Ralph ‘Flip’ Rayburn of College Station, a tireless advocate for the protection of global marine resources, died Thursday, January 31, 2008 at his residence. There will be a gathering of friends and family from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, February 2, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Home, located at 3001 S. College Ave. in Bryan. Memorial services are set for 2 p.m. Sunday, February 3, at A-M United Methodist Church, located at 417 University Dr. in College Station.
Ralph was born on April 8, 1947, in San Antonio. He received his bachelor’s of science degree in zoology and his master’s degree in oceanography from Texas A-M University. Ralph spent his working years dedicated to issues involving the Texas coast. After serving in the U.S. Army, he began his career as a Marine County agent for Aransas County. He served as executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association, director of Coastal Fisheries and director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Ralph achieved his ultimate goal of working for Texas A-M University in College Station, the town he loved, as associate director and extension program leader for Texas Sea Grant. During his career, Ralph served on the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission and was recently appointed chairman; he was a member of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Commerce; and served on the Executive Committee for the Coastal Coordination Council. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserves after 25 years and was co-class agent for the class of 1969. He devoted his passions and energies to the protection and preservation of the waters and wildlife of the Gulf Coast.
He carried the Aggie spirit with him, befriending all those he met. He was a man of true faith and devotion to doing what was ‘right.’ We are all blessed to have known Ralph, as he was a kind, considerate and giving gentleman. He will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, uncle and friend.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Lea Rayburn, and brother, Ross Rayburn.
Survivors include his wife, Elaine Stinnett Rayburn; daughter, Rachel Rayburn; sister-in-law, Margarethe Rayburn; nieces, Ruth Summers, Rebecca Gustafson, Elizabeth Uber and Karen Trevino and their families; nephews, Ryan Rayburn and Jeremy Stinnett and their families; and brother-in-law, James T. Stinnett III and wife, Frances.
The family requests that donations be made to the Ralph Rayburn Texas Sea Grant Scholarship Fund. Checks may be made payable to Texas A-M University and sent to the attention of Terry Poehl, Texas Sea Grant, 2700 Earl Rudder Fwy. S., Ste. 1800, College Station, Texas 77845.