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Raymond "Ray" Cowley '71 February 29, 2024 1:24 PM updated: February 29, 2024 1:29 PM

Raymond Alan "Ray" Cowley 

June 12, 1949 - February 22, 2024 

Raymond A. (Ray) Cowley passed away February 22, 2024 after a lengthy battle with bladder cancer.

Ray grew up in the Rio Grande Valley. His father, W.R. Cowley, was the resident director of the Texas A&M Agricultural Research Center located between Weslaco and Mercedes. Ray graduated from Weslaco High School in 1967, Texas A&M University in 1971, and, following military service, he attended law school in the evenings at Chicago Kent College of Law, obtaining a Juris Doctor degree with Highest Honors in May 1982. In 1987, Ray and family relocated to McAllen, TX where he practiced law for many years.

Ray was blessed to have many wonderful friends and clients over the years, and two deserve special mention. One was PepsiCo/Frito-Lay. Ray undertook a trial on this client’s behalf on very short notice in Amarillo in November 1999. Ray resonated well with those large belt buckles on that West Texas jury and was able to attain a defense verdict after three weeks of trial. From there and continuing until his ultimate retirement in 2022, Ray spent by far the greatest portion of his practice representing PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, anywhere from the Northeast, all the way out to Port Angeles, Washington, and many points in between. Ray was, without question, welcomed in as a fully equal member of the PepsiCo/Frito-Lay family.

Another client fully needing special mention is the Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers, Inc. This is a farmer-owned agricultural cooperative, organized whereby the farmers/members plant and grow their sugarcane. The cooperative then harvests the cane and transports it to the mill, where the cane is ground and the sugar content is extracted. The resulting cane fiber is burned for fuel. The resulting sucrose is processed and sold as raw sugar and as high-grade cattle molasses.

With both PepsiCo/Frito-Lay and the Sugar Growers, Ray was greatly honored to participate in whatever way toward the success of these awesome organizations.

Along the way, in 2002, Ray bought 711 acres in Dimmit County, Texas which he named Dos Coyotes Ranch, where he managed wildlife, raised cattle, built a beautiful home, and even adopted a retired quarter horse he named “Doolin,” after the late C.E. Doolin, founder of The Frito Company, which years later became Frito-Lay.

Ray has elected to be cremated. Local service will be held at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas on March 4, 2024, Monday, at 3:00 PM. Ray has named as “honorary poll bearers” Mike Thatcher, Bill Howard, Jason Miller, Jack Nelson, Sean Brashear, and the late Humberto Vela.

Ray leaves behind his incredible and totally loving wife of 52 years, Trisha; his highly successful adult children, Chris and his wife Tracie, and Amanda and her husband Mick, of whom he was so very proud; and four adorable grandchildren, Miranda, Max, Maddox, and Camden. Ray also is survived by a sister, Beaty Fomby and her husband Ed, and various nephews and nieces. 


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