ever. In his last email sent in May Ray celebrated life and was very optimistic.

Ray was a good friend of mine, of the Valley Nature Center (where I currently serve as President), of Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, of the Friends of Santa Ana, and of many Valley and Mexico people and groups, and of a special friend of the birds and wildlife and nature here. He was a big part of our lives while he lived here and even after he moved to Tallahassee.

Ray will continue to live in our memories. His presence cannot be erased, and the many contributions he has made to the Valley will continue to bear fruit. We shall miss Ray.

On Tuesday next week when Martin Hagne our director returns, we shall set a date for a memorial gathering, probably for Friday next week, at Ray's beloved Valley Nature Center. We shall also add a brick to our memorial walk for Ray at the VNC park.

I shall be writing about Ray in my weekly column that will appear next week in The Advance newspaper. I shall be very grateful if you will email me your stories about Ray so that I may include them in my column and in a memorial publication we shall print to distribute at the Valley Nature Center. Let me know if you wish to be acknowledged by name or prefer to be anonymous. Please send any notes, comments or stories to me as soon as you can so they can be included.

If you wish to receive an email copy of the column and of the memorial booklet please reply to me on this email.

When we have settled on the day, date and time for Ray's memorial, we'll email you. Please don't hesitate to call me or email me if you don't hear. Please pass on this information and if you wish to have someone added to the email list for notification of the memorial gathering please let me or VNC know.

If you care to make a donation to the Valley Nature Center please specify that it is in memory of Ray Bieber and enough money comes in we'll come up with something great as a memorial for Ray. Let me know by email what you would like to see as an appropriate memorial. Valley Nature Center address is PO Box 8125, Weslaco, TX 78599-8125.

Regards to you all,

Keith Hackland

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